Guacamelee: A wonderful post-modern mix from Drinkbox Studios. - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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Guacamelee: A wonderful post-modern mix from Drinkbox Studios.

Guacamelee is an open-world action game very much in the same vein as the classic Super Metroid or the deluge of Castlevania games blatantly styled after it. But it’s not just a carbon copy; Guacamelee does its own thing, too. It’s definitely too short, but also stylized, unique and downright fun to play. It can be blasted through in a single day, which is unfortunate, but it also gives you reasons to go back for more.

for the PS Vita. Guacamelee continues a streak of using exclamation points at the end of a title, but departs from the Tales from Space themes dealing with a slightly more grounded concept of luchadores and the apocalypse.The beauty of the ongoing digital-distribution revolution is that it gives tiny developers the ability to deliver small, innovative games for cheap.

DrinkBox Studios has made a name for itself by doing just that on PlayStation platforms with the Tales From Space series,   the cross-save, cross-buy side-scrolling action game for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the trend continues unabated. It’s easily DrinkBox’s best game to date

Guacamelee also places some emphasis on RPG-like (and RPG lite) elements. Juan can find three types of treasure chests littered throughout the game – some containing coins with which to buy new skills, as well as others containing hearts and gold for more health and special meter, respectively – so you can make Juan ever-stronger. Finding chests is generally linked to how thoroughly you choose to explore, as does discovering and completing not-particularly-exciting side-quests. But these asides are nonetheless Guacamelee’s carrot on the stick to get you to see and do things you don’t necessarily have to in order to win.

One of the most intriguing and tragically underused features of Guacamelee, however, is its living/dead polarity. Juan's ability to move between two different versions of the same world with the push of a button is something stressed near the beginning, but can’t be taken full advantage of until about midway through your adventure. When it does come into play, it adds an extra dynamic to puzzles and increases the difficulty of battle significantly, like when certain enemies are only in one plane or the other. I'm disappointed it wasn't used more – it could have been Guacamelee's central motif – but it’s still wholly clever and, while not necessarily novel, still well done.

Guacamelee! is a visually virtuous game that is splashed with color and radiates charm at every corner. The game runs extremely well and watching Juan barrel through a temple full of dangerous enemies is a treat. Drinkbox has packed the world’s background full of visual jokes, allusions and references that will please gamers. Mexico is a location that is not explored often in video games and by exploring the richness of the country, Drinkbox has created a beautiful game full of eye catching structures and locales.

The art style is gorgeous and seeing this world in motion is amazing. At certain points in the game, there are certain visual effects that are subtle yet arresting, especially when switching between worlds. There needs to be a petition drawn up and signed by everyone for Drinkbox to release the incredible soundtrack on CD or iTunes. The music mixes very video game specific electronic music with traditional Mexican styles to create a soundtrack as engrossing as the graphics. It would not be surprising if players left Juan hanging and left the game running simply to hear the great tunes in the game.

\Of course, there’s a fine line between an homage and a clone, but Guacamelee! most definitely falls into the former category. The game includes a huge amount of Easter eggs and references to other videogames; even some you wouldn’t necessarily expect. It just goes to show that Portal-like gameplay mechanics can make even the strongest of games even better.

OVERALL:

Drinkbox Studios has created a game in Guacamelee! that is hugely unique and will win players over almost immediately. It is dripping with personality and charm that make it hard not to fall in love with it.The art style is beautiful and Guacamelee! is a vibrant world full of color and pulsating with life even in a world beset by death.Guacamelee! features amazing music that mashes-up video game electronic music with a strong Mexican influence to make something truly inventive and engrossing.

A wonderful post-modern mix.

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