I love Action games, let’s start by that. I also love Run N’ Gun games, one of my favorites being the Metal Slug series. So, when Cuphead was announced, I literally lost my everything and wanted to play it from the get go. This was around the time I began writing as a journalist for another outlet called Gamerspack. I still look at that piece with watery eyes of pride, believe it or not.
Cuphead’s Aesthetic brings you back to the 30’s
I’ll start the review by saying that Cuphead must be one of the most influential works of art I’ve seen. I love the amount of effort, love and care that Studio MDHR has put into the graphics. The aesthetic value of this game alone should be a great selling point for many people. This also applies to the soundtrack, because I love how great the game is in terms of the music you listen to.
Cuphead seems like a game from 81 years ago. Not because it’s bad, but because it imitates the aesthetic of the 30’s animation days so well. You will never see a game that’s been drawn so well, or animated incredibly for that matter. It does feel like I’m playing through a Max Fleischer short.
The music of the game keeps things active and moving, the jazzy beats and even salsa music gets your blood pumping while you shoot deadly water to your enemies. At first, I thought I would be bored by it. However, it turns out that the game’s music is pretty good, I could stare at the Title Screen while listening to that sweet quartet singing Cuphead’s theme song.
The King Dice theme song is one of the best Jazz songs I have heard in a while. Its composition is incredible and makes you stay in stages just to hear the soundtrack. The tutorial stage music is also worth listening to because the piano is used so well. There is also Run & Gun Stage 1 and Boopy Le Grande’s theme. Every song in the game brings the best aspects of 30’s animation magnificently.
Story: Don’t Deal With the Devil
Cuphead’s gameplay can be summed up as a game that has 2 different kinds of stages. The Run & gun stages which is basically being swarmed by enemies from almost every angle and the objective is to get to the end of the stage. And The Boss Stages, which are the meat of the game because you’ll be fighting various boss fights that enter different phases and exhibit various behaviors.
The story of Cuphead is about how the main character of the game named Cuphead finds himself in a pickle alongside his companion Mugman. The two were innocent fellas’ that did nearly no wrong. However, they entered King Dice’s Casino and started betting. Thanks to their outstanding luck, they almost won the riches of the Casino.
Enter The Devil, King Dice’s boss and very evil looking guy. The Devil offers Cuphead one more dice roll game. If he wins, He keeps the Casino for himself. Should he lose and The Devil will take his and Mugman’s souls. Mugman knew this wouldn’t end well, but despite his warnings. Cuphead participates and loses the bet. Asking for another method of repayment, The Devil sends Cuphead and Mugman off to get Soul Contracts of his debtors. Which lead to Run & Gun stages and Boss fight stages.
Gameplay: Run & Gun and Destroy Sluggers
The Run & Gun stages are sidescrolling platformers with the Run & Gun challenge sprinkled into them. I feel that the two connect pretty well and that the amount of challenge you get for each stage is just right. There are a few problems that come to mind when it comes to these stages however. Mainly the fact that you don’t get as many Run & Gun stages as you might like. In fact, you only get 2 per world.
This makes me feel like the Run & Gun stages were more of an afterthought than anything. I would’ve loved it if we kept every boss with their own Run & Gun stage. However, that kind of dream would require the main character to have 6 HP from the get go because, admittedly. It would be hard for the casual player to get through a lot of the stages.
The Boss Stages are pretty much the game you’ll be playing 80% of the time, for better and for worse. Boss fights themselves are all about learning patterns. Even though it feels at first that the enemies are unfair, you’ll notice that a lot of the attacks the bosses do have a windup to them. Boopy Le Grande for example, he always moves back a little bit before throwing a punch or his face at you.
It’s not that hard to notice the patterns bosses have. However, this doesn’t make the game less challenging. Because you also have to continuously shoot at the enemies until you get a Knockout. The best way you can do this is by paying attention to your surroundings and leading the attack.
Downsides: The Lackluster Parry system.
Cuphead is a challenging game that deserves respect by many. However, I don’t find it to be as difficult as many Youtubers have led me to believe. However, there is still some challenge that requires mechanical and reflexive skills in order to beat it. With that said, I don’t think the game’s difficulty will be good for any player who likes simple and easy games.
There’s also the Parry system, which is one of my major turnoffs about the game. See, the game counts your HP, Super Abilities and Time to give you a ranking. However, to get the best rank you need to get 3 parries or more successfully. You make a parry when you hit the jump button at the same time as you hit a Pink colored projectile.
I’m sorry, but I think the parries could’ve been integrated better as a core mechanic. Allow the players to parry every single incoming attack. Much like with Okinawa Rush, make the challenge be how well your timing is to parry the attacks. Instead of having to search for that pink projectile in order to go and parry it and more often than not. Lose 1 HP because you got hit by something else that you didn’t see coming because you were focusing on the pink projectile.
However, these are some minor complaints compared to the amount of love I have to Cuphead and its core mechanics. With powerups that can give you different sorts of projectiles, this game gives you ample time to experiment with all sorts of wacky combinations. The replay value is off the charts with the amount of stuff you can buy and experiment with.
Conclusions: The best starting point for Run & Gun players.
Cuphead is a challenge. However, I’d say that the challenge amounts to playing Metal Slug 7’s Combat Training mode with Fio. You’ll get a Heavy Machine Gun from the get go and it has unlimited ammo. So, it becomes a game of holding the button to kill most enemies. However, you can’t be too reckless or you’ll end up dead and will have to start all over again.
I also want to talk about how incredibly well the game plays. With a few exceptions, Cuphead controls beautifully in a 2D environment with an analog stick. There are a few times where the game doesn’t register my inputs or has me doing parries and getting damaged at the same time. However, these occasions are a few and far between and minor inconveniences that at worst can make you lose 1 HP.
With that said, I recommend this game to people who want to give the Run & Gun platformer genre a shot. This is going to be a great introduction experience for players of this sort of game. And it will be a great learning experience for gamers that want to become better at shooters in general. Even when a blackout happened on my house and I had to play the game all over again, I didn’t care because at no point am I ever bored with Cuphead’s challenge.
As Disney Speedstorm Ends, Arendelle Hits PS5, PS4
Disney Speedstorm, Gameloft’s free-to-play kart racer, will enter its latest season with a wintery backdrop of Arendelle. Let It Go will add Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, and Hans as racers. As always, they’ll have unique moves and abilities.
Oaken and other musical movie crew members will be unlocked, along with a new Golden Pass. After fan feedback, the developer is rebalancing this aspect of the release so you can progress faster and unlock more rewards.
The developer also announced on Twitter that it’s lowering in-game shop prices starting today, and if you’ve paid for microtransactions, you’ll get a big payout. The French studio appears to be betting on this season’s success.
Adding non-Frozen characters Oswald, Ortensia, and WALL-E could also help. A comprehensive game update should bring back lapsed players and attract new ones. Will you challenge the kart racer?
New Destiny 2 Microtransaction Is Bad Bungie Removed It from PS5, PS4
Bungie has pulled a contentious $15 starter pack from Season of the Wish, which launched yesterday. The pack had a poor selection and was marketed to new players, which the community strongly opposed.
The starter pack proudly stated that players could “experience the power of build-defining Exotic weapons by instantly unlocking three of Destiny 2’s finest: Traveler’s Chosen, Ruinous Effigy, and Sleeper Simulant.” An exotic ship, a sparrow, a ghost shell, 125,000 glimmer, 50 enhancement cores, five enhancement prisms, and one ascendant shard are also included.
This offering may seem harmless to a new player, but Forbes’ Paul Tassi says, “You sort of have to be a Destiny 2 player to understand what an outrageously bad deal this is.” The Forsaken Pack, another Bungie release, includes two dozen Exotics, a dungeon, and a raid. It cost $20 and is now $5. It looks bad, from what we can tell.
Guardians retaliated with negative Steam reviews. They orchestrated the DLC page to include “Capitalism,” “Crime,” and “Psychological Horror” user tags, which is funny.
After Bungie pulled the pack, Redditor Grizz3d summarized the community response: “I don’t get how that starter pack was approved. What part of stealing from new players wasn’t going to result in community outrage? Bungie’s disconnect with players is shocking. I’m glad you got rid of the pack, but it’s disappointing that Bungie thought it was a good idea.”
This follows the Witcher 3 crossover armour sets, which look great but are expensive. Sony’s independent live service outpost is in danger due to a delayed expansion and studio layoffs.
PlayStation planted over 500,000 trees last year
Sony announced last year that it would plant trees for Horizon Forbidden West PlayStation fans who unlocked a simple trophy in the open-world game. This, in partnership with several charities, sought to protect the global environment and biodiversity.
Over a year later, it released a trailer showing its progress. The company has planted 600,000 trees worldwide, restoring 1,800 acres. More importantly, the gaming industry has planted 2.5 million trees worldwide.
Gaming is fun, but we must protect our world. Sony has taken steps to be more environmentally friendly, such as adding energy-saving features to the PS5 and shipping all its products in fully recyclable packaging.
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