This week I'm a little late… but the game of the week was Guacamelee Gold Edition. This is a pretty straightforward Metroidvania in which you play as a luchador set out to rescue an old friend from an evil skeleton. Your offensive arsenal is appropriately wrestling themed, as is much of the game, but is not overly complicated like an actual fighting game might be.
I enjoyed this game a lot even though I didn't have much time to spend with it this week. It's uncomplicated but full of little details and personality. I wasn't expecting all the references to other video games sprinkled around in the towns but I was pleasantly surprised. The controls feel tight, the combat is fun and getting a high combo is fairly easy and satisfying. All this said, it's not exactly easy. There is a fair amount of challenge not just in the fighting but also in the few puzzles I have run across. The story doesn't have a lot going on, so far, but the antagonists are entertaining, really all the NPCs are.
Like any game in the genre, you slowly collect power ups that allow for more exploration and better fighting. I didn't get a chance to do much backtracking but I did find a good number of things out of reach or inaccessible to return to later. There are even some side quests to do while you explore the world. Unlike Shantae, this game has an actual world map so that was nice. There is also an interesting mechanic involved in the exploration that I don't want to spell out and spoil for anyone looking to play this. Last thing I want to add was the music was really good, catchy and not annoying.
There are a couple things that detract from this game getting a higher score in my book, however. First, and this might sound super petty, but after you press a button to interact with the upgrade table, you are unable to immediately reenter the menu after closing it. What happens is that you have to walk a few steps and come back for the button prompt to return. This is a mild inconvenience that you see too much if you're like me and you back out of menus accidentally all the time. The second thing is that any time you get a power up or complete a health/stamina upgrade, the screen flashes bright colors for a couple seconds. It's actually kind of hard on the eyes. I personally am not too negatively effected by it, but I question why something like that was included.
It doesn't seem like this game would be very long, so I'm hoping to come back to it. There is also a two player mode, a second player can hop in at any time, that I would like to try out some time.