This Cup Runneth Over: Cuphead Review

Posted in Kulturecade by - October 20, 2017
This Cup Runneth Over: Cuphead Review

Cuphead is a great game. I could really end this review just at that. Cuphead is the best $20 game I have ever played, and the best $20 I’ve spent on anything this entire year. So this review is going to be a little bit different. I’m not going to do my normal breakdown, instead, I’m just gonna dive right in.

If you don’t know what the game is, it is a platformer with bullet hell levels that’s visuals are made to look like 1930’s rubber hose cartoon visuals. I wouldn’t blame you if you thought it was the next game in the Souls series right after the Crash N. Sane Trilogy, after reading some reviews. On a serious note, it is one of the tightest controlling platformers I have ever played. I would argue that its controls feel just as tight as the original Mega Man X.

You have a remappable button layout that includes jump, dash, shoot, lock, ex-shoot and switch weapon. My personal favorite layout was jump on A, dash on B, lock on LT, shoot on RT and ex-shoot on RB. It felt better this way and stopped my chubby fingers from hitting anything that I didn’t want.

Every run n gun level and regular boss level in this game feel great and unique. They all feel hard, but just the right amount of hard. No boss gets so crazy that your mind just can’t compute what’s going on. It’s all about memorizing patterns and reacting to them. The airplane levels on the other hand felt less fun. They weren’t bad by any means. No, they controlled just fine. The biggest problem with the airplane levels is that things felt more BS. Even with the shrink, you can react to a move as fast as all the other levels so it makes the planes feel more BS.

Also, the plane bosses tended to be more bullet-hell in a Touhou fashion than the other bosses. The designs for most of the plane bosses also fell short in comparison to the other ones. However, even the design of the airplane bosses are leagues above in creativity what most other games are putting out. I’ll say it again, the airplane levels aren’t bad at all, they just aren’t 100% up to snuff with the rest of the game. That is most of the time. I can think of a couple airplane levels and designs that I love.

None of the upgrades ever feel like they don’t have a place. Invincible dash helps out with so many bosses and makes the King Dice fight much easier. While auto parry makes getting the dice roll you want so much easier and helps out with bosses where you need to parry. Whetstone is essentially for pacifist runs and can even just allow you to bounce off some bosses. Coffee is great because faster super helps a lot with DPS. One HP up and two HP up are both a huge help in learning the patterns or getting through a tough boss. Each charm has a place, and it’s nice to see that no one charm gets left in the dust.

Different types of shots, however, are another story. Charge seems to ruin the game. It deals so much damage that you can just clean house with it so fast. It coupled with spread really sets you for the game. Charge gets rid of everything that’s far away and spread just kills any nearby ads that get up on you.

I will say that none of the different shot types felt bad, just charge and spread felt OP. Like I loved using roundabout for its Ex-shot, but I knew I was using the inferior shot type. You can still run whatever you want, and every different shot felt unique and fun.

The addition of couch co-op really made this game so much fun. I actually played with my roommate, and I’ll admit he carried me on a few bosses. As a Touhou player, he slaughtered some of the bosses that I would have trouble with. The revive system in co-op is fun and really adds some excitement to the game. Some of the hypest moments were when I or my roommate would get an off-screen revive. Our playthrough had a lot of “I got you”s. A real bonding experience. I’m happy that another game has couch co-op. Cuphead is a perfect order pizza and couch co-op game. I would know cause my roommate and I did that.

There are a few bugs in the game, but that is to be expected for a $20 game with a team of like three people. It still has way fewer bugs than any Bethesda game released in the last few years. You can bug out some bosses in co-op, like King Dice. This game is a masterpiece from its art style down to how it controls. The only reason it is not getting a 5/5 from me is that some of the bugs are “game-breaking”. By this I mean it makes the boss freak-out and just not do anything. It ruins the boss fight. All the other bugs are definitely liveable and still would have granted this game a 5/5. However, with one patch the game can be a 5/5, just not right now.

This post was written by
Comments are closed.