After releasing the previous article about Cuphead and how the game is one of the most anticipated games waiting to be released, I have finally tried the game myself. There would be little reason to argue why the game was well worth the wait. Given that the game is unique in presence, style and play, many gamers didn’t know what to expect from this title.
Cuphead is unique in the fact that the game has a teaching style to every level that is touched. For example, Cuphead gets in to trouble and must play his way through the map like a Super Mario World adventure, and complete each level. He is collecting the souls he needs, he lost a gambling game to the Devil, as well along the way. But there seems to be a catch and I’m not the only one that noticed. This game is difficult. Every game presents its own challenges but Cuphead is different. The tutorial starts right away but the teaching isn’t done there. Cuphead has to work on his skill set and earn his right to have super abilities. Developers made this game to teach players how to shoot, “run and gun”, fly and who knows what else at this point. Every level gives the player a new set to work with in order to win their objective, so the original tutorial only gets players so far.
Armed with an automatic shoot button, dash and parry, Cuphead is immediately put in to a “run and gun” level with no explanation, and this becomes common in all the levels. Players simply go and do. There is no warning of who is good or bad but I mowed them over anyway because that didn’t seem to matter. The shoot mechanic starts off with a simplistic tri-directional shooter, so the player can only shoot up, left and right, there is no in between so aiming and timing are very good skills to have for this game. He is also armed with 3 whole lives, which I hope to get more of, and the need to survive goes up dramatically because of this dilemma. Cuphead has a super blast option but it can only be used after hitting the enemy for a specific amount of time, or specific amounts of hits.
Throughout the game, Cuphead meets different characters and other unmarked levels. For each unmarked level, there is an opportunity to gain a soul to sell back to the devil. If these levels aren’t played on regular mode then prepare to go back and do them again. So far, they have all been ridiculously hard, even on simple. Some side quests don’t really get you much to work with so at least hope for some coins to turn in for power-ups.
The art was all hand drawn for the game and the overall presence is amazing. The game is prepped to look and sound like it came from the 1930s. The music and comments all have an old timey piano vibe while an announcer yells about your match against the enemy, all providing a unique feel to the game. Even the intro to the story begins with a grainy film like old movies to get players in to the mindset of what is about to go down. Also, as fair warning to anyone interested in this game, the old-style cartoons like Oswald the Luck Rabbit or Betty Boop for example, had adult themes to them, this game won’t be much different. There are adult themes such as smoking, the devil, gambling etc. So, do your own research as well. Are Cuphead and his brother even old enough to gamble their souls away? So far, I haven’t been able to figure that out but I like the story nonetheless. I will continue my journey through the game and I hope the developer decides to create something else as unique as Cuphead.
Cuphead is available on Xbox, Steam, and GOG