GDC 2014: Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Preview
I sat down with Chris McQuinn, a designer from Drinkbox Studios, and got to play some co-op Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition with him and discussed the upcoming release.
The adventure follows Juan, someone who people constantly remind you isn’t even a real luchador. Upon walking out of your basement and heading towards the church, you find out that the President’s daughter is in trouble. After a quick fight between Juan and a powerful enemy, you are sent to the world of the dead, find a mask, and return to the world of the living as a luchador. Then the fun begins.
Billed as a Metroidvania type of game, Guacamelee! fully embraces the formula and does it very well. Power-ups that help you break different colored blocks and open up new areas unlock at a quick pace, keeping you addicted and playing the game for long periods of time.
The Super Turbo Championship Edition brings with it the previous story and levels but then adds 30% more content by adding two new levels, new powers, new enemies and a new bad ass boss. All of the previous levels were reworked to improve the overall graphics of the game and it does look pretty damn good. Not that it looked bad before, but from what I saw, there is an improvement in the overall look of the game.
Due to player feedback, some of which was pretty heated, one of the previous bosses received some tweaks in difficulty. Anyone that played it and made it to the end has to remember the boss known as Jaguar Javier. This guy was almost impossible to beat, and Drinkbox Studios not only received angry calls and emails, but even got a few folks wanting them to pay for the replacement of their controller due to rage situations from trying to defeat this difficult beast.
Chris mentioned that one of the the newest levels is loosely based on a real city in Mexico where flowers are everywhere and local transportation is often done by gondolas across the many canals found there. This adds to the platforming difficulty as the timing of the moving boats will have to be realized before jumping for one. It’s always better to look before you leap, and that rings true from what I saw with some of these new areas.
Another new feature for the STCE is the Intenso Meter. Think of it as a rage meter that fills up as you are going through the game and kicking butts and creating combos. Once the meter is full, activate it to turn your luchador into an even better fighting machine. You”ll be faster, stronger, and your attacks will be amplified to super hero levels. It runs out fairly quickly, though, so make sure you use it wisely. No point in running through an area empty of bad guys with it activated.
For those that have played Guacamelee! beforeand are on the fence with this next gen version, the changes to the game do give it a slightly different feel and the extra 30% of content needs to be weighed into your decision. There is also a feature similar to new game+, where after completing the game, you can start over again with all of your unlocked costumes.
While a release date wasn’t given, Drinkbox Studios is aiming to get the game out to us later this year for the PS4. As of this writing, there are no announced plans for the game to become available on PS3 or Vita.