Simply Cuphead + Review

SimplyCupheadByJTjr1930

Here’s Cuphead and his pal Mugman from the old timey, run and gun video game on PC and X-Box One.  This was a drawing I did during FantastiCon last September, but didn’t get around to coloring until after Inktober ended.

I am fan of Golden Age of animation (cartoons from 1928 to 1969), and really like the game was going for.  I admire the animation and scenery put into each level, taking pages from earlier Disney and Max Fleischer cartoons during the 1930s.  The gameplay was similar to older video games like Contra, with its side-scrolling, run and gun mechanics.  It also has that level of difficulty that older games have, specifically around the 1980s and 90s. In other words, be prepared to die… a lot. While the game has a few side scrolling levels, it mostly consists of boss fights with multiple forms, each one being harder (and sometimes scarier) than the last (Non-spoilers: Don’t aggravate any boats).  Though frustrating at times, there’s a sigh of relief after beating each boss/level. However, if there’s one thing that pulled me out of the experience, it related to the music.

While I like the jazz music and work put into each song by the recording studio (“Aviary Action” being one of my favorites), the quality felt too rich to be in something that mimicked the time period.  It felt like the original audio was lost when they discovered the cartoon, and the studio came in to recreate the music.  Luckily, there’s an audio filter you can unlock later in the game that lowers the music quality to sound more like the time period.

Overall, this is still a great game if you’re into the old school setting, both the cartoon visuals of the 1930s and level of challenge in video games from the 1980s and 90s. While it is difficult to beat, it is also a visually stunning game to look at (especially when watching someone else play), as well as a callback to the cartoons of yesteryear.

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