Developer: DrinkBox Studios
Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
Release Date: August 21, 2018
ESRB: Everyone / PEGI 12
Available Platforms: PS4 [Reviewed], PC
Genre: Metroidvania, Platformer, Beat ‘Em Up
Viva Mexico! Guacamelee! 2 is a sequel to the 2013 Guacamelee! and follows up the story of the first game. 7 years after defeating Calaca, our hero Juan enjoys his life with his wife and children. As expected this won’t last forever as a new villain with his own army of skeletons and interesting-looking sidekicks appear on the scene.
Same as Juan, Salvador, the new main villain, is a Luchador, a Mexican wrestler. In his Universe, Salvador defeated Calaca just as Juan did in his. Salvador now wants to use 3 relics to open a path to Otromundo, where he can find the Sacred Guacamole to make him even more powerful. Talking about universes and paths, those are some important parts of Guacamelee 2’s plot. You will travel to different universes throughout the game. Most times, however, you will spend in the Darkest Timeline, in which Salvador is trying to fulfill his evil plans.
Gameplay wise not much has changed since the original game. Combat is easy to learn and looks very stylish and fluid if you know what you are doing. Optimizing your combos with special moves, which you will earn during your adventure, rolls and wrestling moves-like grabs will make you feel very satisfied. Basically, all moves from the original have returned, except the Intenso-function added in Super Turbo Championship Edition. Pollo (Chicken) combat has seen a huge upgrade! This time around fighting as a Pollo is not as useless as it used to be. With new moves added you can and will have to finish some fighting arenas as a chicken.
Once again the game shines in what it was loved for — its sense of humor. From stereotypical jokes about Mexico, funny one-liners, to hidden easter eggs, you will surely find something in the game, which will make you smile. Some people didn’t like the overuse of internet memes in the first game, which is understandable since those are not every person’s thing. The developers, however, found a way to answer this critiques in their own trollish way. I will let you find out how for yourself ;)
Collectibles in this game are easier to find, compared to the original, but harder to collect. What I mean is, you can easily see where you still have to find some of them by simply looking at the map, but some platforming sections are pretty tricky, even if you played the first game. The challenge stays fair throughout the game, though and I never felt like being particularly overpowered/underpowered while finishing the game on both difficulties. For the later parts of the game you can simply upgrade your purchasable skills to take down the later enemies faster.
Overall the sequel fulfilled my expectations without risking to try something completely different. In fact, Guacamelee 2 is exactly what I expected from it. A funny, a bit challenging but fair, Metroidvania style platformer with Beat’Em Up elements.
*Overall Enjoyment Factor, Fascination with Game World, Level Design, Variety, Playability, User-Friendliness (Ease of Use / Readability / Controls / in-game Tutorials / Menus)
Metroidvania fans will be satisfied with the game, just like they were with the original. The world is easily traversable, shortcuts will save you from finishing particularly hard sections twice. The combat feels fluid and is easy to learn. You can perform complicated combos if you wish, you are not forced to learn them, though. Accessible to all kinds of gamers.
*Quality of the Singleplayer Story, Cutscenes and/or Multiplayer Modes (whichever is available). If a game has no Story or no Multiplayer it won’t be rated (thus no negative effect on score).
Story: 8/10 (The story itself isn’t anything special. “The hero saves the day” scenario, which has been used in games and movies thousands of times and will still be used another thousand times. The narration, however, makes the story very enjoyable, since the sense of humor will never make you feel bored. You can also play the game with up to 4 players in offline-coop, a feature which many developers seem to ignore in their games lately).
Multiplayer: Not rated (not available, but there’s offline couch co-op, see above).
*Graphics, Texture Quality, Character Details, Lighting, Weather Effects, Animations, Loading Times, Number of Loading Screens, does it run smoothly
Comic style graphics may not be everybody’s pleasure, but you have to admit, the game looks really good. A colorful world, fluid combat animations, interesting and well-designed characters are all enjoyable from start to finish.
The loading times are very short and only between changing areas of the game. Changing rooms in an area itself happens almost immediately, which helps with the fluidity of the game.
*Amount of Content, Production Quality, Replay Value, is there enough content to justify a purchase
For the low price you can’t really make a mistake here. Finishing the game up to 100% and adding another playthrough at a higher difficulty will add up to about 20 hours of playtime, which is very acceptable for an indie game. Sadly, there are no other modes in the game, which could make the playtime longer and extend the replayability.
*Rates how much fun the Platinum / 1000 Gamerscore is to achieve: Are trophies fun to do? Do trophies restrict freedom of gameplay? Missable trophies? Multiple playthroughs required? Luck-based trophies? Pointless farming/grinding? Glitched Trophies? Are stats/trophies tracked correctly?
In my opinion, this is what a trophy list should look like for this kind of game. Collectibles which are easy to find, no pointless grinding, most of them will be achieved while simply exploring the world and collecting stuff. You are not forced to play the game in a certain way and do not have to rely on luck for any of the trophies. You need to finish the game twice, but the game is not super long and can easily be finished on hard under 8 hours.
|Extraordinary Score Increase or Deduction
*Reserved for extraordinarily good or bad features that the other categories don’t cover (such as game-breaking bugs). This score is directly added/subtracted from the final score.
|This will not be added to the final score but it should be mentioned. Once again I can only praise the game’s top-notch sense of humor. It tries to make you laugh constantly. At least in my case, I can honestly say, Drinkbox Studios definitely know how to make me laugh and thanks for that.
A great sequel, which captures the magic of the first game. Without taking many risks, the game manages to satisfy my five year long hunger for a sequel. The game doesn’t add many new mechanics to the gameplay, but enough to not bore the series’ veterans.
Played on PS4 Pro, a free review copy was provided by DrinkBox Studios. Completed the game to 100% on my first playthrough and finished it once again with bad ending on the hard difficulty.
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