As I’m sure most of you are aware, July’s ‘Games with Gold’ promotion is offering up Guacamelee for free, naturally I took advantage of this generous offer. Now I know the game has been kicking around for some time on other platforms, but I still wanted to share with you what I think of it so far.
The story of Guacamelee is pretty simple, you play as Juan Aguacate, a humble agave farmer who is in love with El Presidente’s daughter. During an attack on the village by an evil skeleton, El Presidente’s daughter is kidnapped and you are killed trying to help. Juan ends up in the land of the dead and here you meet a strange luchador named Tostada who gives Juan a mysterious luchador mask that transforms him and brings him back to the world of the living. Now it is up to Juan to save El Presidente’s daughter. Sounds like most other damsel in distress clichés right?
The gameplay is pretty simple as well. The controls are easy to pick up, A being jump, X attack, Y grapple, that sort of thing. You can also dodge with the right analogue stick, and do power attacks using B, but these aren’t unlocked from the start, as you progress you will unlock new abilities that will allow you to reach previously unreachable locations, and do new and more powerful attacks. You can unlock actions like a double jump, and being able to smash through certain blocks… those kinds of things.
It all sounds like your pretty run of the mill platformer, and it is really. But that is not a bad thing, because what Guacamelee does, is execute this genre very well – so far. I’ve only put in a couple of hours to the game at the moment – hence ‘first impressions’ so I don’t know how the game will progress over time. But as of right now, it plays really well, it’s simple yet effective.
Once you are through the opening sequence of events you are kind of presented with an open world where you can go and explore different areas, pick up side missions, and hunt down treasure for upgrades. Its not massively open world, but its nice that you aren’t just forced down one linear route.
The style of the game is a really big draw for me. All the bright colours of the game world and of the characters look great. Add in all the weirdness of the characters and it really makes it a lot more fun.
The game also offers up the option to play through with a buddy in local co-op, I’ve not actually experienced this, so can’t really comment much on it. but I do know that you will play as Tostada, and that she has her own move set, and list of upgrades. You can also perform tag team moves in co-op.
Like I’ve said, I’ve only put in a few hours in to it, so can’t really say a whole lot more. But I will say that so far its really good fun, nothing too serious. There is enough of a challenge at times to keep it interesting, without being overtly frustrating, and the added bonus of drop in co-op can only be a good thing. Plus the game is FREE right now, so you just can’t complain. I would even say that had I bought this game, I would’ve been happy with the purchase.
So, if you have an Xbox Live gold membership go and pick it up now! But don’t wait too long as it won’t be free forever.