Warning: This amateur games review is written by a part-man, part-monkey who has a tendency to drop F-bombs and the occasional derpy insult. If you are easily butt-hurt and cry yourself to sleep while hugging your Mumma's breast you should proceed at your own risk.
Available on: PC and XboxOne (and probably on loop in Hell)
Quick review:Cuphead is a sidescrolling run 'n' gun game created by Studio MDHR. You take control of the main character, Cuphead, who along with his brother, Mugman, lost their souls gambling with the Devil. You must defeat a variety of unique enemies who have debts to the Devil in order to gain your souls back.
Major warning.... don't let the cartoony graphics fool you, this game is FREAKIN' HARD.
GraphicsThe first thing that will no doubt immediately capture your attention in this game is the graphics. They're downright gorgeous and obviously styled to be reminiscent of the early 1930's cartoons. The way the screen shakes with imperfections and the 2D animations bob up and down is vastly different from modern day gaming and it is great to see something unique like this in a world of cut 'n' paste games who dare not try something new. Every single part of the visuals will captivate you and made me really feel like I was playing a cartoon instead of a highly polished video game in 2017. The still shots of the game below give you and indication of the uniqueness you're in for but you really have to see them in action for yourself to get the most appreciation.
SoundAs you'd expect they also did a stellar job in he sound department having employed a full band play jazz music to perfectly fit the theme. Plenty of saxophones, trumpets, drums, piano and acapella harmony does amazingly to get you into the 1930's groove. When I first purchased this I wondered how they could possible feel it was fitting to also be selling a soundtrack alongside the game. My first thought was to fleece as much money out of the consumer as possible, typical modern day gaming. I admit I was wrong. The music itself completely works on it's own without playing the game and I've found myself searching Youtube to have the music playing while I write this review.
GameplayIf you've read anything about this game in the past you'll know it's hard. In fact using the word 'hard' is a huuuge understatement... it is DEVILISHLY DIFFICULT. I haven't played a game this challenging since Trials HD. On the very first level I died at least 4 times. I knew what I was getting myself into but it still went far beyond what I feel comfortable playing as a casual gamer. I do like a good challenge but this was boarding on pulling my hair out kinda difficulty. This might be due to the fact I was playing on PC with a keyboard or maybe it was because I had consumed half a dozen glasses of Bundaberg Rum beforehand, maybe I just completely suck at it, but yeah it was really intense and to be honest it became a bit less-than-fun for me quite quickly. I could see this being a fair bit easier with a controller though probably not a great deal.
Difficulty aside, the basic movements and being able to learn the boss and enemy patterns offer a glimmer of hope. You will die many times figuring these patterns out, but the methods do exist so it is possible! Side scrolling games have withstood the test of time so you instantly know what you're doing and feel right at home without having to learn a bunch of different buttons and moves. The tutorial lasts all of about 2 minutes. You have basic controls such as jump, shoot and dash so you would be easily lead to believe it would be a breeze....hahahahahahahaha GOOD LUCK!
OverallAs much as I adore the sweet sweet graphic style and the audio tantalising my ear holes, I still found the difficulty offputting. Many will disagree and that's fine... you psychopaths! I personally enjoy a good challenge but not a rage-inducing slaughterfest of a game. Even regular difficulty is just too hard for me and from what I could see there's no option to select an easier mode. It would have been much more user friendly if it started easy and had higher difficulties along the way but instead it starts at insane and no doubt becomes ultra-insane later on. Cuphead "Don't Deal With The Devil", if you buy this game that's exactly the deal you're making. Have fun :)
Is it worth a buy?Normally this is a question with a fairly simple answer. I'd say if you love a really difficult challenge and enjoy playing the same level or boss over and over and over and over and over and over... I'd say yes give it a go! I personally would rather some kind of difficulty curve so I don't believe it's a game I'll put much time into. I do really love how the developers took a chance, so if it sounds like a challenge you're willing to take on then maybe you'll be rewarded with an all-time favourite.
Space Ginger is by no means a professional game reviewer. This review is brought to you for fun and not to be taken seriously. Having played video games for 30 years I have experience to share and a massive amount of love for the video game industry and community. My mission is just to share my thoughts and maybe introduce you to some amazing virtual experiences while helping you steer clear of steaming piles of shit. GAME ON!