PAX East ’13: Hands-On: Guacamelee


Who doesn’t love luchadores? Drinkbox Studios does, and has drawn on Mexican culture and folklore to create the upcoming PlayStation 3/Vita game Guacamelee. You play as Juan Aguacate, who sets out to save the world and starts by saving with El Presidente’s daughter. It’s a Metroidvania-style action platformer with a unique visual style, and I got a chance to play some of it at PAX. Make the jump to hear what I thought about it!


Guacamelee has you jumping around levels beating the crap out of various enemies, and there’s drop-in/drop-out multiplayer co-op if you want to enlist some help. There’s also a dimension switching mechanic where you can make certain platforms and walls disappear in order to move through them.

Having an extra player is great when you’re fighting waves of enemies, but when it’s a particularly tricky platforming sequence, the extra person kind of gets in the way. Luckily, you can move your way through the area and the other player’s character will catch up to you automatically.

There are some special moves that you learn as you progress through the game, and sometimes enemies will be surrounded by a colored glow that indicates what special move you will need to perform to defeat them. It was just a little confusing for me as I played it because I hadn’t learned the moves one by one, and wasn’t always sure which one was which!

The graphics are smooth and the whole game is overflowing with stylish visuals. I had a lot of fun running around and beating up enemies, but a little less fun with the tricky platforming bits. Switching dimensions in between jumps can be a little hairy!

The battle mode that I was shown where you just go from room to room fighting increasingly more difficult swarms of enemies was great fun. And there’s a wicked sense of humor running throughout the whole thing.

Guacamelee is due out on April 9, although I wasn’t able to get a straight answer as to whether you’d have to download the PS3 and Vita versions separately. You’ll be able to play one and then save your game into the cloud to be continued on the other later (you can also use your Vita as an extra controller for PS3 multiplayer), but they couldn’t say whether or not both games are included in one package. Guess we’ll find out next week!

(Writer) I love Animal Crossing, music games (even though I can’t sing or play instruments) and adventure games. And the occasional 40+ hr JRPG when I can find the time! I live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband, Frank.

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