Overall score 90

The classic Walt Disney animation inspired Cuphead is out now on PC and Xbox One as a console exclusive. Initially introduced in 2014 to rave reception, the 1930s cartoons inspired title is going to go down in history as one of the most memorable Microsoft games in the history of it’s gaming division for it’s tough gameplay, ost, animation, and story.

Cuphead is a 2017 run and gun platformer it is developed & published by Studio MDHR under partnership with Microsoft Studios, it is currently available on PC and exclusively on Xbox One for console.

Editor’s Note: An Xbox One/Windows 10 PC review copy (PC review coming later) was provided by Microsoft Studios.

Since it was first revealed way back at E3 2014 Cuphead amazed audiences with it’s classic Walt Disney Animation/1930s cartoons art style, it’s run and gun gameplay, and old school co-op feel. Sometime later when the game became playable on press event show floors, we began to understand a little more about how Cuphead works and plays, and it’s difficult, not insanely difficult mind you, but it will have you perhaps smashing a controller or two in rage, but the defeat of a boss which took well over 30 minutes of attempts and tries is so satisfying that the anger inducing losses of old quickly becomes an afterthought.

Bosses in Cuphead can often times have several phases before defeat, with each phase the odds of death increase.

THE GOOD: Upon booting up Cuphead you’ll be hooked by it’s unique aesthetic alone, as mentioned previously it’s art takes heavy inspiration from old school Walt Disney Animation & cartoons of the 1930s. Funnily enough, I talked to some people who mistook Cuphead as a new Mickey Mouse game the similarities in art were that damn realistic, so it’s kind of awe-inspiring. Cuphead’s level map is designed like an action-RPG overhead map which titular lead Cuphead travels across as players choose the level to perform or an NPC to interact with. As you beat each main level a new part of the map opens up to further advance the story.

A new IP to launch a hopefully long list of exclusive console content for Microsoft and the Xbox One.

Gameplay is a mix between run and gun, platforming, and aerial combat throughout out most of the boss fights. Eventually during a boss fight you’ll come across a colored attack to parry so Cuphead (and Mugman) can gain a charge for their special attacks to deal a huge amount of damage. The sound of Cuphead’s ost is the classical cartoon silliness of old and the levels feature backdrops that are either still or have very little animation and movement with the characters in the background.

While most levels are just straight to the boss some are strictly platform based.

THE BAD: It can be a tad difficult, but it’ll mostly be the players fault rather than the game’s. There’s also a rare health glitch for some enemies where it takes longer to kill a basic enemy than usual.

An amazing homage to classic animation and run and gun games.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Cuphead is a new IP that will be talked about for a long, long time due to it’s design, difficulty, and addicting gameplay. Though you’ll find yourself more often than not, beating a boss after facing it for well over 30+ minutes will be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have.






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