Everybody loves cartoons; it’s a fact. Children watch Looney Toons and Mickey Mouse, or superhero shows. As people get older, they tune into slightly more adult-oriented fare, but the love for animation remains. It just transitions into such shows as South Park, Bob’s Burgers, or F is for Family.
The medium, while not always utilised in video-games, does wonders for how a game holds up over time. The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, a cel-shaded Gamecube release, still looks good. The Okami remaster, with its shifting water-color layer and originally on the PlayStation 2, is similar. There’s a “newer” game that has used older animation as its aesthetic to great effect, and is finally available for whatever system you prefer, because Cuphead released without warning on the PlayStation 4.
Brewing Up Trouble
Not much needs to be said about the game. Released on September 29th, 2017, its had a few years to roam the wild. Last year, on April 18th, 2019 it was ported over to the Nintendo Switch, and has already amassed over 6 million sales. It was able to do so by both its innovative use of Fleischer-style animation and intensely hard gameplay. With the PlayStation 4 release trailer, Studio MDHR decided to go with a stop-motion song. You can see it below.
If you need a primer on the game itself, you can check out my colleague’s Indie Highlight that goes over all the reasons you should play it, if you haven’t already. It’s a devilishly hard run-and-gun/bullet-hell/boss-rush game with old-school animation.
However, there is a co-op mode, so anyone having trouble avoiding the all-too-consistent deaths can team up with Mugman, Cuphead’s blue compatriot. The story is pretty basic; it uses the tropes of 30’s cartoons to create a wide variety of battles and enemies the player must endure, but to eke out a victory the player will need more than a single attempt at most levels.
Cuphead released without warning on PlayStation 4 on July 28th, 2020. It’s already available for Nintendo Switch, PC, and it’s original home, the Xbox One. For more reviews and gaming news you can keep up to date at Informed Pixel. Want to speak to the team and interact with other gamers? You can do so over on the Informed Pixel Facebook page or on the Informed Pixel Twitter account.