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Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition (XB1) Review: More Guacamelee & Still a Good Time

Drinkbox’s Guacamelee came out last year on Playstation 3, Vita, and PC to a lot of critical acclaim including us here at Entertainment Fuse. It was a great “Metroidvania” game and how can you not love playing as a luchador wrestler as well as seeing the numerous references to the popular gaming classics. Now a year later, Guacamelee is out on more platforms under the new version subtitled Super Turbo Championship Edition. Despite not having a speed release as the subtitle implied compared to Street Fighter, this new release does contain some big additions, mainly new levels, one more boss, new moves, and the DLC that was previously in the original. More Guacamelee isn’t a bad thing and still a good time especially for those that already played the original wanting to see the new content.

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In case you missed out on the original, Guacamelee stars Juan, who is on a mission to rescue El Presidente’s daughter from Calaca, a skeletal demon set to merge the real and dead worlds into one. Along the way, you’ll run into his henchmen from Flame Face, X’tabay, Jaguar Javier, and El Trio de la Meute, who is newly added to STCE. A second player can join in on the fun playing as Tostada, but the first player can play as her as an option along with the costumes that were DLC in the original. Co-op works similarly to the original but still nice to have someone else play along.

Just like any Metroidvania game, Juan starts out with limited moves and abilities as well as many paths being blocked off until being used by a certain move. Combat is pretty simple with one primary attack button and specials for another button when unlocked. While Juan’s core special moves/movement abilities such as running up walls and flying long distances remain the same as well as turning into a chicken and the ability to switch between light/dark worlds, he does have new tools at his disposal in Super Turbo Championship Edition.

The big gameplay addition is the Intenso meter, which is basically rage mode for Juan by initiating it by pressing both analog sticks at the same time. Intenso starts out as a basic rage meter, but if you buy the upgrades from the shop at any save point, Juan becomes pretty overpowered when it can recover health, charge faster, and take less stamina to use special moves. The other new move in STCE is the Pollo Bomb, Guacamelee’s take on Metroid’s Morph Ball bomb, but Juan in chicken form can’t bomb jump unfortunately. The new moves are welcome additions and Intenso comes in handy especially in the later enemy encounters.

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Guacamelee STCE also has new levels for Juan to explore, making the game a bit longer to beat. Players can still beat it normally in five or six hours, but of course collecting everything will take about nine to ten hours. Some of the item locations will be changed to accommodate to the new Canal and Pico de Gallo areas for those that played the original, but it is not that big of a deal. The Infierno DLC is already included in the STCE package for those challenge rooms that test your traversal and combo building skills in enemy rooms. Plus that area is required to beat if you want to 100% the game. I don’t mind the new areas extending the length a bit because they take advantage of the game’s amazing graphical style, the new gameplay twists provided in those areas do mix things up a bit, and more messing around with the game’s platforming along with the light/dark world mechanics is cool too.

The costume DLC that was in the original version are here in STCE with their advantages and weaknesses, which is a nice touch. Some costumes let you gain money faster, throws do more damage while normal attacks do less, and another one lets you gain Intenso meter quicker while you lose meter if you get hit. The costumes, which can be bought by silver from beating enemy rooms and finding random chests, do encourage different playstyles if you’re itching to be challenged a bit differently besides the game’s hard difficulty.

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The cel-shaded like graphical style remains intact in Guacamelee STCE, but it does look a bit sharper on the Xbox One and Playstation 4. The Wii U version has the map on the gamepad from the get go, which is useful when looking for hidden chests, but I have a feeling it is basically the same as pressing the back button frequently on the other versions to check where to go to proceed with the storyline or finding collectables to clean up an area 100%. Drinkbox still didn’t include cutscene skipping in this version so be prepared to sit through cutscenes again and again if you’re stuck at a boss fight. The soundtrack is still excellent as well with some new tracks for the new areas.

Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition is simply more of the same and that’s still cool since it was one of the best indie games of last year. Now more players can experience it for the first time since this is out on more systems. The new content along with the DLC that was in the original adds a lot more to the game extending the length a bit with new areas to explore and the new moves are welcome especially the Intenso meter against tougher enemy rooms. This new version is easily worth the $14.99 for newcomers that missed out last year and those willing to replay the game again with the new additions. Xbox One folks can get it for free via Games with Gold this month only, so those that have the console should at least give it a shot. Hopefully Drinkbox Studios can make Guacamelee a franchise because I’m definitely still craving for more beyond this STCE release.

Rating
9.0
Pros
  • A year later and still a great Metroidvania game
  • New content well worth replaying again for those that played the original
  • Great graphical style and soundtrack
  • New Intenso meter is a welcome addition despite being overpowered when upgraded to its maximum
  • Free for XB1 owners via Games with Gold but for a limited time
Cons
  • Still no cutscene skipping
  • No upgrade option for PS3/Vita/PC owners which is pretty unfortunate

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