The Sacred Guacamole

That’s Juan out of shape luchador, Salvador.

Guacamelee! 2 is the rather delightfully enjoyable sequel to Guacamelee! which takes Juan to the farthest reaches of the Mexiverse in a quest to solve the mysteries of the Sacred Guacamole, to defeat the once-mighty Salvador, and to return home to Lupita and his children. Occasionally taking the time to turn into a chicken and use the plumbing from a toilet as a means of transportation. Or even to lay eggs. Sometimes uncontrollably (and unintentionally) due to the nature of button-based combos that sometimes don’t work as intended. But it does perfectly illustrate the miracle of creating life.

Whether you meant to or not it’s still beautiful.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve played the Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition but I do believe that, while you could turn into a chicken, and had certain abilities in that form, they were never as extensive or as deadly as the updated mechanics in the sequel. So it’s a pretty solid chicken simulation, too. If chickens really do dive bomb skeletons into oblivion.

At this point I’m not really sure. What I am sure about is that the developers behind the Guacamelee! franchise really love chickens. I do, too. Their clucking is adorable. They also really enjoy coloured block-based puzzles. Which, to be fair, I’ve never really written about before but is one of the strongest mechanics in the franchise. I love how the blocks are highlighted on the map once you’ve seen them. It’s one of those modern conveniences that helps immensely but doesn’t affect the difficulty. It just means that if you’re unsure of where to go, exploring new areas, or hunting for secrets that you’ve actually got a useful map. You know where to return to and when. You’re not painstakingly redoing entire sections of the various areas only to find that you still can’t smash through green blocks. Or punch those pesky blue ones.

That’s an absurd number of chickens…

The combat has been slightly refined in the sequel but still relies heavily on button-based combos and breaking shields. You can further develop Juan by investing in more powerful abilities or useful bonuses by training with certain characters, which will ultimately empower both human and chicken abilities or allow for the acquisition of more resources. It’s quite an intuitive set of mechanics. For this reason combat never feels particularly monotonous. The inclusion of various chicken abilities also means there are more shields, more abilities required to break them, and generally that combat has an enjoyable rhythm to it.

Guacamelee! 2 has fantastic art direction, too.

Every element of the universe- from the music, to the characters, to the enemies- feels entirely unique. It’s an amazingly beautiful setting that feels wonderful to experience. It’s also really fun. Even the somewhat infuriating secret dungeons (for the super secret ending) are enjoyable in their own painful, masochistic, profanity-inducing way.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Guacamelee! 2 but it certainly didn’t disappoint. My only minor criticism is that the secret dungeons were slightly ridiculous, and not necessarily infuriating because of what you were being asked to do but because it was to be done in a single run. Often with hazards that would instantly kill you. Which felt (just a teensy bit) unfair and out of place in an otherwise enjoyable set of puzzles. That said, this isn’t my area of expertise. So maybe these were user input errors. In either case, the secret dungeons are not required for anything (but the super secret ending) and can be ignored. It’s still an incredibly enjoyable (and ultimately very silly) experience. It’s definitely worth the price of admission- especially if you like chickens!

Have a nice weekend, all!


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