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POSTED 31/9/17


CUPHEAD

Studio MDHR/Microsoft Studios



89 years ago, young Walter Elias Disney unleashed a rodent-infested cartoon named Steamboat Willie. It changed animation forever.

89 years later, StudioMDHR (finally) unleashed a game named Cuphead. It didnít change gaming forever - but, by golly, it sure looked killer-diller. It sure sounded killer-diller, too. Then there was the playability. Oh lordy it was, well... gosh-dickensy hard!

Too gosh-dickensy hard, to be frank (who wasnít Waltís brother, as that way Roy). But it sure looked swell. Super swell.

If looks were everything, then Cuphead would be the greatest game ever. Seriously, itís a doozie in its recreation of classic animation stylings from Disney to Warner Bros to Fleischer, Iwerks and all other comers of the golden age of American animation.

Yep, visually, Cuphead has pizazz. We think weíve established that. Sonically, itís majestic in its faithfulness to its inspirations. If we hadnít established that previously then we sure have now, by gum.

But our question is this: If youíre going to make such a beautiful-looking (and sounding, in case youíve forgotten) game, why make it so close to impossibly hard so that few will experience your incredible work?

A fairly standard side-scrolling platform run-and-shoot affair, itís the art (and sound) that makes Cuphead special. But itís the flipping Dark Souls of platformers! Itís hard, even sometimes on the basic, you-canít-progress-if-you-wuss-out-and-go-this-route setting. Actually, it isnít hard, itís punishing. It almost taunts you in its need for repeated, relentless pinpoint accuracy in order to advance.

Weíre always up for a challenge, but when we want to kick in our screen after several failed attempts at a level rather than getting that itch to beat the thing, then somethingís unbalanced.

Itís nuts that many - like us - will stop futzing after a while and toddle off to play something thatís actually fun.

Walt Disney may have Ė allegedly - been a bit of a crumb, but at least he wanted his art to be seen and appreciated for its brilliance. This attitude garnered him some little success...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.