Cuphead is a unique video game featuring an animated cartoon character. Don’t let the game’s cartoony art style fool you, however, this game is about as merciless as the Dark Souls series. Players and streamers took quick to Youtube, after the game’s release, to upload their frustrations and rage-quitting and once you’ve picked up the game for yourself, you’ll know why. The following is a detailed Cuphead review and everything you need to know about the game.
|Type of game:||Platformer|
|Total Play Time:||24 hours|
|System Requirements:||CPU:Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
GPU: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB
RAM: 2 GB
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or better
HDD Space: 20 GB
The World of Cuphead
Cuphead includes a variety of fun and interesting settings, characters, and storylines. Take one look at any given frame onscreen and you’ll see an array of colorful, animated people, places, and things. The game has received mostly positive reviews and acclaim, being featured on Steam. Metacritic gave Cuphead a score of 86% out of 100% and the Kotaku Review gave the game amply praise. Let’s go over all aspects of the game which IGN gave 8.8 out of 10 stars.
Atmosphere and Location
Cuphead takes place on the fictional Inkwell Isles. The game’s cartoony aesthetic design was greatly influenced by the artwork of the 1940’s, like Walt Disney cartoons, as was all of the music. The soundtrack sounds like it is playing straight from a record player. In fact, a collectible vinyl record version of the soundtrack was included with deluxe versions of the game. The animation and effects of the game are of the highest quality and seamlessly smooth. Everything moves extremely fluidly despite the constraints set by the animation technique. Cuphead’s animation is entirely hand-drawn.
As for the actual mechanics of the game, it is super difficult at first, but once you get used to the control scheme and how the game’s enemies operate, players can fly through the long cast of bosses and enemies. Like the Dark Souls series of games and other titles known for their difficulty, don’t let Cuphead overwhelm you. Its difficulty is largely a gimmick, although it does present some insanely hard boss levels. Video games as hard as Cuphead just take a bit more patience and concentration to get through unscathed, so immerse yourself in the game and embrace its extreme difficulty!
Cuphead’s main characters include, of course, Cuphead, our Mickey Mouse-esque protagonist with a cup for a head, as well as his brother Mugman, who is almost identical to Cuphead except for the shape of his head and his color scheme. The Elder Kettle is, well, a kettle who looks after the boys, while the Devil is the owner of the casino and the game’s main protagonist. The game features many bosses who are also characters, in themselves, with their own vague backstories and themes, like the genie boss or the candy castle. There are a few other recurring characters who help Cuphead along the way by giving him powerups, selling him items, and even offering the player helpful advice.
One of the most amusing cartoon character NPC’s from Cuphead is Porkrind, the shopkeeper. He’s a big pig who is straight out of a black and white Disney cartoon. From his voice when welcoming players to his store, to his animation when browsing items, Porkrind is a well-made, although a minor character in the game. He looks as if Porky Pig started hitting the gym and lost an eye in a bar fight!
Going against the Elder Kettle’s advice, Cuphead and his brother, Mugman (reminiscent of Mario’s Luigi) enter the Devil’s forbidden casino and play too many rounds of craps. When the Devil notices their winning streak, he ups the ante, wagering all the money in the casino against the two brothers’ souls. They naively accept and immediately roll snake eyes, therefore losing their souls. They beg the Devil for some kind of way out of the situation, so he makes them a deal: they might regain their souls if they can track down and collect all of the other poor souls in debt to the devil. Back at home, on the Inkwell Isles, the Elder Kettle gives the boys the power to shoot fireballs from their finger guns and warns them that those in debt may grow angry and change their form if confronted. The game follows this plot, as the player battles all of the debtors for their “soul contracts.”
All of the bosses of the game are debtors of the Devil who transform into terrible beasts when Cuphead tries to retrieve their souls, but, to be honest, who wouldn’t become a monster if someone came for their soul? Without revealing or spoiling the game’s ending, Cuphead and Mugman, if you’re playing cooperative with a friend, eventually face off against the Devil, himself, in one ultimate, not to mention difficult, battle!
DLC & Expansions
There is no DLC or expansion content for Cuphead, yet, but that may change in the near future. The developers have already dropped hints about Cuphead’s return, via downloadable content or even a potential sequel! Fans anticipate that any DLC will include bonus bosses and extra weapons, which is really exciting considering the awesome lineup that the game already presents. Personally, I hope the game becomes episodic, featuring a whole new cast and storyline for each episode, considering the game, itself, is subtitled “Don’t Deal With The Devil,” as a sort of episode name, like in those old Disney cartoons. Regardless of what the game’s developers have planned, they have mentioned that this will not be the last we see of Cuphead.
Overall, Cuphead is a great game. It’s playtime is relatively short, however, the difficulty of the boss levels is what really lengthens the game’s playability. Players will undoubtedly spend hours on more than a handful of the more extreme levels. Even the more secondary platforming levels are obstacles, themselves, and will certainly pose an extensive challenge for both casual and advanced gamers, alike.
As a totally unique game, different from anything else on the market today, Cuphead gets two thumbs way up for its game, character and level design, its original and simplistic storyline, as well as its plethora of fun to be had. Grab a friend for some cooperative play, which Cuphead really nails, in addition to making the levels and enemies much more manageable than when playing alone. The only downside to the game is that Cuphead is only available on Xbox One and PC. Did you ever beat Cuphead? Let us know what you thought about the game!