What happens when you mix luchador wrestling with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night? You get the delightfully unique game, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition. This fun title is a bright and colorful romp through Mexico with unique areas, a fun story, and excellent gameplay.
While simple, the story of Guacamelee is a lot of fun, because of the interesting characters. This tale begins with a farmer named, Juan, who is on his way to speak with his love interest, the daughter of El Presidente, and is caught up in an invasion by an evil skeleton, named Carlos Calaca. Juan is murdered by his forces, sent to the land of the dead, and is introduced to Tostada, a luchador who turns Juan into a luchador, so he may return to the world of the living, and save both realms. These characters are all fun and vibrant–my favorite is, Uay Chivo, who not only teaches new abilities, but is always complaining about the protagonists breaking his beloved Chozo statues.
Gameplay consists of collecting power ups, traversing different dungeons, and beating up baddies. There are quite a few power ups in this game that can be acquired by destroying the classic Chozo statues from the Metroid series. These upgrades range from uppercuts, headbutts, and being able to warp between the worlds of the living and dead, and are crucial to traversing the dungeons. Dungeons, while straightforward, require the player to use every tool in their arsenal in order to get through each obstacle. These obstacles can consist of switching between realms, and leaping up different platforms. I found these challenges to be tricky, but fun, since abilities are never just used in one situation and thrown to the wayside. While these two gameplay elements are all well and good, what fun is it to be a luchador if there’s no fighting. Combat has, the basic 3 hit combo, jumping combos, and different power ups, such as the aforementioned headbutt. These are all necessary in a fight, since some enemies have shields that can only be broken with using either a, headbutt, dropkick, or flying kick. All of these elements together flow flawlessly, and create the perfect pacing throughout each dungeon.
Guacamelee has a few different dungeons, and also have two different perspectives through the use of the world switching mechanics. This mechanic can also change the layout of the level in ways such as, creating new walls and platforms, or changing water into lava. This also changes look of the world, by making the dead world look grungier than the living world. These little details make the game feel unique, compared to other games of the genre.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a must have title. I found myself having a hard time putting this game down, because of the fun combat, unique world, and fun story. If you haven’t played this yet, you should, and if you have, now is the perfect time to pick up this fun metroidvania again, and revisit Juan’s adventures one more time.
Review: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition (Nintendo Switch)
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a great metroidvania, that takes tropes from the genre and turns them into a joke. Humor aside, this is a fun title with a colorful world and interesting combat.