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So I Tried... Cuphead

So I Tried... Cuphead

In each edition of So I Tried… we jump into a game we have never tried, and see what we think of it. Will it be something new to love? Something new we hate? I’ll give the title just under an hour to see if it is the game for me, no matter how bad it may be. I’m not usually into run-and-gun titles, being born into a gaming landscape where PlayStation was at the top of the world with its PlayStation 2, and Nintendo was about to release New Super Mario Bros. Nowadays, I’m more likely to play something a little more laid back or engage in a sprawling open world. Due to that, hard-as-heck run-and-guns never get so much of a glance from me, that is, until one gains accolades from what seems like every outlet in the industry and goes up against giants like The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn for 2017’s game of the year. However, after Cuphead amassed such colossal hype, can the beautifully animated indie’s quality stand up against the expectations all the awards have given it? Especially for someone who doesn’t particularly like these kinds of games?

What I thought it was

From the many, many articles and videos I have seen about this title, it looks to be a solid run-and-gun with a terrific art style that pays homage to the type of animation from the 1930s. Behind the initial charm, there seems to be loads of creative bosses along with charming 2D platforming levels that apparently add to the difficulty by throwing projectiles at the player every which way. While I don’t know how effective these are beyond what I’ve seen from them, I am more than prepared to try again and again until I eventually power through the mind-numbing challenge.

What it actually is

While I never succumbed to throwing my controller in a fit of rage, there were still some moments when I gripped my controller tighter than normal. Right out of the gate, the game puts you against Goopy Le Grande, a water-droplet-looking fellow who pummels the player with his boxing gloves and punishing body slams. He is the first boss, so conventional wisdom suggests that it should be easy, but that definitely didn’t apply here! Thankfully, all these colourful characters telegraph their attacks just enough so the player can prepare for an incoming attack. So with me only giving this game some of my time, the levels were at least easy enough for me to beat them with only a handful of tries. The art style and the fights also work in tandem to create an experience where the player has to pay attention nearly the entire time they’re engaged in a battle, never taking their eyes off the screen for a second. So yes, I would say this title did, in fact, give me an immense sense of satisfaction when I finally laid my enemy to rest. The music is great, too. That’s something I wasn’t prepared for going into this game. It also didn’t distract me at any point during my playthrough. To answer the question I asked above, I would say Cuphead deserves all its awards. I still wouldn’t seek out these games, as I need a break occasionally. But if I’m in the mood at some point, this title will be at the top of my replay list.

Will I keep playing?

With its gorgeous art style, tough but fair boss fights, and terrific music, I will definitely keep playing Cuphead. I still might need to play something else sometimes, though. As this game is better in short bursts for me, but don’t take that the wrong way. It’s just how I play videogames, and Cuphead is still a must-play. I can’t wait to hop back in and start blasting.

So I Tried
Jon Wilson

Jon Wilson

Staff Writer

Lover of dogs, video games, and Fall.

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