Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

After finishing a great game, we often start dreaming about a sequel. But sometimes it turns out that the developers do not fully understand why the audience fell in love with their offspring. And the second part in some cases turns out worse and can even blur the impressions of its predecessor. It happened to me with the sequel Hotline Miami, which lost all the advantages of the original. But with Guacamelee! 2 passed – starting the passage and realizing how much I missed this universe, I gladly completed the sequel 100% and now I hope for a trilogy.

Save the world again

Guacamelee Events! 2 takes place seven years after the end of the first part. Juan, who married the daughter of El Presidente, has not been saving the world for a long time. He grew a big belly, got two children and became an exemplary family man who helps with the housework and goes shopping. Going one day for an avocado, Juan notices strange black squares in the sky, and after a couple of seconds, skeletons attack the village. It turns out that the Mexiverse is in danger again, and the hero needs to go to the Darkest Dimension to stop the new villain.

They became a certain Salvador, who is in a hurry to grab three relics for himself and get to the sacred guacamole. Well, we need to stop him and visit several large locations, reaching these valuable artifacts before him. If you liked the storytelling in the first part, and the jokes made you smile at least sometimes, you will feel right at home in the sequel – there are many funny dialogues, there are mentions of the first Guacamelee! and full of references to other games or even entire genres. The main story offers a lot of witty dialogue and situations, but you’ll miss out on a lot if you don’t explore the secret areas.

For seven years, Juan managed to forget all the wrestling techniques that he studied in the original, and is only able to jump and beat the offenders with his fist. And after receiving a new luchador mask, he does not remember anything – he will have to look for statues again, so that later he will use familiar skills in battle and break blocks of the corresponding colors. The red ones are destroyed by the same cock uppercut, the green ones by the frog plop, which is activated by pressing the “circle” with the stick pointing down. Well, closer to the finale, Juan will start running along the walls and flying parallel to the ground, starting from them.

Guacamelee!  2 game review

No matter how many opponents Juan faces, the roll will save him from most attacks.

The new technique is called “Eagle Flight” – with its help you can cling to white dots hanging in the air. What exactly Juan clings to them is not entirely clear, but this ability allows him to quickly overcome a small area or jump high. Obviously, there will be many rooms in the game where this mechanic is used: either the hero will have to run away from the lava, or he will need to climb onto the platform located on the top floor. And in some cases it will be possible to jump from one point to another without touching the ground.

The chicken has much more additional abilities, which Juan can turn into almost at any time after a couple of hours after the start. And if in the first Guacamelee! the bird was rather helpless, but here it is no less dangerous than Juan in his usual form. The standard attack is stronger, weakened opponents can be grabbed and thrown to the side, and the legs of the chicken are strong enough to cling to walls and jump from one incline to another. The feathered creature is also learning new skills, namely a sliding and a diagonal dash, which will become better and more convenient over time.

And if in the last game you only had to worry about jumps, tricks and switching between the worlds of the living and the dead, here you also need to remember about transformation. You can stand on a moving platform, take out enemies with red shields with an uppercut, and then abruptly have to turn into a chicken to crawl through a narrow gap and escape falling into the lava. Many of the rooms that Juan will enter as he progresses are still interesting puzzles with a wide variety of conditions. Either stripes will move across the screen, changing the environment and turning lava into water, then a strong wind will begin to blow, and it will be possible to change its direction by switching between worlds.

Luchadors in buttons are not confused

It will not be difficult to get to the final, but to get a different ending, you will again need to look for several secret zones with furiously difficult tests. Some of them turned out to be easier than I thought, but most of them forced me to remember all the existing curses. Some trials are not divided into stages, but force you to go through everything from start to finish without a single blot, and with each new attempt you get to the last place of death with more and more confidence, after which you still achieve success and go to another location to mutilate skeletons.Guacamelee!  2 game review

In hardcore rooms, the number of traps and obstacles is sometimes completely absurd.

There are other secret areas where chests with health and stamina upgrades are located. And they also have interesting puzzles: here you can switch between worlds, and sequentially destroy flying ball-shaped enemies with timers that explode after a few seconds, and the need to switch between the standard Juan and the chicken right in the middle of the stage. The map still shows how much of the location remains unexplored, so missed chests and caches will be easy to find.

Another innovation in Guacamelee! 2 is connected with the pumping system. Previously, it was possible to improve skills at save points, spending accumulated gold and increasing the supply of “lives” or strengthening techniques. In the sequel, trainers appeared, which you gradually meet as you progress, and each of them has his own skill tree. One is related to the abilities of the chicken, another grants bonuses for building combos, there is even a fitness trainer kit that enriches your abilities when grabbing weakened enemies – you can not just throw them into walls, but make a bow strike or something more crushing.

The purchase of these improvements occurs in the menu, there is no need to return to the trainers. And all “upgrades” have improved versions, but gold alone is not enough for them. If you increased the damage from the slide and want to make it even more powerful, the game will ask you to destroy a certain number of opponents with a slide and only after that it will allow you to improve the attack. Some “upgrades” are much more useful than others (with one of them you will start getting bonus gold for every combo over 25 hits), others are unlikely to be useful – in any case, this is a great opportunity to use your entire arsenal more actively.

And it will be used in fights both with old opponents, which the developers partially redrawn (but left recognizable), and with new monsters. Now there are some kind of magicians that enhance the characteristics of comrades and non-stop summoning other monsters, and in the narrow corridors when playing as a chicken, you can stumble upon spider skeletons. There are enemies with large transparent fields around them – if you get close to them, you will start moving several times slower, becoming vulnerable and clumsy. Thanks to a bright picture, responsive controls and a large number of different techniques, you will not get bored of fighting until the final. The only pity is that the last “boss” turned out to be much easier than Kalaki from the first part.

Guacamelee!  2 game review

Local co-op for four is supported, but absolutely everything can be done alone.

***

Guacamelee! 2 did not disappoint – it turned out to be exactly what I wanted from a sequel to my beloved Metroidvania. The developers did not rewrite the formula that worked perfectly before, but simply proposed a new plot with the same wonderful humor, threw in new opponents, taught Juan additional tricks and added difficult tests. The graphics have also changed, which can be easily seen when comparing the sequel with its predecessor – the environment has become more detailed, and the lighting pleases the eye in every sun-drenched location. It remains to replay the game at a high level of complexity for the “platinum”, and then wait another five years for the third part, if there is one at all. I would love to see her come out.

Pros: same great style as in the first part, and still good humor; the combat system has been enriched with new techniques and opponents; it has become much more interesting to play as a chicken, and there are more benefits from it; The puzzle rooms are just as fun.

Cons: easy final “boss”; online co-op was not delivered again.

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