Xbox One Review: Cuphead

The 1930s cartoon-style shooter is finally here…

Cuphead is a side-scrolling platformer-shooter in which you play as Cuphead, who has lost a deal with the devil and you need to beat a number of bosses. The game is mostly boss-based, but there are levels that require a fair bit of platforming to reach the boss as well. You can also pay for new weapons, that is if you can actually finish the first few levels…which let me tell you, is no small matter.

Everything in the game is hand-drawn to look like it’s from the 1930s era of cartoons and it’s an incredibly pleasing visual experience. The game has to be one of the toughest of the year without question. You only get 3 hit points and no checkpoints…so you’ll be dying a lot. If you actually finish the game, I doth my cap….because there’s little chance of that happening to me. I got a fair bit through the game, but I know it’ll be a while before I’m really ready to overcome the challenges that await…

Cuphead is almost the Dark Souls of side-scrolling shooters….great fun, but relentlessly difficult. I cannot stress that enough, it’s quite misleading with the cartoon-style that makes it look like a game for kids…which makes me wish they had a less challenging difficulty mode for those less talented, but that aside, it’s hard to deny just how addictive the game can be as you try everything to beat a particular boss.

The game runs at a solid framerate throughout and looks amazing with its hand-drawn levels and characters. It also has a pretty catchy theme song as well as level songs that are so good that they even brought out a vinyl record of the soundtrack.

The Verdict

It’s taken a while to arrive, but finally, Cuphead is here. It’s tough as nails and will possibly make you want to buy a few extra controllers in case you destroy them in your rage, but it’s also impossible to put down. Let’s hope we get more games like this because this one is very special indeed.

Score: 9.0