Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Review
Posted by Ben Tarrant
Nacho average platformer
Not content with causing a ruckus on Sony’s previous systems, Drinkbox Studios’ Mexican-themed Metroidvania marvel Guacamelee! is back for more in this amped up, definitive release. Featuring a host of extra content, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition – which we’ll refer to as ‘STCE’ from now on for the sake of our frail fingers – offers more than enough reason to double-dip, even if that isn’t particularly polite in contemporary culture.
For those yet to tuck into this delicious dish, this is a gorgeous 2D platformer that takes more than a few pointers from the original Metroid games, merging slick combat with collectibles, power-ups, and hordes of sombrero sporting bad guys. You’ll be filling the boots of Juan, a reincarnated Luchador who’s fighting the forces of darkness in order to rescue a kidnapped princess – and no, there’s not a plumber in sight. While the plot may seem a little thin on paper, it’s backed up by a brilliant script, which supplies more than a few laugh-out-loud moments along with a breath taking art style which looks tastier than a freshly cooked bowl of nachos.
Of course, all of this will be familiar to those that have already played the game, so what’s new in this re-release? Well, it collates several elements of downloadable content and integrates them into the story, expanding the narrative. It also beefs up the fiction with several new areas for you to explore, including an enjoyable trip through a volcano, which climaxes with a brand new boss fight featuring a three-headed skeleton, aptly named The Trio of Death. While this new foe offers up arguably one of the most memorable battles in the entire title, though, the new locales do incorporate a little too much finicky platforming – a flaw which we acknowledged in the original release, too.
Other new additions include Elite Enemies – stronger and more aggressive combatants – to test your lucha libre skills to the limit, while others have simply been given the ability to teleport. Although this sounds basic enough, it puts a whole new spin on the combat, as these guys will ruin your combos by abruptly teleporting out of the way of your furious attacks. A new currency has also been introduced in the form of Silver, and can be used to purchase permanent item unlocks for your Luchador, typically in the form of new costumes – the chicken suit being a particular highlight.
Lastly is the INTENSO combat option. This works much like a Focus or Rage mode that turbo-charges your masked main character, boosting the damage of his moves and increasing his health bar. To help maintain the balance, this mechanic is only accessible once you’ve filled a meter via destructible crates and especially good combo skills. It’ll certainly give you the edge in the game’s most difficult moments, but because it takes a considerable time to fill the bar, you’ll need to carefully select when to actually use it.
And while you’re waiting for that gauge to replenish, it’s worth mentioning that this PS4 release outdoes its older brethren in the visuals department. Often congratulated for its unique art style, the developer has really used the system’s next-gen hardware to push things forward, with sharper colours and more detailed backdrops on display. Core functionality has been improved, too, allowing you to, for example, employ multiple different save slots if you want to. It’s hardly a game changer, but it’s an appreciated addition nonetheless.
All of the tweaks and additions – no matter how minor – help to make Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition the definitive version of an already excellent game. The vanilla release boasted excellent controls, great visuals, and a strong combat system, but this PS4 outing comes with an enough polish to bump it up to the next level. If you’ve never played Drinkbox Studios’ delicious platformer before, then this is the best place to start. And, while we’d never recommend double-dipping a nacho in real life, we certainly encourage it with this super-charged adventure.