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1930s aesthetic draws players to ‘Cuphead’

Cuphead+challenges+players+with+run-n-gun+gameplay%2C
Cuphead challenges players with run-n-gun gameplay,

Cuphead challenges players with run-n-gun gameplay,

Courtesy Image

Courtesy Image

Cuphead challenges players with run-n-gun gameplay,

Louie Lopez, Staff Writer

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All video games use animations of some sort.

Art and video games go hand in hand, and while most indie-games tend to show homage to the renaissance of video games with pixelated artwork, Cuphead: Don’t Deal With The Devil, takes its homage to animation that came 50 years before the Nintendo Entertainment System 8-bit graphics of the 1980s.

Cuphead’s main appeal and marketing is based off its unique art style.

The game features a hand-drawn, 1930s Disney-cartoon style that was drawn on paper and scanned to a computer. All the backgrounds were hand painted in water color. The art style is accompanied by a wonderfully arranged soundtrack, which was recorded by a live-studio, big-band featuring jazz, ragtime, and other big-band tracks that give great authenticity to the 1930s cartoon aesthetic.

Cuphead was developed by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer and their studio: Studio MDHR. The game started development in 2010, was revealed in 2014 with an initial 2015 release window, and was delayed several times until its release on September 29th, 2017.

Cuphead is a 2D run-n-gun-based platformer and shooter. The game is based on local co-op between two players as the playable characters Cuphead and Mugman.

Gameplay is familiar to people who have played classic video games such as Megaman, Contra, or Metal Slug. Cuphead is centered around mainly boss fights with about 17 different bosses to fight.

Cuphead can be beaten in a day and it’s actual playtime length is relatively short, but the game is challenging – even experienced players.

Players who are inexperienced or are simply bad at video games will be putting in way more hours into the game as they experiment with boss attack patterns, weapon combinations, and replaying levels with friends or under the unlockable “Challenge Mode,” which makes the game exponentially harder.

There is a weapon system in which the player is able to unlock six different shot patterns, six different defensive items, and three super abilities. Most of these are unlocked with an in-game coin system. Coins are obtained while playing through run-n-gun levels. These levels are filled with enemies and platforming challenges with some mini bosses.

Cuphead is a great and challenging game, but it is not without it’s faults.

While playing through the Steam edition of the game, there are a pretty good amount of bugs and glitches that can be encountered. One of which couldn’t be fixed without just deleting and reinstalling the game.

Another argument that can be made is Cuphead would not have the same reception if it didn’t have its unique art style and soundtrack. The gameplay itself is average when compared to games like Megaman, as it was a popular genre during the 80s and 90s.

Many indie games, however, have tried to replicate this style but always seem to fall just a little bit too short or convolute things too much. This can be seen in games like Azure Striker Gunvolt or the infamous Mighty No. 9.

The simplicity of Cuphead is what makes it so engaging to people everywhere.

Cuphead is available to purchase for $20 on Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam.

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1930s aesthetic draws players to ‘Cuphead’