Tuesday, August 21, 2018

"Guacamelee! 2" Review

Five years after "Guacamelee!" dropped, shaking up the indie world with its colorful battles and rollicking humor amid its Mexican culture-tinged backdrop, the sequel comes along.

The surprise factor may be gone, but the flavor is still just as strong. What "Guacamelee! 2" lacks in innovation it makes up for by outpunching and jump-kicking the predecessor. The sequel manages to one-up the original with splashier set-pieces, a more cohesive story, slicker pacing and an evolved control system that fulfills the original vision.

The game's ambition is obvious from the opening minutes, in which you review the previous plot with a mini boss rush that familiarizes you with the controls, playstyle and flash of what's already happened and what is to come.

Once again, you play as a luchador set out to redeem the soul of his lost love, slugging it out with undead and mythological enemies, interacting with quirky townsfolk and scrounging for bonuses, unlockables and upgrades.

It's surprising how fresh "Guacamelee! 2" manages to feel while innovating so little. Somehow, the past half-decade hasn't brought many imitators, as though developers were sheepish to try and replicate the panache of a game with such intimidating and distinctive flair.

Every bit the sequel superfans have been clamoring for, "Guacamelee! 2" is a vibrant, engrossing romp that goes heavy on the hot sauce and bursts with color and imagination. The sequel to one of the treasures of 2013 is one of the highlights of 2018.
Publisher provided review code.

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