I have beaten Guacamelee and I’m here to say you should buy Guacamelee. Reasons for doing that include:
- It is Metroid minus the dead ends and the getting lost. Every time you explore an alternate route you’ll be rewarded for your curiosity. Maps and pointers ensure you always know where the next plot point lies. The world map also clearly indicates when you’ve uncovered every secret in a given level.
- The main character is a luchador A.K.A. Mexican Mike Haggar. Punches, body slams, suplexes, head butts - all your moves look cool. The game even has a Street Fighter-esque training room where you learn combos.
- Checkpoints, saving, and continuing are all generous. Aside from a few “listen to the boss talk” moments, when you fail you’re never more than a few seconds away from where you were.
- It’s funny. Background gags and nods to other games are abundant but do not impact the fourth wall.
- It works on PS3 and Vita and looks great on both the big and small screen. Cloud saving means you can easily swap between versions.
- Chickens. Great video games always have chickens.
Counter-points? OK, sure, but don’t take these are reasons not to buy this game because you really should.
- The upgrade store is uninteresting. There are only three “moves” to buy, the rest are incremental upgrades that are negligible.
- It’s another damsel-in-distress story. Yawn. Still, the ending is cute.
- Cross-controller doesn’t work as it should. You can play on PS3 using your Vita, but the lag and lack of proper map scrolling make it a waste.
- No co-op on Vita. Local-only co-op on PS3. Bummer.
I hope this has been convincing because dammit, if Nintendo won’t make any more Metroid games and Konami has taken Castlevania away from its rightful master, somebody has to step up and make cool 2D action games where you explore a space. Give Drinkbox money, they’ve earned it.