You know how a joke can start funny, get annoying, then become funny again through sheer attrition? That’s Cuphead’s approach to enjoyment. With a beautiful, caustic, near-unceasing stream of boss battles, Studio MDHR’s debut made me scream with joy and horror by turn, but I settled on joy by the end.
The most obvious point to begin with is that Cuphead looks astonishing. Its 1930s animation style – all watercolour backgrounds and surreal, juddering, hand-drawn characters – pay peerless homage to Max Fleischer and his ilk, and are perfectly implemented. Somehow it manages to balance dozens of moving elements and a slight rear-projection blur without ever feeling unreadable in even the most frantic moments. There has never been a game that looks like this and there may never be again. Every scene is a masterwork – it’s a near-unbelievable achievement for an art style.
This is a syndicated post. Read the original at IGN Game Reviews 2017-10-02.