Jstar’s Chronicles #43 – Cuphead, Meet Jayhead

My 43th issue will have me talking about (and “reviewing”) Studio MDHR’s Cuphead.

However, before we begin, I’d like to personally ask you guys what’d you want me to have a closer look on next! I generally want to dive in to someĀ good games, so keep that in mind, but if there’s a game that’s so bad it’s good, I’m interested in those as well. There are multiple ways to message me this, so keep that in mind and think logically. I’m honestly open to any game and I have a minimal amount of games to check out that people are interested in at the moment, but know that I’m a man interested in a few things, and I just said them. :p Now, on to the main course!

MY TAKE: CUPHEAD

A game that settled on occasional gaming news headlines every few months for years, from the beginning focused on showcasing the look and feel of hand-drawn cartoons and animation from the 1930’s, while still playing so shockingly smooth. It runs like a dream on my computer with its 2D graphics, great music, and a difficulty that will make you wanting to come back for more, in the form of “Just one more stage…” Now, ladies in gentlemen, released on September 29th 2017 for Xbox One and Windows, this is Studio MDHR’s “Cuphead”.

Source: https://www.polygon.com/videos/2017/9/20/16335840/cuphead-gameplay-preview-xbox-one

Starting Cuphead gives you a pretty good 1930’s look at animation and how it was presented for openings: in a book, like a fairy tale or something like that. After the classical story finishes it’s beginning, you’re treated to a tutorial. A tutorial that is 100% the easiest part of the game, so if you mess up on it, re-consider your existence. Joking aside, it’s a pretty standard tutorial and gets the job done.

Now, you’re able to explore the land to wherever the first stage is. You luckily have some room for which stages you want to go first and in what order, which I loved. If you find a stage too difficult, you can head over to another unfinished stage and complete that first. The coin currency is also nice because you only get a few and their use ends up being well worth it in the beginning, and all right by the end.

The run n’ gun stages are pretty fun and still challenging. Like the name says, you have to go through the stage, dodging and defeating some enemies along the way. They’re mostly challenging, and the first one offers a great example of what to expect from the rest of them with it also being the easiest one in the game (as expected). The difficulty does indeed get higher as the game progresses, understandably, so if you’re having trouble from the beginning… Good luck.

Speaking of difficulty, the controls didn’t do that. They felt very tight and easy to manage, but playing on a controller (specifically an Xbox One controller) caused me to make a few mis-clicks when I didn’t realize it, costing me a few rounds. It isn’t the game’s fault though, as I can always remap the controls natively in the game, which is always a plus.

As if I had to bring it up again, the graphics and music are just something of another level. They’re charming, sound and look like something you’d expect from the 1930’s but done beautifully, and all incredibly smooth to play. 99.9% of the time I was playing at 60 FPS with almost no stutters, and it was fantastic. The optimization of this game really makes it more-so worth it due to how nice it felt to play. Almost every time, a screenshot of this game will simply look like an old animation frame, while recordings and live streams of this in 60 FPS would simply be almost breathtaking to people that watch it. Definitely stream/record this in 60 frames-per-second if you can.

The game also looks good at multiple resolutions. Playing at 720p barely made a difference to 900p or even 1080p, which is what the Xbox One and One S play at. They all look just as great, with probably higher resolutions giving an obvious benefit from their increased pixel counts. Either way, and considering how optimized this game is, you’re sure to have a great time playing this on almost any recent device.

To Conclude, the charming graphics, the great and classical music, the good classical story, and nice amount of content that it gives you, and full support for two-player action makes this a full Jay-Cast recommendation.

THIS WEEK IN GAMING

I’d like to thank everyone for reading yet another classic tale of Jstar and his Chronicles… Ok, being realistic here, I continue to appreciate all of my fellow viewers who continue to write my several hundred word articles and issues. I truly put a lot of effort into each one of the every time I release one. Until then, thanks for reading!

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