We all know by now that Cuphead is a difficult game. Unless you happen to be someone who is amazing at games that is, then the game will probably just be ‘challenging’ to you. For the rest of us, however, Cuphead is the sort of challenge we’ve all been needing.
It has a simple linear story which is easy to follow and leads towards the frantic finale. However, this might be the ‘weakest’ point of the game in the sense there are no real plot twists or anything to keep players waiting for more. Instead, it’s a nice simple story which suits the game nicely.
The gameplay is where Cuphead really shines. Sadly, there’s only a handful of “run ‘n’ gun” sections in the game. These sections help to add some diversity to the game however they can sometimes be more frustrating than the boss battles. The boss battles are plentiful and varied with unique bosses on every isle (these act as ‘worlds’ in the game). As a huge bonus, each boss fight and run ‘n’ gun section can be replayed which brings a high amount of replay value to Cuphead. Combined with the fact that players are graded at the end of each level and boss fight, there’s certainly an element of competitiveness to Cuphead.
Boss battles in Cuphead are incredibly creative. Each one is unique and very memorable, however, some are much easier than others. As a result, you’ll probably ‘forget’ about a few bosses, especially when faced with a much more difficult one.
In a game like this the controls are very important and the developer has done a great job. The controls feel nice and tight so you can’t blame the ‘bad controls’ when you die, in reality, you just suck at the game. That’s okay though, most of us do as well.
Another place where the developer has succeeded is in the incredible graphics. They match classic 1930’s cartoons perfectly and as a result, the game is a work of art. They may never be another game that looks like this again so it’s possible that Cuphead will stand the test of time. The soundtrack is also worth mentioning, it’s incredible. The jazz, the swing and high-tempo ragtime perfectly match the style of the game. It’s great to listen to and it really helps build that immersion into the game.
Cuphead is an incredible experience and exactly what the Xbox One needed in terms of strong indie games. Studio MDHR has created something magical. It’s beautiful, difficult and the run ‘n’ gun gameplay is the throwback to Contro/Probotector we’ve all been waiting for. Anyone with a Xbox One or PC should check out this game. Gamers on PS4 and the Switch are seriously missing out on this title.