So Cuphead then

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

When I was a kid I never got into the action shooter games like Contra, or R-Type. I did have those games for my consoles and I played them, but they were always frustratingly hard for me. I think Contra I outright gave up on and R-type I got fairly far into it as it came out when I was a bit older and better at being less stupid in a game. (not in real life though, boy I was/am stupid)

As I got older and into the PSX-era and beyond I moved away from games like that in general. Yet here we are in 2017 and I am about to talk about Cuphead, a boss rush action shooter.

First I suppose we will get the obvious out of the way. Cuphead is a beautiful game, take the 1930's era cartoons and colorize them in vivid but still stylized dull colors and you have a wonderful looking game. I shit you not my 83-year-old Grandma saw me playing this game and she said, "Oh I remember this cartoon." Which made me laugh and then she actually sat down and watched me play. Grandma even caught onto what was happening and would yell at me to watch the bullet, or jump over the thing, hit the pink one, etc.

It was a blast, as I never saw her ever sit and watch something I played like that. I offered to let her join in and play with me, but she said she could never do it with her bad thumbs so she just watched.

Everything about the ascetic of the game is perfect. The animation, the art styles, the music, the grainy degradation film effect over the whole game, it's all just wonderful.

But sadly Cuphead doesn't play as perfectly as it looks. Don't get me wrong, the controls are pretty tight for the boss rush levels, but they don't feel quite tight enough for the platforming levels. Everything just is a little oddly spaced and aiming can be weird on levels that have slopes. As I understand it, the game was never meant to have the platforming levels and was literally supposed to only have bosses, and I can see why.

The bosses themselves are very creative and a lot of fun once you get a handle on what's happening. The game isn't Dark Souls hard, but it is hard enough that most bosses will take you several tries to get through. Each boss goes through at least three phases, all with different looks and different attacks. Every boss is incredibly well designed to be challenging and fresh each time. You'll never approach a new boss and see patterns or attacks from previous bosses (except the ending), and that's a huge accomplishment imo for a game like this.

I do have a couple of core complaints though. First off, the weapon variety just sucks. My starting weapon by far felt the best most comfortable and most damaging weapon in the game. Every weapon seems to be a side grade if nothing else, like they all have different damage levels, different ranges, different arcs, but ultimately they all average out to do the same overall damage over a period of time. I guess it's fine, but it meant that I never felt stronger as I got through the game. Instead I just felt better at dodging and mechanics, which might be enough for some people, but it felt a bit weak to me.

Additionally there is no indication of how much damage you are actually doing during a fight, which I think adds to the weapon issue. Bosses have no visible health meter, nor do they gain any visible damage upon them to show the player that whatever they are doing is working. You won't know you are winning a given phase until the boss changes phases or dies. However when you die there is a progress bar that shows you how close to the end of the fight you are, but this makes the game feel like your damage and weapons don't matter and all you need to do is survive to win. Looking at it now, I guess that is exactly the point, just by living you will get through the game and dealing damage just seems like a secondary thing to keep you busy between dodges.

Despite that, Cuphead is definitely carried by it's graphically style. If you like bullet-hell games, side scrolling shooters, and platformers, you will like Cuphead. Plain and simple.

Skimmed through the OP really fast, and yeah, I take issue with not knowing how much damage I'm doing to the bosses or if I'm doing ANY DAMAGE at all. It's too hard for me. I didn't think it would have so many more bosses than levels. I wanted a sidescroller from this. It looks and sounds good, but I'm not happy with it.

Aesthetically, it's a beautiful game with some downright impressive animation work. I fully admit to dying many times just because I wanted to watch the full sequences of attacks being directed my way.

That said, and it pains me to type this, but the combat is unsatisfying and the platforming feels off.

- Combat: Enemy hitboxes feel inconsistent. Your projectiles will fly right over something a few pixels below you if you're on a slope. The screen gets cluttered pretty easily. Your attacks either pop standard mooks in one shot or you run into a bullet sponge that you have to whittle down while being swarmed. Basically, your attacks feel like shit. Lastly, and this all subjective, but this bugs me the most...some bosses will just corner you and there's jackshit that you can do to avoid damage. Poor positioning on my part? Probably. Stomping the boss with no damage taken on a retry by doing the same thing? Feels somewhat luck-based how aggressive bosses get.

- Platforming: Run, jump, dash. It's very rudimentary and movement (Something which you'll be doing a lot of) is functional if boring. The stages feel like filler levels to gate progress to the next boss. Which I wouldn't mind, but levels aren't too memorable.

I wouldn't call this game difficult in the traditional mechanical sense, but I would consider it cheap. (A health bar for the bosses wouldn't hurt.)

They Bleed Pixels blended combat and challenge better. Rabi-Ribi did challenging bosses better.
Hollow Knight did exploration, replay-value and combat better, it also helps that the aesthetics didn't hinder the gameplay.

Maybe it's not my cup of tea. But all I could think of after dropping it was how much more engaging Hollow Knight was.

Haven't played it yet but the biggest gripe I've seen is the screen gets obscured by what SHOULD be background scenery. Palm trees in the dessert boss level, the rain in the dragon sky level. Too often I'll see a streamer just die cause they missed the platform or just straight up could'nt see where cuphead is cause of the foreground scenery. Keep it in the background where it belongs.

This was one of the few games that piqued my interest within the past couple of years, for the art style alone, and from what I've seen it IS indeed beautifully done, but when I found out it was a boss rush game, ugh... disappointed. It just seems like a waste to put that much effort into aesthetics when the gameplay is just constant chaos and the player can't really appreciate it? I might watch a playthrough so I can take it all in, but I won't be buying it. Boss rushes aren't my bag.

CritialGaming:
Additionally there is no indication of how much damage you are actually doing during a fight, which I think adds to the weapon issue. Bosses have no visible health meter, nor do they gain any visible damage upon them to show the player that whatever they are doing is working. You won't know you are winning a given phase until the boss changes phases or dies.

On your first try, yes, but your super meter increases similarly each time, and so you can evaluate how far you go. Then again the Knockout is a surprise more often than not.

There is a bit of annoying RNG involved, otherwise I like it for the gameplay as well as the aesthetics.

Game's too hard. It says to dash but he doesn't jump high enough to get over the pillar.

I hate to say it, but I am really not surprised by this turning out to be mediocre aside from the graphics. MS really has managed to shit the bed with EVERYTHING they hyped around the launch of the Bone.

Drathnoxis:
Game's too hard. It says to dash but he doesn't jump high enough to get over the pillar.

Oh you. That was such a sad attempt of gaming to watch on par with polygon and DOOM.

I just finished it yesterday and I am so happy I bought. One of the greatest games I ever played.
It had the perfect balance of difficulty for my taste which made me to try again and again just to pass one boss.
Sure, you will die at first because you don't know how a Boss act first, but with the quick reload and the small time you need to finish a stage [top 3 minutes most stages], vreate an addiction to keep going until the very end.
For that reason I finished it in 2 days, 9 hours total. Perfect punishing addictive game.

Ezekiel:
I didn't think it would have so many more bosses than levels.

There's a reason for that. The game started as a boss rush, only after the initial audience response at E3, developers decided to put in some run n' gun/platforming levels.

Yeah. I tried it, and the difficulty is off-putting. This is especially true when you've already seen everything there is in an encounter (whether that's a boss or a stage) and you just need to avoid/tank enough damage for it to actually end.

I cleared the first world, but after that, I decided to heck with it and just watched the rest of the bosses on Youtube.
Better one hour of entertainment vs 8 hours of drudgery just to see some cool animation.

CritialGaming:
I do have a couple of core complaints though. First off, the weapon variety just sucks. My starting weapon by far felt the best most comfortable and most damaging weapon in the game. Every weapon seems to be a side grade if nothing else, like they all have different damage levels, different ranges, different arcs, but ultimately they all average out to do the same overall damage over a period of time.

Now this is not true. The homing shot does notably less damage even if they can keep hitting a target consistently where other weapons cannot, and the lob shot and charge shot both beat the normal shot in a straight DPS race.

CritialGaming:
I guess it's fine, but it meant that I never felt stronger as I got through the game. Instead I just felt better at dodging and mechanics, which might be enough for some people, but it felt a bit weak to me.

This is a personal opinion, but i prefer knowing im getting better at a game to knowing that my stats mean i should be better at this point in the game.

CritialGaming:
Additionally there is no indication of how much damage you are actually doing during a fight, which I think adds to the weapon issue. Bosses have no visible health meter, nor do they gain any visible damage upon them to show the player that whatever they are doing is working. You won't know you are winning a given phase until the boss changes phases or dies.

Ezekiel:
I take issue with not knowing how much damage I'm doing to the bosses or if I'm doing ANY DAMAGE at all.

Watch your super meter. Its a pretty reliable indicator for how much damage youre doing. e.g. this boss transitions phases after i do 2 meters worth of damage to it.

Deadguy2322:
MS really has managed to shit the bed with EVERYTHING they hyped around the launch of the Bone.

Microsoft is not the publisher. The studio self published Cuphead and there is no indication they have any actual ties to Microsoft beyond their E3 stage debut.

Drathnoxis:
Game's too hard. It says to dash but he doesn't jump high enough to get over the pillar.

git gud

Drathnoxis:
Game's too hard. It says to dash but he doesn't jump high enough to get over the pillar.

It seems a lot of people is having difficulty with that part. How weird...

gigastar:

CritialGaming:
I do have a couple of core complaints though. First off, the weapon variety just sucks. My starting weapon by far felt the best most comfortable and most damaging weapon in the game. Every weapon seems to be a side grade if nothing else, like they all have different damage levels, different ranges, different arcs, but ultimately they all average out to do the same overall damage over a period of time.

Now this is not true. The homing shot does notably less damage even if they can keep hitting a target consistently where other weapons cannot, and the lob shot and charge shot both beat the normal shot in a straight DPS race.

CritialGaming:
I guess it's fine, but it meant that I never felt stronger as I got through the game. Instead I just felt better at dodging and mechanics, which might be enough for some people, but it felt a bit weak to me.

This is a personal opinion, but i prefer knowing im getting better at a game to knowing that my stats mean i should be better at this point in the game.

CritialGaming:
Additionally there is no indication of how much damage you are actually doing during a fight, which I think adds to the weapon issue. Bosses have no visible health meter, nor do they gain any visible damage upon them to show the player that whatever they are doing is working. You won't know you are winning a given phase until the boss changes phases or dies.

Ezekiel:
I take issue with not knowing how much damage I'm doing to the bosses or if I'm doing ANY DAMAGE at all.

Watch your super meter. Its a pretty reliable indicator for how much damage youre doing. e.g. this boss transitions phases after i do 2 meters worth of damage to it.

Deadguy2322:
MS really has managed to shit the bed with EVERYTHING they hyped around the launch of the Bone.

Microsoft is not the publisher. The studio self published Cuphead and there is no indication they have any actual ties to Microsoft beyond their E3 stage debut.

Drathnoxis:
Game's too hard. It says to dash but he doesn't jump high enough to get over the pillar.

git gud

I said MS hyped it, not that they made it. Not that it matters, since they helped finance it and it is a Boner exclusive.

Deadguy2322:

I said MS hyped it, not that they made it. Not that it matters, since they helped finance it and it is a Boner exclusive.

Boner! OMG That's fucking great! Can I use that when talking about the Xbox One? Please?

Also it's on PC too, so you don't have to deal with Boner's bullshit if you don't wanna.

Thanks for the link in the future @gigastar

Deadguy2322:

gigastar:

Deadguy2322:
MS really has managed to shit the bed with EVERYTHING they hyped around the launch of the Bone.

Microsoft is not the publisher. The studio self published Cuphead and there is no indication they have any actual ties to Microsoft beyond their E3 stage debut.

I said MS hyped it, not that they made it. Not that it matters, since they helped finance it and it is a Boner exclusive.

image

Just kidding, im doing both by the time youre reading this.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/268910/Cuphead/

gigastar:

Deadguy2322:

gigastar:

Microsoft is not the publisher. The studio self published Cuphead and there is no indication they have any actual ties to Microsoft beyond their E3 stage debut.

I said MS hyped it, not that they made it. Not that it matters, since they helped finance it and it is a Boner exclusive.

image

Just kidding, im doing both by the time youre reading this.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/268910/Cuphead/

Console exclusive. Nobody gives a shit about PC.

Deadguy2322:
Nobody gives a shit about PC.

Youre on the site that gave birth to this meme;
image

And you think nobody around here gives a shit about the only gaming platform thats not stagnating at the moment?

Oh wait, yes, youre new.

Deadguy2322:


Console exclusive. Nobody gives a shit about PC.

Well, aren't you a delight.

It's a great game and I for one really appreciate, like A LOT, the fact that no enemies show any sign of taking damage until they go puff. This lets this game be really small children friendly (while retaining grim story and adorable theme) and given it requires fair ammount of practice it is an absolutely awsome game to play with your kids togeather. It has enough challange to not be a boring chore to a parent but isn't a brick wall to face plant into for a 3 yo. Sure they may not finish most of the stages but the fun is there to them regardless.

it's the dark souls of videogames

CritialGaming:

Deadguy2322:

I said MS hyped it, not that they made it. Not that it matters, since they helped finance it and it is a Boner exclusive.

Boner! OMG That's fucking great! Can I use that when talking about the Xbox One? Please?

Also it's on PC too, so you don't have to deal with Boner's bullshit if you don't wanna.

Thanks for the link in the future @gigastar

the correct nomenclature is 'xbone', I'll have you know, and the people staning for it are called 'xboners'

get it rite dood

Looks really pretty, but I've never gotten into run 'n gun games like Contra or Gunstar Heroes. Might pick it up if it gets a big discount sometimes, but for now: pass.

MC1980:
it's the dark souls of videogames

Can't wait for it to grow a fanbase of lovely people with more time than sense to tell everyone to 'git gud, scrub'.

There probably already are.

Chimpzy:
Looks really pretty, but I've never gotten into run 'n gun games like Contra or Gunstar Heroes. Might pick it up if it gets a big discount sometimes, but for now: pass.

MC1980:
it's the dark souls of videogames

Can't wait for it to grow a fanbase of lovely people with more time than sense to tell everyone to 'git gud, scrub'.

There probably already are.

It's already at 33% (19.99 tag) of 'standard' 'tipple eeEeeh?' game price (59.99) these days.

Jamcie Kerbizz:

Chimpzy:
snip

It's already at 33% (19.99 tag) of 'standard' 'tipple eeEeeh?' game price (59.99) these days.

Doesn't matter. It's too low on the priority list to consider a full price purchase.

Chimpzy:

Jamcie Kerbizz:

Chimpzy:
snip

It's already at 33% (19.99 tag) of 'standard' 'tipple eeEeeh?' game price (59.99) these days.

Doesn't matter. It's too low on the priority list to consider a full price purchase.

Sure, I can definetly relate to that. Just ment it as a heads up on actual price, the 3 guys that coded this game, put it up for.

Yeah, toss me in the "Graphics are aesthetically awesome, but kind of overpower the gameplay in bad ways" camp.

Other then clutter, which folks have mentioned. The main indicator of a hit is a brief flicker. But everything has a film grain/flicker over it to give it the old timey vibe, which can start to overlap fast. You can pick it out obviously, but its one more obscuring bit on the flurry of stuff on screen at any given time.

I would like a skip button for the boss fights.

Potjeslatinist:
I would like a skip button for the boss fights.

image

That said: sure, why not? I like the art style, and would like to see more of it.

altnameJag:

Potjeslatinist:
I would like a skip button for the boss fights.

image

That said: sure, why not? I like the art style, and would like to see more of it.

My wife loves Max Fleischer type cartoons, but there is no way on god's green earth she has the skill, nor the time and patience to a acquire them, to last more than a few seconds. That sadly means she's relegated to sitting and watching, rather than getting to take part.

I'm having a lot of fun with it myself though.

I'll get it when it comes to the PS4 as part of some indie bundle. No way I'd pay full price for that, let alone on Steam or go out and get a Xbone.

Silentpony:
I'll get it when it comes to the PS4 as part of some indie bundle. No way I'd pay full price for that, let alone on Steam or go out and get a Xbone.

You consider 20 bucks full price? I mean your cash value is your cash value, but I feel like 20 is a more than fair price for the game and don't understand the "wait for a sale" folks. I'd understand if it was 30+ bucks, but 20 is perfect imo for what you get.

CritialGaming:

Silentpony:
I'll get it when it comes to the PS4 as part of some indie bundle. No way I'd pay full price for that, let alone on Steam or go out and get a Xbone.

You consider 20 bucks full price? I mean your cash value is your cash value, but I feel like 20 is a more than fair price for the game and don't understand the "wait for a sale" folks. I'd understand if it was 30+ bucks, but 20 is perfect imo for what you get.

I don't pay full price across the board. $80, $60, $20 whatever. I never believe any game can justify its retail price.

Silentpony:

CritialGaming:

Silentpony:
I'll get it when it comes to the PS4 as part of some indie bundle. No way I'd pay full price for that, let alone on Steam or go out and get a Xbone.

You consider 20 bucks full price? I mean your cash value is your cash value, but I feel like 20 is a more than fair price for the game and don't understand the "wait for a sale" folks. I'd understand if it was 30+ bucks, but 20 is perfect imo for what you get.

I don't pay full price across the board. $80, $60, $20 whatever. I never believe any game can justify its retail price.

I.....uh...what...? Dude I...err...I feel like that is...Wait. What? Okay hold up. What does a game need to do to justify a specific price?

For example how cheap does a 60 dollar title need to get to be "justified"? 40? 20? Like what quantifiers do you use to determine when a game is worth your money?

I mean Cuphead is a 14 hour experience by the time the average person gets through it. And a movie would cost about the same price for only 2 hours of experience. So that is how I sort of measure value over time.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here