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[PlayStation 4] Guacamelee! 2 Review

[PlayStation 4] Guacamelee! 2 Review
the_nmac

The luchador has returned and once again puts on his mask to save the Mexiverse! Are you up to the challenge? Learn more about this highly anticipated release in our Guacamelee! 2 review!


 

Luchador Juan Aguacate is out of retirement for a stunning new Metroidvania-style adventure. Explore a huge, hand-crafted world inspired by Mexican culture and folklore, filled with sassy new villains and weirdos (and a few old friends!). Learn bone-crunching wrestling moves to fend off skeletal hordes and overcome skillful platforming challenges… and who said anything about a Chicken Illuminati? Certainly not us!

Check out these features:

– Drop-in 4-player local co-op for you and your best amigos!
– New upgrade system: discover “trainers” around the world to learn new skill sets for movement, combat, and more!
– All new areas. Explore from the Mangrove Swamp to Hell itself!
– Double the enemy types of the original, and a roster of eccentric new bosses!
– Electro-Mexican soundtrack, and more gorgeous visuals thanks to a fancy new rendering engine!
– Definitely no secret society of chickens that teaches you ancient chicken abilities!

Guacamelee! 2 has long been gestation for quite a few years. The original came out way back in 2013 on PS3 and PS Vita (which I Platinumed), and they then upsized it for Nintendo Wii U and the PlayStation 4 with the Super Turbo Championship Edition, and in 2016 Drinkbox released Severed (another game I Platinumed and a release that is one of the best games on PlayStation Vita). Now here we are two years later with Guacamelee! 2 ready to go on PlayStation 4!

Guacamelee! 2 is another release in the long line of Metroidvania’s that have hit the market over the last decade with varying levels of quality and success. Guacamelee! is a top-notch Metroidvania game, and I’m happy to report that the sequel does everything its prequel did and then some, making the wait worth it!

The game starts out with main character Juan seven years after the first game. He’s on his couch eating chips and watching TV, when Lupita and your kids let you know that something is wrong. You investigate the disturbance and find that you need to get to it and save the Mexiverse! You are taken to other timelines (with some funny Easter Eggs which I will not spoil, but I do want to mention that I had a smile from ear to ear) until you reach the Darkest Timeline, where you find out Salvador, an evil luchador, is trying to assemble three items that will lead him to the God’s Guacamole dip, which will cure him from side effects of his mask.

The story is awesome and fun, with several nods to classic games, while finding a way to make things completely its own. It has its touching moments as well, which for a game named Guacamelee! 2 is a lot to say. Drinkbox deserves a ton of credit for this one, and I’m sure the game will be included in many end-of-the-year lists as a serious contender for Game of the Year – I’m sure it’s going to find a spot in my list!

All the powers that you had for the last game are back, which is nice since if you’ve played the previous game you’ll be up to speed in no time. Each power will work towards destroying certain colored blocks blocking your entry to some spots in the game. If you miss an area due to not having the right power the map will make a note for you so that you can come back later. Along with all your old powers from the last game, the team at DrinkBox has developed a few new ones making your chicken form more useful for navigation and combat. You will find new chicken temples around the area teaching you these abilities, so be sure to search high and low!

Now I haven’t dived into hard mode combat yet, but with the experience on my first playthrough, I found the combat easy. I remember the first game being harder and me dying more, but I just might now be more experienced with combat. As for the platforming, this game takes things to another level. In the last game you could shift between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and while that returns for this sequel, there are areas that shift in a continuous pattern, which really complicates everything. There are also some challenges in the game that I won’t spoil, but once you find them they will end up putting your platforming and combat skills to the test.

Another big new thing for Guacamelee! 2 is trainers. There are five in total in the game, and they act as skill trees helping you to improve your moves or to help you gain combat bonuses. To unlock the skills you will have some prerequisites that need to be taken care of first. They add a fresh way of making Juan be the warrior you want him to be, improving the luchador as you go until you manage to get all available skills and upgrades.

Drinkbox once again knocks it out of the ring in terms of style and presentation. The game looked crisp and beautiful with its art style drawing inspiration from the Mexican Day of the Dead. I had no slowdown or hiccups at all while playing. The music is awesome adding to the game and drawing inspiration from other games. I could be wrong, but one of the temple’s songs gave me vibes from another Metroidvania: Axiom Verge. Drinkbox has dropped the soundtrack on Bandcamp, and it is certainly worth a purchase.

https://drinkbox.bandcamp.com/album/guacamelee-2-original-soundtrack

Final Thoughts

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I really liked Guacamelee! 2. It took what made the first game and made it even better. Now that I’ve finsihed100% of the game I can say that its length was perfect, and I now look forward to doing a new run on Hard to get the final trophy I’m missing to unlock a new Platinum trophy for my collection. Guacamelee! 2, as was the case for its predecessor, is a must-buy release and one of the best games on PS4.

Disclaimer
This Guacamelee! 2 Racing review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Drinkbox Studios.

 

Review Overview

A masterpiece in the Metroidvania genre
9.5
9.5

Rating

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