This weekend on Geekend Gamer, we have many options to choose from as to what to play. There's Marvel Heroes Beta, Defiance MMO, BattleBlock Theater, Shootmania Storm, and the Halo 4 Castle Map Pack. With all of these options for a great time gaming this weekend, what should you be playing? Let us help you decide what to play this weekend. Our suggestion: Guacamelee!
I'm an hombre who appreciates the simple things in life: the side-scrolling platformers of yore, Mexican folklore, and the spicy sound of mariachis as I beat undead ghoulies to a pulp with my awesome lucha libre skills. Finally, someone has made a game that satisfies all my needs.
Of course, I'm talking about Guacamelee!, the newest platformer by Drinkbox Studios, the guys that brought you world domination with their mutant blob series for the PSN.
Guacamelee! straps you into the wrestling boots of Juan Aguacate ("Juan Avocado" in English), an agave farmer in the Mexican countryside who abandons his everyday life to rescue El Presidente's Daughter from an evil skeleton bandido named Carlos Calaca, who wears a very sinister mariachi outfit. So it's basically the typical "save the princess" plot I've been playing since Mario started growing 'stache hairs. You'd think princesses/first daughters (looking at you, Resident Evil 4) would have learned by now.
The reason I'll be spending my weekend eating microwaveable taquitos and playing this game is because of how fresh the gameplay is. Although Guacamelee!'s style is definitely influenced by "metroidvania" platformers, it adds some new elements to its design that makes it a lot of button-mashing fun.
Its focus on melee combat makes it something more than a typical beat 'em up. Juan Aguacate is able to punch, kick, and grapple, allowing him to perform some very caliente melee combos against enemies.
Now add the power to switch between the worlds of the living and the dead. Our hero, who is killed early in the game and revived by a magic luchador mask, is able switch between dimensions. This allows him to fight enemies unique to each dimension and travel through spaces that would otherwise be inaccessible in the opposite dimension. Juan must jump through portals to find his way through certain levels, one body slam closer to the love of his life.
Although it's mostly linear, Guacamelee! does allow you to explore the map and complete some side quests that will result in treasure. And there are some areas in the game you can't unlock until after your first play through, which will entice you to go back to those levels. That's a good thing since one play through won't hold you for the entire weekend. The campaign is only 6 hours long, so you'll be left hungry for more.
Or you could take the opportunity to team up with a compadre for some tag team action with the fully cooperative multiplayer option.
Either way, Guacamelee! won't disappoint with its colorful and unique world (think of the Uncle Jalapeno levels in LittleBigPlanet) and addictive gameplay. So don your mask and tights and go save another damsel this weekend.