Gripping grappler throws out a smashing sequel
Are you partial to a slice of avocado toast, gentle reader? Wonderful! Then you’re going to adore this platforming/ puzzle hybrid. With a plot that revolves around a deity who is desperate to keep his ancient and sacred guacamole recipe secret, this 2D indie adventure’s premise is as intriguing as its delightfully offbeat action.
Following on from the 2013 original, Guacamelee! 2 once again places you in the suplexing sandals of Juan Aguacate. Over the course of a deliberated, simplified intro, this sequel recounts the end of the last game in charming, extra easy style. Fast forward seven years, and the now pot-bellied Juan finds the pummelling proceedings much more difficult.
Even in its challenging moments, DrinkBox Studios’ adventure is rarely anything less than a delight. From a wonderful Limbo tribute that will have arachnophobes cowering, to a cast of brilliantly scripted characters who just want to inspire the inner Rey Mysterio of Juan’s ass-kicking self, Guacamelee! 2’ s style and sense of self overflows at every opportunity.
Juan and only
Regardless of whether you own an Xbox One X or the regular Xbox One, this is a stunning videogame. With a bold, instantly affable art style, striking colours and effortlessly charming character designs, Guacamelee! 2 proves you don’t need cutting-edge polygons to be one of the best-looking games on Xbox. Thanks to its sublime art direction, this old-school grappler is one of the most gorgeous titles to ever grace Team Green’s line of machines.
Guacamelee! 2 is also seriously clever. Where lesser titles rest on their chokeslamming laurels, this constantly inventive platformer chooses to subvert at every turn. With an ever-evolving set of powers, and a world that adapts to challenge said abilities, you’ll rarely find a game that so deftly marries level design to the skills of your character.
Just like its predecessor, the sequel delights in crunching melee combat. Though you start the reality-skipping quest with relatively few powers, don’t worry – the Mexican Multiverse soon opens up many body-slamming avenues and Juan quickly evolves to battle the evil forces facing him.
Like an all-time Xbox indie great such as Braid, Guacamelee! 2 knows how to pace its thrills. From platform puzzles that demand an uppercutting solution to challenges that demand midair teleporting, this Lucha-loving jaunt relishes in presenting you with constantly changing conundrums at every turn. Whether artfully dodging the attacks of monsters or uppercutting minibosses into oblivion, skirmishes in Guacamelee! 2 are nothing short of slickly responsive. Be
it a series of punches, throws, kicks or WWE-style wrestling holds, this enchanting, deeply sarcastic journey proves itself a Stone Cold Steve Austin-esque champion at most turns.
The tone is delightful. Whether it’s goats turning into priests or the constantly disarming and sarcastic script, Guacamelee! 2 wins you over before a punch or standing leg-drop is ever thrown. While it isn’t as bold or fresh as the original, this masked sequel still proves there’s a prominent place for inventive indies on Xbox going forward.
General pacing is also brilliant. Fights against the array of masked monsters the game throws up aren’t just satisfying, they also play a substantial role in Juan’s plaforming. An especially athletic uppercut, a graceful roll and dimension-hopping abilities make the luchador as lithe as he is lethal. With an assortment of levels that constantly evolve to challenge your hero’s powerbombing skills, Guacamelee! 2 never rests on its wrestling laurels.
While most of the general action is as satisfying as the original, Juan’s follow-up extends its reach a little too far. The addition of four-player co-op proves messy. On your own, platforming demands precision and a sharp mind. With four folk doing their own thing, surviving the game’s jumping challenges is downright evil.
Played solo, Guacamelee! 2 is exhilarating. While quest markers can be vague, the game’s meatand-potatoes pummelling never disappoints. Thanks to expressive animation, and a variety of Hulk Hogan-aping moves, Juan’s wrestling proves to be WrestleMania- worthy. Enemies require a changing set of tactics and even with a full health bar and several unlocked skill tree moves, you’d be a fool to take the game’s Mexican monsters for granted.
In spite of some multiplayer mishaps, Guacamelee! 2 is a thoroughly charming game. Though not as inventive as its predecessor, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a prettier, more likeable indie effort in 2019. If you’ve got even the slightest passion for wrestling or platforming, Juan’s reality-ripping adventure is close to essential. Wrasslin’ might be fake in the real world, but when you’re controlling a ripped (if over the hill) suplex artist, the results couldn’t be more cripplingly convincing.
“Skirmishes in Guacamelee! 2 are nothing short of slickly responsive”
left Even if you don’t dip into co-op, you can still choose from a number of different skins.
above In the seven years since his first adventure, Juan has developed a bit of a gut.