Cuphead Is a Game Whose Charm Is Unfortunatley out Done by It's Frustration
my youtube review
Today I’m going to be taking a look at Cuphead, what can I say about this game is the most beautiful and charming game that I have ever felt the need to rip a new one. Ok so it’s not the worst or the most frustrating game I have had too played this year. In fact I’m not even saying it’s so bad people shouldn’t be playing it. But a game with this much effort put into it shouldn’t be a put on your wish list and wait for a 50% off or more sales on it. But yet here I am saying just that, and I kind of knew I would end up thinking this way just judging from my first impressions of this game. Cuphead tries to do hard but fair, which it is for the most part, however that’s all it is, it never lets up, never breathes, and rarely does it offer up a reward in the gameplay that is worth the frustration that it provides. Too Cupheads credit I made it further then I thought I would about 3/4 of the game, heck I wasn’t even expecting half. But still I hit a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore and just got frustrated and quit.
Cuphead title screen
The story opens up with Cuphead and his pal Mugman ignoring Elder kettles advice and venturing over to the wrong side of the tracks and finding the devils casino. There the devil tricks them into betting their souls on a game of crabs. They lose the game but the devil makes them a deal if they can get all the people who owe him there soul, he might let them go. So Cuphead and Mugman set out to find all the dead beat debters and beat them in battle for their soul. And no unfortunately for them he doesn’t give him a flaming scull, a cool motorbike and a lethal chain, so yeah they definitely got ripped.
Cuphead is forced too become the devils lackey
Yeah you’ve probably heard that the gameplay in Cuphead is hard and that’s not a joke. The game throw everything but the kitchen sink at you from the beginning and that’s probably my number 1 problem with the game is its challenge. Now I will give Cuphead some credit it is hard but fair, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like you’re ever truly rewarded for going through this games difficulty and I’ll explain later. Anyways the basic gameplay of Cuphead is that you wonder around this map until you find one of the few run in gun areas or you find a piece of the map that is a bit off singling there’s a boss in that area and that you fight them.
The games bosses play has a mix between Contra and Punchout. Like Contra you’re going to be shooting and dodging boss attacks, like Punchout figuring out there tells and dodging and counter attacking is usually the best way to survive. Too make matters worse you only get 3 hits, unless you’re like me and the first thing you by is a charm that upgrades your hits to 4, and even with that freaking charm I found this game overly challenging and a bit annoying.
Anyways there are two types of modes in the game first are these run and gun sequences that are the only areas where you can find coins too buy and equip new add-ons too power up Cuphead. These run and guns are hard and you only can get the coins you need to buy things if you complete the stage otherwise you have to get them again and yes there usually in areas where you risk taking a hit. One of my complaints is A there is not enough of these stages and there pretty fun stages even if like the boss battles there hard. Fortunately the designers kept them short a successful run through these stages takes about 2 minutes, even if it might take half an hour when you die about 20 times to get through them. And there are some really fun ideas behind some of them.
Now for the bosses yeah I’ll admit there are some fun ideas behind a lot of the bosses I fought. The 30’s cartoon vibe leads to a lot of craziness. From this character here who can transform into a moon. Too this sugar candy castle ruled by a mad queen, and blow me down that’s Bluto from Pop Eye. Memorizing the attacks can be fun, but at the same times here’s where my complaints with the game comes in. It can take dozens of time to beat the bosses, and while some people say it feels like it’s an accomplishment too beat these bosses. I say different.
Blow me down that's Bluto
In old school games it felt like an accomplishment because there were other stages waiting for you beyond said difficult boss fight. In new games you often times get a new item or ability. Cuphead gives you jack squat for beating these bosses other than a new area opens where you fight another boss fight that is a frustrating mess. And for a game that is about git good, there is no reward for getting good. None of the boss fights give you coins or power ups for completing them, what’s the point of going back for a higher score if I get nothing out of it. Now again I’ll say this again it does do a good job of being fair about it, heck it even lets you know how close you were too beating the boss every time you die, but there is only so much of this I can deal with before I say screw it I’ll just watch the rest of the game on YouTube and that too me is a major flaw.
Everytime you loose you get a taunt has well has a graph too show you how close you were too beating them
While there is some fun in the frustration unfortunately in the end the frustration just won out and I gave up, and that’s not a good mark on this game.
Wow this game is beautiful and probably one of the most gorgeous games I’ve ever seen. My thoughts are enjoy the games look because like Mel Brooks Silent Movie I doubt we will ever see anyone try to pull this look off again. It looks like a 1930’s cartoon from the wash out colors, too even having a filter that looks like its got scratches on the film. The character designs are also crazy and top notch perfectly emulating a lot of the Disney and Fleischer cartoons from the era and the craziness they embody. Character’s often times look like they don’t have any joints or even skeletons in them for that matter.
And the over the top cartoony adds in an extra touch of madness into the fight. I’ll admit it if wasn’t for these charming graphics style I would have given up on this game long before I did. That said the touch gameplay makes it harder to appreciate the touches that went into these graphics. Like for example that the tower in the background looks like a tower you would see form a 1930’s cartoon but it’s actually a 3d model that spins around has you fight which is a clever little touch used by combining the look of the 30’s with modern techniques. But your too busy dodging the craziness of the bosses attacks too appreciate it.
The graphics are really charming
The music tracks are also excellent with a lot of piano or jazz riffs going on that also fit the cartoons of the time period. There all really catchy and fun to listen too, which is good because you’re going to hear them repeat a lot. The sound effects for the guns are also kind of cute too. In the end it’s a great sound track that fits with the charming graphics.
Look I am not saying Cuphead isn’t worth a look into. I am saying however that Cuphead might be a good game to wait for a sale on. Its charming visuals and music unfortunately can’t mask that the game rewards you very little for the frustration it puts you through. Hard but fair can only really be done in small doses after that it just becomes a mess. Put this one on your wish list and wait for a sale folks it’s not worth getting it at full price.