When it came time to put together my top 10 games of 2013, only two downloadable titles made the cut: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Guacamelee! And it was Drinkbox Studios’ colorful masterpiece that was named Downloadable Game of the Year. Apparently, achieving such an honor inspired the team to release a new, spiffier version by the name of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, so the least I could do was review it.
For those that played the original, you’re already familiar with the broad strokes. If you missed it, basically you control a luchador superhero tasked with saving the world from Carlos Calaca, who is so bad ass that he actually defeated the devil himself. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive look at the game, including graphics, controls and gameplay style, please check out my review of the original, as the remainder of this one will focus almost exclusively on the new stuff.
So then, what is new with Guacamelee! STCE? A decent amount, headlined by the all-new INTENSO combat mode. Think of it in the same vein as God of War‘s Rage of the Gods, where filling a meter by executing combos allows you to activate INTENSO by clicking both analog sticks. Once engaged, Juan becomes a more ferocious fighter, dealing significantly more damage — there’s even a little bit of a twist as your meter won’t drain while you’re actively attacking foes. Your new ability can be upgraded in the store, too, offering more options for your gold.
There’s also a pair of new locations, Canal de las Flores and Pico de Gallo, that have been interwoven into the fabric of the story. That helps them not feel like isolated add-ons, and both bring something different to the table that wasn’t seen in the original adventure. Toss in a new boss (El Trio de la Muerte) and a couple more added abilities (pollo bombs and shadow swap, which allows you to switch between dimensions without the gates) and you’ve got plenty to entice even seasoned players.
Previous paid downloadable content like additional outfits can now be purchased with in-game silver, which is obtained by clearing challenge rooms. The game supports multiple save files (an odd omission the first time around) and allows you to play as Tostada, who was previously restricted to co-op action. On the downside, save files from the original can’t be imported, and US-based PSN owners are shut out of the substantial discount offered to those that bought Guacamelee! in other regions.
One of the best arcade games of 2013 has been lovingly upgraded, making Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition a must own for any fan of 2D platformers and/or brawlers. Yeah, it stinks that some previous owners aren’t eligible for the discount, but playing through it a second time with all the added content is still a strong investment; and if you never played the original here’s your chance to rectify that oversight.