Graphics that look straight from a #1930s animation and a soundtrack to match. #Cuphead is a beautiful #platformer that is extremely challenging yet so so so rewarding.
A part of the map of the 2nd isle in the game – picture taken by the author
There are games that look astonishing, feel amazing, and occasionally make you so mad you feel like throwing the controller on to a wall. Cuphead is one such masterpiece. I picked up a copy of the game soon after release simply because I enjoyed the game’s visuals so much. They reminded me of Mickey’s Wild Adventure, a game I had almost forgotten but one I had enjoyed a lot when I was younger. Much like Wild Adventure, Cuphead has a very simple story. Cuphead and his brother Mugman stumble upon the Devil’s casino where they end up on a winning streak playing dice. They get too hooked on their winnings that they make a wager with the Devil himself, which, of course, they lose, and now they need to do the Devil’s bidding. They become his debtors and they must collect souls of others who have also lost at the Devil’s game. Here starts the glorious journey of fighting through extremely difficult bosses, to perhaps, beat the Devil himself.
Putting on my gaming pants, for this fight is about to get messy – picture taken by the author
Very simple gameplay with extremely challenging bosses has the player honing their button pressing precision. What little there is in the way of controls, you need to master. You can move, jump, shoot, and dash. That’s it. And precision is the key in all the fights in the game, there is room for only a few mistakes or you need to start (the boss fight) over. The game has 19 bosses to battle against and a few platforming levels where the player can collect coins to purchase different equipment to help in their journey. Typically a boss fight (when beaten) takes 1.5 to 3 minutes of nerve-racking shooting and trying not to get hit. It took me dozens of tries to clear some of the bosses and I had to put the game down quite a few times when I got mad at myself for failing. Succeeding though, that is the sweet nectar of the game. Banging your head against a seemingly insurmountable mountain for a good hour or two but suddenly clearing the whole thing is oh, so so sweet. Cuphead has been called Dark Souls of platformers and for good reason.
It was at this point, I knew things weren’t looking great – picture taken by the author
This is one of my favorite games of the last few years and I am eagerly waiting for the up and coming DLC that is scheduled for later in 2021. I recommend this game to everyone who enjoys platformers. And I recommend those, who usually don’t enjoy them, to try this one out. The game is a challenge but well worth the effort!
Released: September 29, 2017
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Mac, Nintendo Switch
Genres: Run and Gun, Platformer, Single-player, multiplayer