Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition impressions: get it, gringo

Last year, Drinkbox Studios showed that it could move beyond the alien antics of Tales From Space: About a Blob and Mutant Blobs Attack with an inspired side-scrolling platformer called Guacamelee. Featuring a unique Mexican theme, plenty of swell Luchador moves, and lots of humorous moments, this sleeper hit managed to excel the developer's reputation to greatness. So, it should be no surprise that the recently released Super Turbo Championship Edition of the game makes the experience even better.

The story follows Juan, an innocent townsman with his heart set on the Mayor's daughter, going head-to-head against Count Calaca, a demon skeleton who swiftly sends this hero to the underworld. That's not the end of his story, however, as he manages to get resurrected as a heroic Luchador by donning a special mask. What follows is a tale of intrigue, as he travels the land, pummeling skeletal enemies and other foes in the hopes of winning his girl back.

What made Guacamelee so much fun the first time around was the expansion of the gameplay. Juan's move set is impressive enough with the grab throws and the suplex slams, but as you progress, you'll unlock new moves, such as a mighty headbutt that can send all enemies into oblivion and a flaming uppercut that would put Street Fighter's offerings to shame. These, tying together with some well-implemented platforming mechanics, add to the richness of the game.

Oh, and the exploratory factor plays a part as well, as you can bust through secret areas and find new power-ups and special goods, which you can turn around to unlock new outfits and other goodies. It follows the Metroidvania pattern when it comes to design, but beats its own drum when it comes to comical fun. (Just look at what your goat-like mentor has to say when you bust his favorite statues.)

The new edition, Super Turbo Championship Edition, offers all the same content of the original, along with two additional levels, a new boss fight, and some clever new enemies that you'll need to grapple against. For good measure, you can also unlock some new abilities for Juan and his female sidekick, just in case you have a player jump in for some co-op fun. (Yes, the game still supports co-op, and wonderfully, we might add.)

As for how the game looks, Drinkbox didn't quite go above and beyond bringing the game to the Xbox One and PS4, as it retains the same rich art style as the original game. However, the visuals are slightly brighter here, and the animations, particularly with an evil witch's flowing locks, can be a marvel at times. The level design is ingenious, and the music, consisting of some great rhythmic guitar strumming and blaring horns, is a lot of fun to listen to.

If you already beat the original Guacamelee, there's a bit of content here that makes the game worth checking out again. However, newcomers are in for the best time, as Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition really brings the "ultimate" feel of what Drinkbox had in mind to the newer consoles out there. It's a remix that's worthy of your investment.

Now, how about that sequel, gringo?


These impressions are based on a review code provided by the publisher. Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS Vita and Wii U. The game is rated E10.