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    Mar 8th, 2019 at 00:46:26     -    Cuphead (XBONE)

    Cuphead is a shoot ‘em up, in the style of a late 80’s - early 90’s run and gun game. Like its predecessors, Cuphead is a difficult game in which constant repetition is needed to finish each stage or boss fight.
    Where Cuphead stands out is its 60’s style aesthetic, all the way down to hand drawn animation. This ‘Merry-Melodies’ look is a clear differentiating factor and allows Cuphead room to breathe in today’s crowded indie market.
    From the moment you begin your save file, Cuphead feels good to play. The frames of animation are smooth, and the character movement is almost fluid. This fluidity is essential when designing a tough game, as it places all the control in the players hands. Thus, when the player inevitably dies, they feel it was their fault, rather than busted enemy spawns, for example.
    This game demands mastery in-order to see the finish line. Using mechanics like the parry ability are a must. This allows the player to bounce off pink enemy projectiles, save teammates from death and charge their super meter to unleash devastating blows. Another such mechanic is the ability to swap your character’s gun loadout mid fight. It’s important to know when to use a shotgun-like spreadshot and when to use your standard gun, as the difference could mean defeating a boss before suffering your final hit. Mastering these techniques will ultimately occur over the multiple runs through each level, but the sooner you can pick it up, the better.
    The joy this game brings is due to the overwhelming sense of accomplishment the player feels upon finally overcoming an immense obstacle. Cuphead’s popularity shows that the demand for difficult games, where a game’s longevity is based on how hard it is, and not the overall length of the story, are seeing a return from the 80’s and 90’s titles like Mega Man, Contra and Ninja Gaiden.

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