Unarguably one of the best games this year.
When I got to review Cuphead I didn’t know what the game was about, but early reviews already point to an engaging yet difficult gameplay – don’t get me wrong, it’s a whole lot of fun in a frustrating way probably.
The game doesn’t look like any other typical game, it’s completely hand-drawn, emulating the animation style of early Disney cartoons (think Steamboat Willie-style) including the music. That also makes it wholesome, even if the plot itself is a little dark.
You see, the game puts you in the shoes of Cuphead who, along with his brother Mugman, have to complete some tasks for the Devil – yes the actual evil-eyed, big-horned devil – after they lost a game at one of the devil’s casinos (seriously, never make a deal with Lucifer). Do the task, and he will spare your soul (told you it was dark).
The tasks you need to do include retrieving souls from some of the devil’s debtors. Cue various quests that include ‘run-and-gun’ levels that you need to avoid obstacles and shoot enemies with bullets that come out of your finger. Also expect a lot of boss fights – very difficult boss fights.
That’s because you will be faced with various elements like cars running left and right, up and down. You can even get the gravity so everything goes haywire. The gameplay is what makes Cuphead so great – even if you get frustrated dying 15 times in a row and that’s just the first level.
You also collect gold coins that are scattered in different levels that you can use to get new weapons and power-ups. A maximum of only two weapons can be handled by Cuphead, meaning that you need to choose the right weapon carefully else you’ll see yourself dying in the first few minutes.
The gorgeous animation and graphics doesn’t help. Since it looks so great I end up staring at the animation which in turn makes my character die and I have to repeat the stage again.
The gameplay somehow reminded me of ‘Flappy Bird’. That game is incredibly simple, but frustratingly difficult. Then again, each time you beat a level on Cuphead, there’s some sort of applause that I hear inside my head.
Once you finish the game, you have the option of playing the game in hardcore mode, which thankfully I never tried, else I might find myself breaking my Xbox in frustration.
Still, Cuphead is one of the best games to come out this year. I urge you to try it out and see how patient you can be with the game.
Cuphead is available for PC and the Xbox One (reviewed here).