Ever since Cuphead was announced I have been foaming at the mouth to get to play it, and now that it is finally time I can safely say my cautious hype for this game was worth it and then some.
So the main selling point about this game was the art style. It’s in the style of old 1930’s propaganda cartoons or Fleischer cartoons.
Being the massive turd I am, I absolutely adore cartoons of all kinds and have a huge appreciation for animation as a whole. So this game was pretty much made for me. It’s all hand drawn and traditionally animated. The drawings are then scanned and colored digitally. And the end result is one of best looking games out there. Everything about it from the colors to the smooth animation is just pure eye candy.
The story revolves around two characters Cuphead and Mugman. One day they got a little crazy at the casino and ended up making a deal with the devil and they lost. The devil tells them to go ahead and collect the souls of other debtors so our heroes can keep theirs and then you’re off, doing whatever it takes to keep your soul.
Now that the story is out of the way we can get into the gameplay. A lot of skepticism was had by people and one of the biggest things I heard before release was this game being the epitome of, “style over substance”. Now I can safely say that it really isn’t as the gameplay is all around great and compliments everything really well. It’s kind of like Contra and Metal Slug with a bigger bullet hell element to it. Most stages are bosses and the game was originally just going to be a boss rush style game but after multiple delays it got some platforming levels; which there are 8 of and they are pretty great with their own little mini-bosses at the end.
You can purchase upgrades such as extra hit points, different firing types – such as a homing shot or a boomerang shot. And other defensive modifiers such as the auto-parry. All of which are great and are well suited for the tight mechanics of the game. You can jump, parry certain objects with the right timing for building up meter, an EX and Super move that uses said meter and a dash which is mainly for defense and moving around in a pinch. Not much more is needed in this game and you won’t find yourself bored with it since the game is certainly not easy. It’s in fact quite hard, when you’re not dying because you keep admiring the amazing animations, you die because of the onslaught of things coming your way and the different phases the bosses take that always have one or two tricks up their sleeve.
The game also features co-op which serves its purpose well enough. It makes the game a little harder because to people jumping around trying to dodge an onslaught of bullets and save their asses and also because the bosses health also increases. They didn’t add anything extra to make it it’s own experience but it’s still a pretty great time with a friend.
The bosses are the main attraction of this game. They are some of the best boss designs I’ve seen in a long time all with interesting moves and phase shifts. They will kick your ass and I think that’s a great thing because that lets you admire the art for each of them longer. I think some of the earlier ones are kinda lame but the ones after the first world are all ace. I also gotta say the hand painted backgrounds of this game are so beautiful and interesting at times that I want almost each and every one as a desktop wallpaper.
The creators of this game had to remortgage their home just to make this game a reality. And all the hardships they have suffered through have been 100% worth it and I wish them the best of luck in their next endeavor. Overall Cuphead has been an absolutely fantastic experience and I just wanna keep playing it long after beating it. It has some parts that could’ve used a little extra but as it is I feel it’s almost perfect at what it sought to achieve.
I give Cuphead a 9/10.
Now where is my art book?