[PlayStation 4] Guacamelee! 2 Review

by ThaRaven403

Five years have passed since the release of critically acclaimed colorful Metroidvania Guacamelee! Many have been waiting a long time for a sequel, but the wait is finally over! Learn more about this excellent game in our Guacamelee! 2 review!

Luchador Juan Aguacate is out of retirement for a stunning new Metroidvania-style adventure. Explore a huge, hand-crafted world inspired by Mexican culture and folklore, filled with sassy new villains and weirdos (and a few old friends!). Learn bone-crunching wrestling moves to fend off skeletal hordes and overcome skillful platforming challenges… and who said anything about a Chicken Illuminati? Certainly not us!

After reliving the defeat of Calaca in a short introduction, you’re taken back to the present day, seven years after the events that made Juan a hero. He’s now living a totally normal life with his wife and two kids, and he seems to have eaten a lot of guacamole as his luchador physique is now replaced by a dad bod! After going on a simple errand to get some avocados, a portal opens up, and Uay Chivo (the goat man) appears, requesting Juan’s help in another timeline! A couple of portals and timelines later, you arrive in the Darkest Timeline, where a new menace is putting the Mexiverse in danger! Salvadore, the one who defeated Calaca in this timeline, has gone mad, and is now looking for the Sacred Guacamole. As the only Juan left alive, your mission is to stop him from finding the relics that will lead him to this relic!

After all those years without proper training, Juan starts off with no special moves, so you’ll need to get them back (with new ones added into the mix) as you progress through the story. Some have different names in this timeline, but in the end the moves you had in the first game are executed in the same way for this sequel. For those who haven’t played the first game (which you should do right now!), this game is a Metroidvania, which means you’ll be going around the map a couple of times to reach new places and unlock new stuff as you gain additional powers. Combat is strictly luchador-style brawling, which is as simple as pressing the Square button a bit, grabbing your opponents to slam them, mixing ins some special abilities as needed.

Guacamelee! 2 Review

At some points, you’ll meet up with trainers that will unlock skill trees for you to upgrade Juan’s abilities. Each trainer’s skill tree focuses on a different set of abilities, and unlocking them will not only require money but also meeting specific requirements. For example, one upgrade will require you to have performed a certain number of three-hits combos in total before you can gain access to it. This makes for a much more elaborate upgrade system than what we had in the first game where you just had to buy stuff and makes you try to diversify your use of your abilities.

The first game was known for its sometimes challenging platforming sections, and this sequel follows in the same footsteps. There are a lot of sections you’ll encounter that will test your skills to reach as you try to reach the end of the room for a chest – luckily a lot of the times these are optional. Although similar to what you found in the first game, there are some new twists to make things interesting. One of them is having moving sections on the screen that actually swap dimension, making you have to time your jumps carefully to land on a platform in the right dimension, since otherwise there is no platform to save you!

Guacamelee! 2 Review

Even though we are in the Darkest Timeline, as established by the game’s story, this sequel still features some very incredibly colorful and charming areas and enemies, just as the first game. The whole Mexican flavor of the universe is still there, with the soundtrack staying true to the traditional theme songs. The humor that was a fundamental part of the first game is also strongly present again. From easter eggs to some funny puns here and there in the dialogue, and a story that puts the focus on guacamole, everything’s in the game is aiming to make you smile while fighting those skeletons!

Pretty early in the game you get the Pollo Power, which turns you into a chicken, only this time the chicken can attack, grab, and throw, and it even has special powers! There are some new enemies to spice things up a bit as well, and even some new stuff to make the platforming a bit different. Like I mentioned before, this game is packed with difficult platforming sections, but the feeling of accomplishment when you beat one of them is incredibly satisfying.

As for the trophies, you’ll get quite a lot from simply playing the game to the end, exploring 100% of the map and fully upgrading all your skills. Other than that there are a few miscellaneous trophies here and there, but the one that could prove to be a challenge is to finish the game on Hard. Since this difficulty is locked at first, it’ll require a second playthrough, so hopefully you’ll be comfortable enough with the different attack and skills at your disposal so that you can dive into this one all over again!

Guacamelee! 2 Review

Final Thoughts
Five year was a long time for us to wait for this sequel, but Drinkbox Studios have completely delivered, and then some! Guacamelee! 2 takes everything that was great in the first game, adds more on top of it and presents you this title that is without a doubt a must-play. This is the best Metroidvania I’ve played since…, well, since Guacamelee!

This Guacamelee! 2 review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Drinkbox Studios.

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