First Impressions – Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition (PAX East 2014)
It was just after lunch on Friday at PAX East 2014, when wandered over to the Drinkbox Studios booth to meet the team behind Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition. At that time, two things crossed my mind. First, I was glad I ate lunch already, because I am not a fan of guacamole. Second, this isn't really about guac at all. It's about a brawling, “Metroidvania-style” side-scrolling platformer.
You control Juan Aguacate in an effort to save El Presidente's daughter, who was kidnapped by Carlos Calaca. Throughout the game, there are many references to both Mexican folklore and classic video games. While the original game launched a while back, this updated version will contain a couple more levels and new enemies along the way. So, even for those who played Guacamelee on PC or Playstation, the Super Turbo Championship Edition will still have plenty of new stuff for you.
While the demo was short, it gave me a descent idea of what the final game will be. I played using the Gamepad, where the touch-screen served as a view of the map. This was very helpful to see where I had gone and where I need to go next. I imagine it plays an even more important role later in the game, when the world starts to really open up. While I did not try it, you can also switch to play the entire game solely on the Gamepad, in off-TV mode. Similarly, you can play the game using the Pro Controller. And if you want to bring along a friend, you can play the entire game in local cooperative mode.
I will admit that I was not overly excited about this game when I first made the appointment with the studio. Thankfully, though, I gave it a chance, and I was overwhelmingly surpised by how much I liked it. It takes that classic style of teaching you little by little as you progress, allowing you to reach more areas over time, and challenging you along the way. I never felt like the controls were off, and I thought it looked very pretty utilizing the Wii U's HD graphics. I am definitely looking forward to this game now.
I was also told that Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition will hopefully launch on the Wii U eShop in spring 2014 with a price comparable to the original (approx. $15). Also the Wii U version is being co-developed by Broken Rules, due to their friendship with Drinkbox Studios and their experience developing for Wii U.