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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (462)

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Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5
Detroit: Become Human 4/5
Destiny 2 4/5
Horizon: Zero Dawn 4.5/5
Oxenfree 4/5
Murdered: Soul Suspect 3/5
Kirby Star Allies 3/5
Celeste 4.5/5
Dark Quest 2 3/5
Just Cause 3 3.5/5
Guacamelee! 2 4/5
The Incredible Adventur... 4/5

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Guacamelee! 2   PC (Steam) 

Mi corazon esta lleno de felicidad    4/5 stars

Finding a good balance in a platformer, especially the resurgence of so-called "Metroidvania" style games, can be tricky. You have to provide both an interesting concept with a pleasing aesthetic. While I never played the first Guacamelee game, it got very positive reviews and had a very unique story/look to boot. While it has been a long time coming, I very much enjoyed this sequel and, for once, it's better with friends.

Presentation: The style of Guacamelee is very well done. It is very vibrant with a Luchador twist. The characters and enemies pop on the screen, but the background is just as impressive. The music fits the game perfectly, as do the sound effects. While the game only has a limited vocal acting (mostly things like grunts, laughs and the like) the random sound effects (especially capturing the essence of the chicken) is well done. While the game pokes a little fun at Mexican culture, it never feels like it is mean-spirited, but rather some light ribbing. Pretty much everything about the game is very likeable.

Story: Fellow Meltedjoystick super-reviewer Nelson as the only one out of the three to play the original, though I did read his extensive review. That being said, at the end of the last game, Luchador Juan defeated the evil Calaca, who wanted to merge the worlds of the living and the dead and rule over all. Guacamelee 2 opens with a version of the final boss battle, and after winning Juan goes back to his family and his humble life of an agave farmer. But fate has other plans in store and after letting himself go just a bit, is stunned to find Uay Chivo (a shaman/goat) back in his life - and he needs help. It seems the entire "Mexiverse" (a play on the all-encompassing multiverse of so many other franchises) is in danger and takes him to "The Darkest Timeline". It seems in this version Calaca killed Juan and Lupita while another Luchador named Salvador saved the day. But Salvador has become corrupted by the power of his mask and now seeks three relics so that he can create the Sacred Guacamole and become all-powerful. But this means destabilizing several of the worlds in the multi-verse in the process, one that threatens all timelines.

The game has a lot of fun with presenting numerous timelines - everything from a meme-tastic timeline to one representing a classic turn-based RPG to one that makes fun of lootboxes. Throughout the adventure, there are a lot of riotous references, though the Chicken Illuminati is the best. Needless to say, the villains are over-the-top, the supporting characters are hilarious and the overall story is gleefully cheeky.

Gameplay: This is a platformer first and foremost and a brawler shortly behind. The game gives you a lot to unlock, including an updated version of Pollo Power that is really fun to use. While the base game isn't too difficult, the optional areas will truly test your skills and approach the "Nintendo Hard" category of hair-pulling insanity. It also doesn't help that the game seems to always follow the wrong person during these trials. While it mostly focused on the first player, at other times the camera would arbitrarily shift to the second or third player for no other reason than to screw things up. The game also has mechanics to switch between the world of the living and dead at times, throwing an even bigger curveball into some of the more difficult challenges.

The brawling aspect was great - none of the bosses were too challenging and the combo system was well done, especially when combined with the several moves you unlock. The hardest battles were the ones that required you to use specific attacks to break enemy shields before you could wale on them regularly, but I would say none of these battles matched the toughness of the harder platforming sections. Enemies are pretty diverse as well, offering some strategy to fight them.

Replayability: Aside from unlocking everything in the game and a few challenges related to difficulty, this is a one-and-done kind of game.

Overall: A great platformer to enjoy with friends - or alone (but expect a much more difficult time). Aside from a few hair-pulling optional areas, it's a lot of fun, has a lot of humor and provides plenty of fun to go around.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Replayability: 3/5
Overall (not an average): 4/5



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