• Allan Jenks

Game Review #082: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Reviewer: Allan J.

Developer: DrinkBox Studios

Publisher: DrinkBox Studios

Category: Action, Platformer

Release Date: 8.8.2018



Buy Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.


What’s In a Name, Really?

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. Just the name tells you you’re gonna have a good time. If you are a fan of Metroidvania, and may also be into festive mariachi music and luchadores—or a little of column A, a little of column B—then you may just be a fan of this one. Guacamelee! Takes you on an epic quest to save your town—and El Presidente’s daughter, Lupita—from the hands of the undead skeleton Carlos Calaca, bent on merging the worlds of the living and the dead.



You play the part of Juan, who was killed by Calaca while attempting to rescue Lupita, and find yourself in the land of the dead. With the power granted to you by a magical luchador mask you discover, you return to the world of the living and find that you are now a powerful luchador. You must now track down and defeat Calaca, and rescue El Presidente’s daughter… and save the world while you’re at it!


Out of This World!

The gameplay is based on the tried-and-true Metroidvania-style action-platformer, but it has its own very unique mechanics that make it stand out amongst its peers in this genre. One of the unique dynamics is the shifting between the living and dead dimensions. Each dimension is slightly different, and you may have to make midair shifts between the two in order to traverse certain areas. Timing and precision are very important with Guacamelee!, but when you mess up, the game is generally pretty forgiving. Most of the platforming challenges don’t kill you and respawn at the last checkpoint. If you fall, you just get spirited back to the last platform you stood on so you can try again. Occasionally there were some obstacles that would insta-kill you and you would have to start back at the last checkpoint, but the checkpoints were usually pretty close by anyway, so no biggie.



Now, just because the game is polite doesn’t mean it’s easy! The platforming challenges alone are some of the cooler puzzles I have come across in a platformer. When you finally get a perfect run after struggling with it for a while, it is a very satisfying feeling indeed. The enemies are varied, ranging from relatively easily dispatched foes to some gigantic super-tough skeleton bosses, and they became more and more difficult as you progress further through the game, keeping it challenging throughout.


Shields, and How to Break Them

Different foes can also have different-colored shields around them, which must be broken before you can inflict any damage on them. Breaking the shields requires a specific special move for each different color, for example: a red shield can only be broken with a Rooster Uppercut, whereas a green shield can only be broken with a Frog Slam, and a blue shield can only be broken with a Dashing DerpDerp—yes, that one is my favorite name too!



You have a health bar and a stamina bar at first, and eventually you get an “Intenso” bar, which charges up as you fight and defeat more enemies, and when triggered, releases a super-strength, super-speed fury onto your enemies. It also gives you a little health boost when you trigger it, so it’s great if you ever get overwhelmed with a bunch of enemies. Additionally, you can get health by gathering hearts either from defeated foes or broken barrels, and you also gain coins that can be used to purchase upgrades from the shop, ranging from heart pieces to increase your health bar, to damage upgrades for your piledriver, to a chicken suit to wear just because.


Audio/Visuals

Visually, Guacamelee! Is stunning! The graphics are done in a 2-D cartoony style, with bright vivid colors everywhere that pop right off the screen. The theme is Mexican Folk, and the artists who created this game took full advantage of the style. The music is excellent as well, and is mostly just in the background while you explore about the different areas of the world, but it never gets annoying and always keeps the energy pumped up with the mariachi-style up-tempo tracks throughout.



Wrapping Up

I expected to be entertained by Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition when I started, but I didn’t expect it to become so addicting! This game is fun, and I love it! My only beef with it, and this just may be me, is that in multiplayer mode, it almost seems like the screen stays zoomed out too far, and it gets fairly difficult to follow what is going on sometimes. The platforming challenges become near impossible in the earlier stages before you can change the dimensions at will, and must rely on portal triggers. The other player tends to accidentally trigger the portal just as you jump across a lava pit and need the platform NOT to disappear! Single-player mode is definitely my favorite mode in this game though, so I almost don’t mind that multiplayer isn’t my bag. I would recommend this to anyone who owns a Switch and loves a good platformer!


Final Score: 9/10


Buy Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition from the Nintendo eShop here.


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*Review Code Provided By Popagenda

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