I finally started this puppy up over the weekend.Guacamelee is amazing! I daresay that its the best action PSN game that I've played so far.
It took me 15 hours to play to the ending credits, which wouldn't have taken me that long but at 85% complete I wanted to find all of the secrets before starting the final battle (you're warned when you get to that point).
This game has it all for a 2D old-school game. The fighting engine is incredibly deep once you've fully powered up. This alone makes it shine brighter for me than classic platformers like Castlevania SotN and Metroid games that developers say this title was inspired by. Some of the optional challenge areas do a fantastic job of testing your fighting skills to where you have no choice but to get better a it.
I love the live-world/dead-world play mechanic that you constantly switch back and forth between. It really adds to the strategy one uses in fights with multiple enemies that exists in one world or the other (you can only hurt the ones whose world you share, but they can always hurt you).
The boss fights are very enjoyable, but are always fair. The deep combat rules have you keep an eye out for their animations, sheild color, and even sound effects at times so you know just how to respond. Even when it gets tough, you know why you died and can improve accordingly. The last boss was beating me down quite a few times, but eventually I was not only able to beat him, but to do so without taking any damage (187-hit combo). I wish there was a trophy for that...
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the platforming goodness in this game. While most of it is easy-peasy for gaming veterans (but a lot of fun), if you are trying to find all of the secrets you will come to areas that will have you scratching your head as you try to figure out what to do.
One puzzle had me mapping out the entire level before I finally figured out how to proceed. Props to the developer for the tricky puzzles that still remain completely fair if you take your time to figure them out.
Also, when (optional) secret item hunting, there are a couple of sections in particular where the platforming is absolutely diabolical. Anyone who has tried to 100% complete this game know where I am talking about - my jumping skills haven't been tested this well in a game in ages, let alone the half-dozen other actions you are expected to perfectly perform as you try to reach your goal. One of these tricky areas even gave me a bit of a scare at one point, but it ended up being one of the funniest part of a game that already has a tremendous amount of good humor throughout.
When the game finally ended I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to play even more.The game is really that good and is HIGHLY recomeended for anyone. The most toughest challengess are all optional, and the generous check points and instant death respawn keepsone from getting too frustrated from the many times youg get killed. I briefly tried the local co-op, and it's a blast as well. I give Guacamelee! a 10/10 rating. Rare gems like this deserve to be purchased and played.
Two last points to mention. One purchase gives you the Vita version as well as PS3 version. It supports Cross-Play, which means that you can enjoy it on one system, upload to the cloud server at any time (takes two seconds), and then dload from the cloud on your other system to play where you left off. I used this feature while the NBA playoffs were running on the main TV, switching back and forth att halftime and between games. Everything worked flawlessly,and I wish all games supported this feature.
Also, Cross-Controller is supported and it turned out to be my preferred way to play on the big screen. With the DS3 controller set to port #2 (then turned off) pick up your Vita, select Remote Play over the local network and voila! Your Vita now controls Guacamelee on the PS3.
There are two perks to this setup. For one, the d-pad on the Sony handheld is perfection as many people know, and secondly the Vita screenis used as a permanent map of the game world. You no longer need to pause as you hunt for clues to the area's secrets - simply look at the Vita and you know what to do. If you haven't tried it yet, give it a go as it adds to an already fun playing experience.
Edited by joeblow - 5/6/13 at 8:46am