Cuphead has been previewed a few times by a host of outlets by now, so I am sure you already know everything that you need to about this crazy insane indie game. It is a boss rush only platformer that has a 1930s animation aesthetic, and it is punishingly difficult. These points are well-established at this point.
What I want to press in this impression is just how absolutely gorgeous this game is! I cannot put into words how much that hand drawn animation style just draws you into the experience. Game creators and brothers Chad and Jared Modenhauer have painstakingly recreated the nuances of that style of animation. The bouncy movement of the characters just hone into everything that makes watching an old Popeye or Mickey Mouse (think Steamboat Willie) so incredibly special. It is a concentration on the exaggerations of movement that sell the bygone era this game so perfectly recreates.
And yet not only is the game gorgeously rendered, it comes at the silkiest of smooth framerates. As I take out a giant yam spitting projectiles of hunks of dirt and worms in my general direction, and the fight transitions into a massive carrot with telekinetic powers, I know that I have no one to blame but myself if I am hit by one of the many oncoming pieces of violent debris. Wait too long and you will feel like you are in the worst type of bullet hell game as the amount of on screen threats grows rapidly. But the game’s perfect framerate allows you to see the nuanced movement shift in the boss that telegraphs an oncoming swarm of projectiles and the like. Though I was unable to kill any boss in my time with the game, I just wanted to keep coming back to it because I knew that if given enough time, I’m sure I could destroy each carrot, dragon, queen bee, and all of the other imaginative bosses Studio MDHR has in their onslaught.
If you have any interest in unique games with beautiful art, Cuphead has to be on your radar. There is nothing like it on the market, and the experience you will have with it will be aptly unique. This is a must play and I can’t wait until it finally comes to the Xbox One!
Cuphead will be released sometime in 2016 via the Xbox One ID@Xbox program.
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