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  • Xuhao (Tom) Du

Cuphead

Updated: May 7, 2019

Last week, Cuphead published its switch version. Though I already had one on my steam account, I still bought one on my switch. This game is incredible fun. If you did not hear about it, you should have a look. This is a shooting game. Player only need to use different weapons and abilities to beat bosses and confront to the Devil. It seems that nothing amazing in gameplay and story. Why it's outstanding among lots of games? Let's have a look.


The Art Style

In my mind, the art style is the main reason to make this game incredible. If you see the game, it looks like an old animation. Very retro but powerful. Also, if you are familiar with 20th century animations, you could find a lot of elements in this game which shows respect to these animations.


Battle Screenshot in Cuphead

Battle Screenshot in Cuphead

Moreover, the characters are allowed to move on an opening map. Guests could freely choose their stage to beat with the boss. All the stuff on the map have a unified art style with the battle scene which enhance the coherence of game procedure.


Map in Cuphead

Shop on the Map

The Gameplay

The gameplay is just like a simple side-scrolling shooting game. But it brings some new changes into the game. The most tricky one is the pink object in the battle scene. In this game, every time the players collide with other objects will lose one point of their life. However, there is an exception. In this game, players could jump twice in the game. And at the second jump, the character they controlled will become a wheel-like shape in the air. During this process, if the character collides with a pink object, players will get a block of energy instead of being hurt (This mechanism called parry in the game). This design is really perfect. It gives the player a hard choice to make. If they take this risk, they might get more rewards but it's a double-edge sword. People love this kind of risk with rewards mechanism. You could see just a small change from traditional shooting game make this game more outstanding.


Parry

And some people say this game is too hard to play. Of course, this game is super hard. Players need to spend a lot of time on one stage to find the motion pattern of the boss. And there are more than 30 stages in this game. So if players want to finish this game, it will take them a lot of time. However, this kind of game is not aiming all kinds of players. Their audience are players who enjoy side-scrolling shooting game. But it will still attract other players who like the art style in the game.


The scene when players die

This game supports at most 2 players to play at the same time. So if a player wants to beat a boss with a friend, then they could do that. The game will increase the difficulty if another player comes in but it's still balance. Also in two players mode, they could save each other using parry mechanism which enhance the importance of cooperation.


Two Characters, Cuphead and Mugman in the game

The Music

The music works very well in this game. It hears like an old movie or animation. People will feel very comfortable whenever they hear the music from the game. Also the sound effects in the game also work well. Whenever players get hurt, a sound feedback would come out to be a warning for guests. On the Switch, the joy-cons will shake whenever player get hurt which might be a more powerful feedback. And all these sound stuffs make this game feel better.



At last, I want to give you some hints for the bonus scene in this game.

1. Don't damage the Onion (The second boss in this battle) in the Vegetable Boss

2. Try to avoid Genie's scan ( which will happen before the last flag/stage in the battle) using the dash function


Enjoy and have fun!