Guacamelee 2 picks up where the first one left off, even to the point of literally including a retelling of the last boss fight. This is important because, as a result, you know that your character is indeed still the Juan that saved the world and the girl last time around. With this done semi-organically, it is then all revealed to just be a dream… Juan reliving his glory days to escape the reality that has become his life. You see, while most games like Metroid or Castlevania always strip your abilities from you between each game, Guacamelee 2 does this organically. He’s just let himself go. He has annoying children, his most onerous chore is to go fetch some avocados from beside the church, and his sagging gut tells us he could stand to do Juan or two more sit ups.
That is, until the Tetrads attack! Or something like that, at any rate. You are shown the Mexiverse, which is the Mexican multiverse, taking you to different realities like the baddest timeline (where everything resembles a Double Dragon-style beat ’em up), to the dark and creepy timeline complete with the gigantic spider from Limbo, a ‘Fighting Street’ timeline, all the way to the darkest timeline, where Juan actually died in the last boss fight, and some other hombre showed up to finish the job. Far from the ideal savior, this amigo ends up turning bad and dooming the world, and it’s up to you to stop him.
The visuals in this are just as jarring and over the top as the first title, keeping true to the vibrant feel of Mexican culture. The music accompanying it all feels so… just so much like some sort of gaudy celebration of Día de la Independencia celebration. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the music is genuinely Mexican, that’s just how authentic it feels. As for the controls, they’re pretty much just the same as the first title, with all the responsive tightness and accuracy that made this an amazing title the first go around.
And that’s what makes this game great. They’ve kept the things that were amazing, and changed the things that were less ideal. Even the chicken mode returns, although you are not always completely helpless in this form, now… making it a much more valued contribution to your arsenal, even so far as to be included in some combo possibilities, instead of simply the frail form you take on to squeeze into morph-ball tunnels.
There are a couple of Lucha rooms that will strain your abilities, with a sharp up-tick on difficulty, but with a checkpoint right before all of them, the game is occasionally hard but forgiving, and doesn’t punish you too much for anything that it intends to inflict upon you.