Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, might not bring anything new to the side-scrolling genre, but what it does offer is a bright vibrant game, with an outstandingly quirky Mexican theme. Super Turbo Championship Edition includes three new levels in addition to the original outing – a fishing village, Canal of Flowers, and an active volcano. There is a new enemy type as well, in addition to a new boss character that is thrown into the mix.
Our hero, Juan, is a humble farmer who happens to bump into his childhood friend, Fraya, the president’s daughter. The two decide to attend a local festival when, Carlos Calaca, an evil skeleton who has escaped from the underworld – kidnaps Fraya. Juan must then don a magical mask that transforms him into a luchador and imbues him with the abilities he will need to rescue his beloved Fraya.
The gameplay is the real star here, mixing in a little Streets of Rage with a dash of Metroid. Combat is all about landing combos and keeping your momentum going, all while not becoming overrun. Moves are simple to execute, and it’s often about the timing of certain moves that will ultimately kill an enemy or help you pass the tricky part of a level.
Unlocking additional moves will happen as you progress, allowing Juan to quickly disperse of a newly encountered foe or road block in a level. Dodging is included and can also be used for navigating through levels. Lastly, is the INTENSO meter – which supercharges your character, provided you keep the combos coming to fuel it.
Finding collectables is one of the main focuses in Guacamelee. These can range from treasure chests, to health and stamina chunks. Chests can hold up to three different items, depending on their color. Brown contains money, while gold contains stamina and red chests offer pieces of health.
Health pieces are a life line of your character, and collecting three of them will increase your life bar. Stamina chunks work the same – collect three and it will increase. Finally are the collectable orbs. The hardest collectable to obtain, is also the greatest reward. The ultimate luchador mask is yours after finding six orbs.
Overall, Guacamelee is a wonderful journey. Super Turbo Championship Edition is a comical luchadore brawling extravaganza that you won’t want to miss. Visually, this game is a gem. The art style has a Genndy Tartakovsky inspired look, with bight and flashy color schemes. It also has tight controls, a great leveling system and offers more for you to unlock on a second playthrough. There is plenty here to keep you body slamming and punching skeletons for weeks to come.
NOTE: Guacamelee! STCE is FREE on Xbox One for all Xbox LIVE Gold Members for the entire month of July 2014 – Get it while it’s HOT!