There's something to be said for making games difficult. Whether you're looking at the mountain of Souls-like games out there or nostalgia for the 'good old days' of gaming, there are crowds of people clamoring for games to be a little more complicated. The problem, though, is that the difficulty needs to be earned. Whether it's through an...[read more below]
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There's something to be said for making games difficult. Whether you're looking at the mountain of Souls-like games out there or nostalgia for the 'good old days' of gaming, there are crowds of people clamoring for games to be a little more complicated. The problem, though, is that the difficulty needs to be earned. Whether it's through an excellent atmosphere for an enriching experience, players want hard games to feel like they're worth the effort. For those who want to push themselves, Cuphead has a lot to offer.
Cuphead is a throwback in two different ways. The first, and perhaps the most obvious is in the art style. It puts you right in the middle of the kind of animation you'd find in the pre-WWII era, full of expressive characters and utter weirdness. At the same time, it's a throwback to the run-and-gun games like Mega Man, with both the difficulty and the simplicity that made those games such hits.
Conceptually, at least, this game is all about the boss fights. You do have to battle through stages to get to each boss. Real love and attention were given to what happens at the end of the level. Each fight is hard but fair, with players learning as they go. This game won't hold your hand, but it will teach you how to succeed if you are willing to try.
The graphics are what draw most players to Cuphead. The good news, at least, is that it's worth the price of admission. The game not only looks like an old cartoon but its also animated in such a way that you never leave the world. Bringing you as close as you're ever going to get to playing a cartoon and those who get particularly skilled at the game are going to find it hard to see where the animation ends and the gameplay begins.
The audio is also lovely here. The background music fits every scene and does a great job of making the game feel alive. The sound effects are likewise quite nice, helping to draw players into the game. The perfect marriage of visuals and audio makes this game one of the best available.
Cuphead definitely doesn't stumble when it comes to gameplay. A game that looks this good could probably get away with having a few stumbles, but the gameplay is as tight as it needs to be in a game that tries to provide some legitimate difficulty for skilled players. The hardest part of getting the hang of this game comes more from assumptions than anything else - slow and steady wins the game. Like so many other games that are known for difficulty, there's nothing unfair at all here. Players need to be patient in figuring out the key to defeating each boss. If you're looking for a fun challenge, Cuphead is hard to beat.
Cuphead is a fantastic game. The only real downside is that it isn't very long, but most players will have fun challenging themselves to get through the game again and again. Robust but balanced, this game makes a solid case for making games a little bit harder so that they feel more rewarding. Even if you aren't the type of player who typically goes after these tougher games, you'll still want to give this one a try.
Cuphead is a surprisingly tough shoot 'em up that leverages a great art style to create a unique world.
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