Cuphead Is Finally Here, Here's What The Critics Think

(Image credit: Studio MDHR)

Studio MDHR's Cuphead has been the talk of the town for PC and Xbox One gamers for several years now, and it's finally culminated in the release of the 1930s-inspired 2D cooperative side-scroller. And after lots of hard work and dedication, here's what critics think about the game: it's a fun, hardcore, hard, gorgeous outing from an indie studio.

The critical community has been slowly rolling out their take on the hard-as-nails, 2D side-scrolling platformer. Sadly there aren't a lot of tweets from critics that succinctly sum up the gameplay experience, but there are a lot of people asking where the IGN review is for Cuphead, mostly because the game is said to be extremely difficult and has proven to give early play-testers a lot of trouble ahead of its release.

A few outlets have managed to get in enough time to talk extensively about the experience, including Destructoid, which wrote...

Cuphead's incredible style belies its magical complexity. It's so much more than a hard-as-hell shoot-'em-up with artistic flair. It's cerebral in a way that these kind of games rarely are. Cuphead's commitment to forcing the player to understand is commendable. Those who don't have the patience to learn won't get far. That's the kind of stand-your-ground moxie that makes this a hallmark of game design. My praise runneth over.

Desutructoid ended up rating the game a 9.5 out of 10, calling it "Superb."

The praise-laden adjectives didn't end there, though. Windows Central also had a lot of love to give to the game, despite constant warnings throughout the review letting gamers know that Cuphead is a difficult but gorgeous experience and it can be extremely exhausting given that you have to be on your game and you have to pay attention to what's happening around you, but at the same time the review notes that it's never truly unfair. The review rounds out by saying...

Cuphead is a tremendous achievement that will probably go down as one of this year's most beautiful and creative titles. Each level, each song, and each boss character is a meticulously crafted work of art in its own right, that you won't soon forget.

Gamespot had a more clear-cut breakdown of what caused some problems during the playthrough, mostly in relation to the "busywork" of the visuals that hampered the experience of the two-player cooperative mode, where, in their opinion, there was just too much going on to fully appreciate what was happening.

Even still, the review ended with a solid 8 out of 10 due to the music, gorgeous visuals, and challenging gameplay, where it states...

It's beautiful to look at, and with a pitch-perfect soundtrack, it flawlessly captures the era its developers so clearly revere. It's also an intense action game that pulls no punches. It could benefit from a few tweaks, and two-player co-op doesn't feel like the valuable addition you might imagine, but Cuphead remains a rare, unique game that truly stands out.

The Xbox One version of the game currently holds a 90 out of 100 on Metacritic, while the PC version has a slightly lower score of 86 out of 100 on Metacritic, mostly due to a slightly lower than average score doled out by Twinfinite, where the outlet gave it a 3 out of 5.

The reason for the lower score is because the reviewers ran into some problems where the bosses sometimes would bug out and cause the level to fail, or there would be some other issues that inhibited the reviewers from progressing from a technical standpoint. The review points out...

Cuphead ultimately leaves me at an impasse. I absolutely love the style of the game, and when the game works well it's a truly rewarding experience that overcomes the seemingly impossible difficulty. Every time I beat a boss I felt re-energized, ready to tackle the next (and there are quite a few of them). But randomness and all too frequent bugs are rotten apples that spoil what could be a damn near perfect barrel of fruit.

The upside is that at least Studio MDHR can still fix the game up with some post-launch patches, and hopefully resolve some of the issues that some reviewers have had with Cuphead. Otherwise, it appears the game is most definitely worth the price of entry for both PC and Xbox One.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.