After christening the Vita's launch with the release of the fantastic Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack, The fine folks at DrinkBox Studios have returned to Sony's platforms just one year later to deliver their best and most ambitious game to date. As its ingenious name implies, Guacamelee is a game that doesn't take itself too seriously but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked.
Released as a cross-buy title for the Playstation 3 and Vita, Guacamelee is a Mexican themed, 2D action game that shares a similar open-world structure with games such as Metroid and Castlevania. And in true Metroidvania fashion, as you progress through the game's campaign you'll continually unlock new skills and abilities that allow you to explore previously inaccessible areas. The game's intuitive map system and clever use of coloured identifiers makes it easy to pinpoint exactly where you need to be at all times which alleviates the frustration commonly found in games which encourage backtracking.
Guacamelee's story is surprisingly dark but is told in a quirky and comedic manner that makes light of the game's gloomy premise. Here you play as a Mexican farmer Juan who is killed by the game's skeletal antagonist Carlos Calaca as he attempts to thwart the kidnapping of the President's daughter. Luckily, Juan is quickly given an extra shot at life thanks to a special luchadore mask which transforms him from an everyday worker to piledriving superhero! For the most part the games story simply serves as a means to an end but being both 'alive' and 'dead' presents some exciting combat and platforming scenarios later in the game when you're given the ability to hop between the land of the living and the dead at will.