The TWRM GOTY 2018 Collab has begun! This special event consists of multiple writers making their best cases for their picks for GOTY 2018. Check out each article posted daily from the 1st through the 15th and listen to their points, then on January 16th you will have the opportunity to vote on which game you think should be crowned TWRM GOTY of 2018!
Developer: DrinkBox Studios
Publisher: DrinkBox Studios
Release Date: 8/21/18
Platform/Console: PS4, PC, Switch, XBox One
Genre: Metroidvania, Platformer
“The following is a contributor post by the ABXY Mage.”
Everyone can agree that 2018 was a pretty darn good year for gaming, and not just for AAAs. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of good AAA titles released. But, as indies continue to increase in popularity, they have also increased in notoriety. This is, of course, most obvious with the GOTY nominee, Celeste.
However, personally, the thing that I really noticed about indie games in 2018 was that the different subgenres that independent developers have tackled have become more refined. Some aim for a retro feel, some try to emulate big-budget games, some attempt to break new ground, and some seek to be as minimalistic or unique as possible. With more specific and defined goals, the indie scene has flourished recently.
Guacamelee! 2 is my personal Game of The Year for several reasons. Chief among them is that it is fun. Every reason I have for why it’s my GOTY is also every reason for why it’s so much fun. The fact that Guacamelee! 2 is such a fun game is also why it’s so appealing to so many different gamers. Casual or completionist, young or old, light-hearted or gothly serious. Guacamelee! 2 has enough to fill up everyone at the party. Let me explain.
For starters, Guacamelee! 2 is that great, white whale known as a really good sequel. However, it’s not only a great sequel, it’s a sequel that is better than the original game. Rare indeed, especially these days. It builds on everything the first game did well, and does it better–the lone exception being the bosses. It’s bigger, it’s more challenging, it’s funnier, it’s more varied, and it’s more fun.
The number one characteristic that makes Guacamelee! 2 unique is its Mexican folklore and luchador influences. This originality weaves through the story, the soundtrack, and the visuals. The game, like the first, looks like a comic book. However, this one has even more detail and flair put into it. A wide variety of vibrant colors, flashy animations, interesting enemy designs, and unique stages fill the game with a fantastical quality that will bring about a child-like wonderment in the player.
In my personal opinion, there are far too many modern games with throwaway, mute-and-turn-on-a-podcast soundtracks. It’s a shame. A game’s music should help draw you into a game, and add to its entertainment value. It shouldn’t bore you or cause you to tune it out to the point of forgetting or not wanting it there at all. Guacamelee! 2 avoids these pitfalls by having a stellar list of songs throughout the entire game that mix several different genres.
The beat ’em up style of combat, which also include upgradable abilities, gives the game a bit of an arcade feel, helped by the hit counter that tracks your esqueleto destruction. Overall, the game is a metroidvania that crosses two worlds, several timelines, includes two bodily forms, and over a dozen power-ups. The platforming challenges that are added to the metroidvania elevate Guacamelee! 2 to its own tier in the genre.
Finally, Guacamelee! 2 is overall lighthearted. Even though it deals with death, the world of the dead, the ending of a universe, multiple timelines, and a deadly lust for power, it’s also comical, self aware, goofy, and full of pop culture references. Even if you never laugh out loud, you will play it with a smile on your face; no worry that it will be emotionally draining or intellectually demanding. Just a game to kick back with and enjoy.
In the end, video games should be a fun escape from reality. Guacamelee! 2 is absolutely perfect for just that. And, that’s why a little bird told me that you should vote #TeamGuacamelee2.
+ Great sequel that’s better than its predecessor
+ Vibrant and unique visual style
+ Outstanding music
+ Challenging, but rewarding mixture of metroidvania and platforming
+ Comical and full of gaming and pop culture references
+ Is already distinguished winner of ABXY GOTY
– Boss fights not as good as first Guacamelee!
– Has not yet been played by everyone reading this
The ABXY Mage leads a double life of unfathomable hipness, if his expertise in jazz is any indication. Music maker, fandangoist, writer, you can find this hip cat as ABXY Reviews on Twitter and on YouTube.
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