Grappling Next-Gen Systems with Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition

Guacamelee! was one of the most creative and charismatic games to be released last year, referencing various familiar properties in its surroundings. After its release on the Sony’s platforms and then PC later a later date, DrinkBox Studios is looking to bring our luchador hero into the new age of gaming with Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition. Implementing a bevy of new additions and adjustments, this isn’t your typical port, but rather a definitive edition that will have even hardcore fans coming back for more. We were able to sit down with Chris McQuinn and Ryan MacLean to get a taste of what to expect in the coming months.

If you call Super Turbo Championship Edition a port, you’re doing it a disservice. There’s roughly 25% to 30% new content in this edition, ranging from new areas, powers, enemies and bosses, all integrated straight into the experience. When I say integrated, I mean that the rest of the game is partially restructured around the inclusions and alterations, with even some of the newer enemies populating content we’re all familiar with. There are two new major areas: a canal level that takes place right before the desert section, and a volcano stage that’s much further into the story. These new additions, loosely based on areas in Mexico, contain a unique new look that blends seamlessly into the overall experience.

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Combat is receiving a bit of an overhaul, but not to the extent it will be unrecognizable. Instead of adding a bevy of new moves, there have been alterations to the core mechanics. For example, it was explained to us that most people would just use the automatic throw feature when grappling an enemy, not taking advantage of the many slams and abilities Juan had in his arsenal. To encourage learning the move sets, the grapple feature will no longer auto-throw if you leave the hero hanging onto his opponent, but instead he’ll simply let go after a certain amount of time. Grappling in itself will also be made available from the start of the game, ensuring that it’s implemented and taught as soon as possible.

There are also smaller adjustments to the gameplay mechanics that are put into play. For one, clinging onto a wall is no longer assigned to the Triangle/Y button, but instead merely requires the player to hold the analog stick in the direction they are hanging from. There are multiple save slots that will allow you to play harder difficulties without having to overwrite your main quest, new environmental effects such as subtle dynamic shadows in on characters and environmental items and smoothed out difficulty spikes along the main story. Finally, during cooperative play, they have put in the ability for each character to traverse alternate dimensions, opening up a multitude of puzzle possibilities.

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Looking past alterations to what made the original game a hit, there’s also a new addition called Intenso. This is essentially a rage meter that will fill up as you perform combos and dispose of enemies, and unleash a significantly more powerful luchador when pressing in the two analog sticks. This mode will give you a higher rate of attack and do insanely more damage, while at the same time last as long as you can string combos together. It’s definitely something that will help the player in a bind, and will come in handy during some of those strategic boss battles.

Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition, an excessively long name that’s a tongue and cheek take on older fighting game titles, isn’t just a thrown together next generation port. It contains a staggering amount of new content that has been completely integrated in the core experience. Just from the little we got to experience, it was an absolute blast to play and will do fans proud. Release details are still sketchy but they’re looking at a May or June launch on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U with a price point most likely at $14.99.