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Remember the good old cartoons from the 30’s? Those huge heads, wide eyes and fidgety moves accompanied by a brisk jazz soundtrack? The fashion for vintage animation is back and Cuphead is the game that takes it to a brand new level! With every frame hand-drawn with great precision and fondness for the original style of the epoch, you can get an amazing aesthetic experience simply by looking at the screen. But the most fascinating part is still waiting ahead. Despite its cute appearance, the game is terribly hard, even on early levels. If you aren’t afraid of challenges and have a couple of spare controls in store, welcome to this freaky virtual adventure!
Your cup of tea
So, who is this Cuphead? As the story goes, we play for a jolly fellow with a china mug in place of his head who is always up for something. This time, he ended up in a diabolic casino where he won a hefty sum of money. Excited by the winning streak, he agreed to play with the Devil himself betting his soul against all of his treasures. But, surely, he lost and now, to avoid a sad outcome, he has to collect the souls of other unfortunate creatures who ran into debt with the Devil. To do that, you will travel across a wide variety of crazy locations with platforming challenges and intense boss fights. There are a total of 28 levels, each featuring an insanely tough boss to beat. The bosses vary from aggressive veggies shooting dirt and sprouts to fat clowns blowing up balloon monsters to go for you. Each boss has their own means of killing you, with randomized attack to make their moves hard to predict. So you’ll have to stay focus every second of the game and watch everything that happens on the screen very closely. It will probably take you a good dozen of tries to get past some enemies until you can eventually go up against the final boss and win your soul back.
Aside from the boss-featuring levels, there are also much less challenging run and gun locations where you simply need to get to the end of the level collecting gold coins. Those are needed to purchase new weapons and abilities that will better equip your character against the multiple dangers he is going to face. There are two types of attack you can switch between, one special attack you have to choose from the three available and an additional charm enhancing a certain parameter. For instance, there are items increasing your health or giving you the ability to avoid damage by dashing. Finding the right set of perks to arm your hero with is just as fun as using them in the battle! And even though completing all 28 levels is extremely daring, it can be done easily with a proper combination of attacks and skills!
Team up with a buddy!
For those who prefer cooperative playthrough, there is local co-op mode available. In this version of the story, Cuphead will be accompanied by his brother Mugman who looks just the same accept being a different color. Bringing along a friend can be quite helpful in get past the particularly difficult parts, but it also can be a lot of annoyance since you only have one screen to share. Lack of place is made up for by one quite useful ability to revive your fellow soldier by parrying his soul before it moves on to a better place – that is, the top of the screen. Meanwhile, there is no online version of co-op, but developers promise to add it any moment now. Well, let’s use that time getting a better hang of our platforming skills and learning all the nuances of Cuphead to be ready when the much-awaited update launches!