GAME NAME: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
DEVELOPER(S): DrinkBox Studios
PUBLISHER(S): DrinkBox Studios
PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4
GENRE(S): Action, Platformer, Indie
RELEASE DATE(S): July 2nd, 2014
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition has got to be one of the most absurd names for a videogame ever. Don’t be fooled, however; in spite of the silliness, it’s also perfectly descriptive in that you know what you will be getting. It’s an updated edition of the original Guacamelee! We can now also confirm that this is indeed the best edition of Guacamelee! on any platform, good news considering how phenomenal the core game is, but also not an essential purchase for those of you who have already had chance to indulge in the Lucha madness.
For all intents and purposes, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is essentially the “next-generation” version of the original Guacamelee! released back in 2013. To be fair though, this doesn’t mean it looks any better than the PC version (or indeed the previous-generation) nor does it perform any better with the new hardware. Rather, it adds a number of small tweaks, all of the game’s DLC and some unique content that acts, more than anything, as a “value bundle of sorts”. That’s all that was really needed for this release, to be fair, and the game ran perfectly fine and looked beautiful to begin with, so it would seem bizarre to tinker with that side of the formula.
You star as the recently deceased Juan Aguacate, possessor of a magical luchador mask and tasked with the almighty prospect of rescuing el Presidente’s kidnapped daughter from the evil Carlos Calaca. If it seems rather silly and “gamey”, that’s because it is. But rather than devolving into a series of tropes, the game quite slyly pokes fun at gaming as a medium. This would all be for nothing if G!STCE fell into the trap of pointing out the flaws in gaming but making the player play through these selfsame flaws (we’re looking at you Duke Nukem Forever). Instead, the game presents itself as an excellently designed metroidvania styled game.
That this means is a lot of platforming, fighting and exploration. Both the platforming and fighting is relatively simple but both also control incredibly tightly, which is all we can really all we can ask for. There are a number of combos you can use to dispatch enemies with, but for the most part you won’t really need them and you’re likely to use the same ones over and over again anyway. In typical metroidvania fashion, the game also introduces a number of new powers to help you progress. These powers also allow you to access previously locked areas that you couldn’t reach earlier in the game allowing you to get to all sorts of hidden goodies. This is were the most of Guacamelee!‘s added depth lies and you’re likely to spend hours just searching for cool things to see in the beautifully designed world.
In fact, very rarely will you play a game that is so excellently designed in nearly all of its facets. The characters are all incredibly recognisable and likeable with the witty dialogue, fleshing out the characters perfectly. The game world is also divided up into distinct locations all of which offer a unique mechanic given the theme of the area and which can be backtracked too at any time using a fast travel system. The game is littered with details (most of which are genuinely humorous) and the luchador theme is very well executed throughout the experience, in a way completely unique to gaming.
All of this was included in the base experience, so what exactly do you get that’s unique to Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition? The first thing is small tweaks to the game like all enemies now featuring health metres and some of the more frustrating platforming experiences being buffed out. There are also major improvements like all new types of enemies, locations and costumes that are unique and specifically for this edition of the game. Of course, you will also get all of the DLC currently released for the game, most important of which is “El Inferno”; it’s a series of challenge rooms that provide significant longevity and also a sense of difficulty that seems to be missing in the main game.
If we’re being totally honest, this version of Guacamelee! didn’t really need to exist. The added content and tweaks found in these PS4, Xbox One and Wii U versions are a welcome addition but ultimately don’t improve greatly upon what was already a rather phenomenal experience. That’s not to say that fans of the game or those new to the experience shouldn’t pick up Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, quite the opposite in fact – and if you’re going to pick up Guacamelee! in any form this is the version to get.