Guacamelee! Gold Edition – Review

Extended Review

Here we are with another extended review where I would normally provide additional discussion to expand on my video review. Since the video covered every topic I will be doing a written recap this time around.

Objectively Guacamelee is a pretty darn good game which I personally did not enjoy playing at all. This is where I should put in the oh so common cliché of “I tried to love this game but I simply could not” but then I would by lying. The reality is that I simply accepted the fact that there was no love to be had here and continued on my journey.

The art and sound was one of the first hiccups where it just didn’t do it for me. Objectively both are of good quality however there are minor annoyances which could affect a broader range of players too. For instance the inclusion of various memes on posters scattered around in the central hub area could be off putting for some while others may enjoy some dank memes. On the audio side I found the soundtrack got quite repetitive early on. Sure some of that early aspect comes from me disliking the genre however I can see others getting mildly annoyed with it later on.

On the gameplay side I actually quite enjoyed the controls and feel. Making a platformer based game with a good feel is without a doubt the most difficult aspect to get right and the folks at DrinkBox Studios got it spot on. Unfortunately it slowly starts heading downhill as you progress deeper into the game. As more abilities unlock the idea of increasing difficulty is handled by throwing an increasing amount stuff on the screen which gets rather annoying in later stages. With said quantities of enemies the game quickly becomes a chore of evading until a timing window shows up where you can start whittling down the numbers. Luckily these ability specific shields are introduced in later stages so this isn’t a big issue throughout the game.

What does become apparent and rather annoying in these late stages is attack cancelling. It may not happen often throughout most of the playthrough but eventually you hit a wall where you tend to launch attacks at the same time an enemy will. In 95% of cases the enemy will be able to cancel your attack with their own causing you to fall back and enter a short recovery phase. I somehow have the ability to launch multiple attacks in a row that coincide with another enemy which quickly becomes frustrating as I get thrown back for the fifth time in a row. I suppose not everybody will run into this issue however for those who are not good at timing this will become an issue much earlier in the game making the end unreachable for some.

So there you have it, another review out of my backlog with several more to go. While I didn’t enjoy Guacamelee I definitely see the work and quality in it that many others can enjoy. As long as you don’t hate games with reasonably tight timings and platforming this shouldn’t be an issue for you. In fact this game is unique enough that I encourage most people to try it out because there isn’t too much else like it.

 Score 7 Large – The Verdict

Plus – The Good

  • Several abilities are slowly introduced and easy to learn.
  • Responsive and accurate controls.
  • Unique art and soundtrack.

Minus – The Bad

  • Later parts of the game can become quite frustrating.
  • Combat can be tough with several shielded enemies.
  • If you are not great at timing prepare to die a lot.

Full disclosure

  • Play time: 5h – Steam.

  • Completion: Completed story and some challenges.

  • Version: Latest.

  • Platform: PC – Some Vita and PlayStation 4.

  • Acquisition: Steam – 7.45$ CAD.