Review – Cuphead (PS4)

Cuphead returns once again, but as not The Delicious Last Course DLC expansion like everyone is waiting for, but as its first release for the Playstation 4. That’s right, after being available everywhere else for so long, including the Switch, Cuphead and Mugman finally make their Sony debut. After having been out since 2017, anyone who has been wanting to play Cuphead finally has the chance.

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You’ll get well acquainted with this screen.

Cuphead is a side-scrolling action-platformer with a primary focus on boss battles. After a day out at the casino, Cuphead and Mugman owe the devil their souls. In a barter to regain freedom from the horned one, the coffee-filled duo make their way across a handful of isles fighting anyone on the devil’s hit list. This ranges from a sentient boat, a crying potato, a dragon that turns into a hydra, and even a bee that eventually morphs into an aeroplane. It’s a wacky bunch of all-around memorable characters. One thing that makes this gaggle of bosses work, and really makes this whole game work all around, is its art style and music.

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I’m not even sure what these enemies are.

The art direction of Cuphead is similar to that of the early era of Disney and old Max Fleischer cartoons. Straight out of the 20’s, Steamboat Willie style. The music is there to match as well. Its collection of incredibly catchy jazz beats is easily one of the best soundtracks not only of an independent game, but of this entire generation as a whole. All around, Cuphead looks and sounds like a product that could have easily come out as a cartoon from nearly a hundred years ago, but plays and feels like one of the newest and the best games out there.

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It took me half an hour to beat a 1m 16s level.

One thing about Cuphead is the fact that it’s brutally difficult. Cuphead doesn’t care about your feelings: you’re given three health points and that’s all you have to take out the boss or the entire level. That is unless you use an accessory to bring it up to four, which doesn’t make things that much easier as you’d think.

You have many different accessories available, such as an auto-parry, a brief invincibility period for your dash, and so much more. You have the option to play whatever way works best for you. On top of all these, there are also a variety of weapons available. Some provide you with better range, others with higher damage, and so on. Again, at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference. It’s brutal but not unfair, and it lets you tinker your character to suit your favorite playstyle.

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Spooky scary.

Cuphead is one of a kind. Luckily, this one of a kind game is now available on all current gen consoles. Not that that means much for much longer. With more content coming eventually as well, it couldn’t be a better time to get into such a unique game. Cuphead is brutally difficult and incredibly rewarding to play, and plays very smoothly on PS4. Each of the levels only last a couple minutes, and the actual scrolling levels are far harder than any of the boss stages included in here. If you have the chance, pick this one up. If you’re a gamer, you shouldn’t have any excuse of it not being available to you any longer. 

 

Graphics: 9.0

Cuphead is a beautiful game that absolutely nails the 1920s Disney and Max Fleischer look.

Gameplay: 9.5

There are very few games that feel as genuinely rewarding and fair for how difficult they are. Learning a bosses pattern is the only key to success.

Sound: 9.5

Cuphead has one of the catchiest soundtracks in recent memory, and while it may not be Fantasia levels of memorable, it’s a treat to listen to

Fun Factor: 10

Cuphead is as brutal is it is rewarding. The devil will never make your life easy, but show him hes wrong and take the fight to him.

Final Verdict: 9.5

Cuphead is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Reviewed on PlayStation 4.

A copy of Cuphead was provided by the publisher.