Don’t miss the live-action gameplay hybrid trailer for Mariachi Legends

A stunning show-stopper.

Closing out the Latin American Games Showcase was an impressive new trailer for the gorgeous pixel-art hack-and-slash Mariachi Legends, with a mixture of live-action scenes and high-fidelity side-scrolling action.

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You’d be forgiven for overlooking the Latin American Games Showcase last weekend. Let’s face it, with over a dozen unique showcases over the span of a few days, it is unlikely most audiences will catch them all, particularly when the shows are each focused on a specific niche.

But this show in particular was littered with beautiful works and inventive concepts, a description no less fitting of the presentation’s final game, Mariachi Legends from Halberd Studios, which was unveiled at last year’s PC Gaming Show.

Opening to a hazy sunset, the trailer begins with a live-action sequence introducing the fictional town of Santa Mascota and the lead character, Detective Pablo Cruz, who has been assigned by Lady Death to delve into the Realm of the Dead and collect a mystical amulet that is compromising her rule over the underworld.

This is no simple task, as the group of beings known as the Mariachi Legends protect this dominion at all costs. In order to stand a chance against them, Pablo must don the powerful garment, La Sombra, which grants him otherworldly strength and abilities.

With a transition to gameplay, it makes an immediate impression with its smooth and fluid animations, such as Pablo brandishing his pen and notebook with a flourish when taking investigation notes and trotting around with a swagger that closely resembles Castlevania’s Soma Cruz.
Although these two protagonists may share a last name and running animation, ironically what they do not have in common is being part of the Metroidvania genre.

Unlike the studio’s previous work, 9 Years of Shadow, which was a full-fledged metroidvania, Mariachi Legends describes itself as a branching beat-em-up platformer, with bounding, swinging, and dashing along platforms to navigate the game’s levels and an emphasis on extravagant combo-centric combat.

Pablo dual-wields a set of sabers and a pair of flintlock pistols, firing off point-blank barrages before effortlessly eviscerating his enemies in a spinning cyclone of carnage. He has a variety of special abilities as well, including a noxious face-cracker whip that melts flesh from the bone and morphing into a spectral skull enveloped in a sickly green flame to consume enemies whole.

The end of the trailer blends more live-acton cuts with gameplay, this time to the kitchen to demonstrate the cooking component to the game. Pablo can spice up his special abilities by dishing up recipes he learns along his journey.

Mariachi Legends will be available for Switch and Steam, with a 2024 release window listed on the store page.

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Shane Weaver
Weekend Writer - Shane fell in love with video games at an early age, growing up with every generation of Nintendo consoles - and then some. To further his obsession, he obtained a diploma majoring in Print & Online Journalism at SAIT so he could share developer stories, report gaming news, and provide insight on the latest releases. He can usually be found engulfed in another metroidvania or gathering friends together for horror game nights.