Guacamelee has been getting rave reviews ever since it burst onto the console scene a few short months ago. Now PC players are getting a chance to get their hands on this action packed title thanks to the wonderful men and women at Steam. Guacamelee is the story of a down on his luck luchador named Juan who embarks on an incredible mission to save the woman he loves after she is kidnapped by evil forces beyond his comprehension. If the story sounds a little generic and cheesy that’s probably because it is, and intentionally so. This game does not take itself too seriously and that is in fact one of the most lovable qualities that it has. The story knows it’s cliche and even makes reference to that fact by telling our hero that his princess is in fact “in another castle”.
At the start of our journey Juan is a shell of a man who doesnt appear capable of living a functional life let alone tackling the monumental task that lies in front of him. Yet after adorning a luchador mask found within the main cities landmark statue it becomes clear that the man that was previously in-front of us was but a facade. Juan quickly learns new stunning moves that not only aid him in his combat exploits but also helps him traverse the challenging platforming elements that Guacamelee has to offer. It is this very mix of fun, intense combat and inventive platforming that allows Guacamelee to truly shine. Whether you are clearing a room full of enemies or making you way to the next temple on your agenda the pace is rapid and filled with new twists and turns of the gameplay elements that are introduced throughout.
The enemies that Juan will face throughout the game are all varied and challenging in their own way and require the player to formulate new and creative strategies when approaching them. Some enemies strike with ranged attacks while other use brute force to deplete chunks of your health meter with a simple blow. Enemies also adorn various colored shields which can only be broken by using the various attacks learned through exploration of this mystical world. Other enemies can only been defeated by swapping back and forth between the living and dead worlds in which the game takes place. While there are only a few bosses to speak of in this relatively short title, they all bring a different feel and level of challenge to the player. The bosses even allow for even the most skilled gamers to relive that incredible sense of accomplishment we yearned for growing up in the gaming community.
While Guacamelee was released on the PC, it is highly recommended that players use a controller for this title. I spent the first half of my playthrough using my keyboard and at no time did I feel I was in complete control of the action. No matter how one might reconfigure that settings there are just too many moves and actions that require the lightning fast inputs that can only be made with a controller in your hand. While I was able to advance through the game, it was not without unnecessary deaths and frustration that were caused simply by delayed or inefficient inputs of the keys. Once I started playing with a controller i finally realized the greatness that this title had to offer and was able to unleash the fury that was meant for me as I stood in the shoes of Juan.
Guacamelee is more than worth the time of fans of any gaming genre because it is at its core what all games should be, fun. There are no dull moments or times where progressing feels like a chore and those are two qualities that not many other games out there can claim to have. Guacamelee is available right now for $14.99 on Steam, and I would implore anyone looking for a fun new title to give this indie game a serious look.