Review: Guacamelee!

Guacamelee! is an action-packed, 2-D platformer set between the worlds of the living and the dead. Inspired by Mexican folklore, players take control of a down-on-his luck wrestler named Juan Aguacate, as he fights through hordes of undead enemies and skeleton henchmen to stop the evil Carlos Calaca from gaining ultimate power by sacrificing the beautiful “El Presidente’s Daughter.”

The adventure begins………………


  • Bright colourful cartoon graphics with some cool animation techniques. Pure eye candy material. The levels look fantastic and each area has its own charm and character. Different weather conditions greet you. From rain to snow to sand, its all in there.
  • Cross buy so buy it on either the PS3 or Vita and get the other version free. Also has cross save meaning you can switch between devices and carry your game on.
  • Easy controls whether it be the PS3 controller or the Vita system. Button presses are kept to a minimum, Dont let this put you off, you can still pull off some truly over the top combos.
  • Fast loading game from the initial start up to the levels in game.
  • Find hidden chests to upgrade your stamina and health bars. Stamina is used for special moves you unlock as you find them in the game. Each one has 3 pieces needed to make a complete part.
  • Moves such as headbutts, wall jumping, double jumping and even flying! can be unlocked by smashing statues located around the game world. The powers are bestowed upon you by a goat man. Yep you read it right, a goat man gives you powers.
  • Grapple moves can be unlocked by buying them in the shop. New grapple moves include suplexes and pile drivers.
  • Side quests are littered over the land and completing them will grant you money and a piece of either stamina or health.
  • Offline drop in/drop out co-op. Second player can even play on the Vita via remote play. Its an excellent idea that works really well.
  • Catchy music that brings the atmosphere in spades.
  • Loads and I mean loads of references to other games such as Journey, Castle Crashers, Mario Brothers and even Grim Fandango. Of course the usual suspects like Minecraft make an appearance.
  • Boss fights have a comical Vs screen pop up that adds to the atmosphere. The same idea is used when you get new abilities.
  • Two worlds exist, A living world and a dead world. Level design and layout changes depending on which world your in. You can flip between the worlds when ever you want. Its this great mechanic that keeps the game fresh and is a welcome addition to the genre. A simple task of jumping up pillars is made harder as you must flip between the worlds to get certain pillars to show up.
  • Check points are all over the place and you never feel like you need to replay large sections of the level upon death. Every checkpoint also doubles up as a shop and you can spend your monies here.
  • Level design is of a high standard, with branching levels, multiple routes and hidden path ways.
  • Combat is fast and frantic. A combo counter is displayed as you rack up the hits. You can combine special and grapple moves together for an even more dramatic fight. Flip enemies up in the air and just pummel them with moves, juggling them with uppercuts and headbutts until death.
  • Enemies are varied and get harder as the game progresses. Later on enemies are only able to be defeated depending on the world tendency.
  • Whilst traversing levels you will find yourself locked into a room. This is a arena fight and to unlock the room you need to kill all enemies. Upon finishing it, you not only get the room unlocked but you also get a huge pinata to smash containing a load of coins.

The bosses in the game are HUUUUGE!


  • Cliche story. Rescue the girl and beat the bad guy and save the day, you know the drill.
  • Enemy projectiles can travel through walls and platforms, leading to some frustrating parts. Flying dragons in particular are cheap and feel over powered.
  • When you get hit and put down, upon getting up you are invincible for the smallest of seconds, but then your open again and if your swarmed you can get knocked around before a punch or roll ius used.
  • Boss fights are truly frustrating. From cheap moves to the constant need to change up your attack. They get harder as you go which is expected, but the way in which they get harder only eraises your blood pressure.

Pressing triangle allows you to grapple and throw the enemy into other enemies.

In summary, Despite the boss fights the game is one of the best platformer’s on the market at the moment. The charm of the game is enough to make you smile and enjoy playing the game. Gaining upgrades and chaining huge combos together is really satisfying. Beating arenas or even bosses really does leave you fist pumping the air in ecstasy  There’s something for everyone in there and it does have a very N+, meatboy feel to it especially with the platformer world switching levels. Drinkbox have upped their game and delivered a top class product that everyone should own. Whether it be on the Vita or PS3, you want to play this game.

Co-Op uses the bubble method and works well, especially on the later platforming levels

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!