Jay Tee Games Alliance. Only For Everyone.

Est. April 2016. III Version 2.0. III

ARCHIVE


ABOUT US

CONTACT US


PODCASTS AND SHOWS


GUACAMELEE! 2
Charming and bonkers.    

REVIEW
By JAY TEE
21/08/18

Guacamelee! 2 is a platformer that delights in presenting new mechanics, enemy types, and challenges. Every time you settle into a groove, thinking you know what to expect, you’re thrown a curveball that unsettles, infuriates, and excites in equal measure. There are also a lot of chickens. This a game that messes with your expectations, and one you simply cannot ignore.

After a brief playable prologue, the sequel jumps ahead seven years. Juan (the luchador protagonist from the original) has settled into family life. He’s also let himself go a tad, a hilarious reminder of what can happen when heroes retire and start pounding the guacamole.

It isn’t long before you’re embroiled in a space-time hopping, dimension shifting adventure to save the ‘Mexiverse’ (brilliant), and the sequel truly begins. What follows is a true guessing game. You really don’t know what you’ll be facing next, and that is incredibly exciting.

THE BASICS - Side scrolling action platformer, with an old man that transforms into a goat. And vice versa.   

PLATFORMS - PS4, and PC

PLAYERS - Offline - 4, Online - 1

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - There’s four player, drop in / drop out co-op available after an initial opening sequence.
 
DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - None currently announced.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our reviews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

REVIEWS KEY:

The Look - Art style, graphics, and overall presentation.

The Feel - Mechanics, controls, and learning curve.

The Sound - Music, sound effects, and dialogue.

The Experience - Anecdotes and random thoughts.

Those pillars look like they’re hiding a Scooby Doo villain. Maybe Juan will find out it was the ski instructor all along…

1

2

3

4

5

FINAL SCORE:

THEY BE POPPIN’! - There’s a genuine ‘storybook come to life’ vibe that really helps immerse you in the world. Characters have stylish, exaggerated proportions, and clever use of perspective adds depth to each environment. Creatures flying close to camera, movement in the extreme background… the world feels anything but two dimensional.

NICE AND SNAPPY - Graphically speaking, this looks stunning in 4K on a PS4 Pro. Particular attention has been paid to the lighting design, with a diverse set of environments that add much appreciated variation. The framerate remains consistent, even during the more heated combat sequences.

MEXICO, BABY - Guacamelee! 2 doubles down on the aesthetic from the first game, solidifying its unique visual identity.

Guacamelee! 2 succeeds as a sequel by improving on the familiar, offering a steadily escalating challenge, and then constantly presenting you with new ideas.  

*PS4 review code provided by DrinkBox Studios*

OPTIONS APLENTY - Guacamelee! 2 is all about exploration and combat. There’s numerous optional paths that offer greater obstacles for sweeter rewards. After defeating the odd straggler, you’ll then get locked into a forced combat zone, eliminating a set number of enemies before being allowed to progress. This loop is satisfying, and pushes you to adapt to new threats.  

KEEP IT SIMPS - Controls are well balanced, and rarely overwhelm, since new mechanics are introduced gradually. I did find that nailing the timing of the dodge move can be tricky, and wasn’t consistently responsive, especially when you’re jumping at the same time. This is a minor nitpick in a game that otherwise feels great to play.

GET PREPPED - It doesn’t take long for the difficulty of both platforming and combat to escalate. This will be a challenge.

GLARING SILENCE - Since the game is surprisingly story heavy, and full of neat written quips, the lack of voice acting is a glaring omission. A lot of the dialogue is genuinely funny, and therefore I couldn’t help feeling that something was missing. Perhaps if there’s a third instalment, we’ll finally get to hear what this absurd cast of characters really sound like…

TAP THOSE TOES - I defy anyone not to be immediately hooked in by the relentlessly cheerful soundtrack. The music in this game is fantastic, and a clear standout among its peers. Just like the first game, it leans heavily on Mariachi, with Peter Chapman and Rom Di Prisco both returning to compose new material.

GRANDPA GOAT - When one of the old man goat creature things (official name) transform, the sound effect is brilliant.   

FRUSTRATED FUN - I was having trouble finding the words to describe this feeling, but ‘frustrated fun’ covers it. You’ll hit several platforming or combat chokepoints which, at first, no matter how hard you try, you can’t beat. But this is one of those rare games where the irritation of failure actually spurs you on and keeps you playing. That is a true accomplishment.  

BIGGER CAN BE BETTER - Guacamelee! 2 is a generous offering. We’ve already mentioned the various distractions and alternate paths, but the mainline quest is far from a quick burn. The push and pull of fresh ideas and ever evolving foes keeps things fresh. You’ll never be short of stuff to do, and nooks and crannies to explore.

POULTRY HIGHLIGHT - You can be a chicken. That can fight. What more do you need to know?!  

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

TARP BADGES:

The IT’S A TARP! badge is awarded when a game offers a real challenge.

The SKYPE RINGTONE badge is for a game with a catchy soundtrack that you can’t help but love.

The SARU’S GANGLIA badge is for a game that does a great job of visually immersing you in its world.

The KITCHEN SINK badge is an indication of a game that is bursting at the seams with content (either on disc or DLC).

The COUCH MADNESS badge is awarded when a game nails split/same screen gameplay.

The NON-DROWSY badge is for a game that always keeps you fully engaged.

The SMALL FRY badge is for a title from a smaller development team that is absolutely worth your time and should not be ignored.