Guacamelee 2 often had me laughing out loud. And just as often, it had me gripping my controller and gritting my teeth, trying not to be too frustrated with myself as I learned the luchador skills needed to nail its most difficult platforming puzzles. But no matter what emotion it evoked, I loved nearly every minute of Drinkbox Studios’ fantastic follow-up, which offers a smart evolution of its revered predecessor that only briefly feels overly familiar.
Picking up with a helpful reminder of how Guacamelee ended (which I needed, because it was first released way back in 2013) the sequel returns with plenty of humor and a surprising but welcome bit of pathos at the start of its eight-hour adventure. I was surprised at how affected I was to see Juan enjoy a peaceful life at home with his wife, two kids, and a diet that has caused his fighting physique to be lost to time, only for his happiness — in every possible timeline imaginable — to be disrupted by a new evil, Salvador.