Cuphead

Cuphead

www.metacritic.com

Paying debt to the devil is not an easy feat.
Highly recommend for anyone who miss punishing 80s/early 90s run n guns like Contra andPaying debt to the devil is not an easy feat.
Highly recommend for anyone who miss punishing 80s/early 90s run n guns like Contra and Megaman. The 1930s animation style is also amazing to look at with surreal boss designs very similar to Silly Symphony.
The controls are very arcadey with 8 directional shooting, single jump, descending platforms and a special attack, but it also adds parrying and dash, which were way less common back then. Parrying is not the same as most games as you can only parry certain pink bullets or enemies done by bouncing off it while in midair (working as a double jump). It does not shoot the projectile back at the boss, but instead gives you one full card for your your super meter, letting you use a special attack for the specified weapon you have equipped or a super attack if you hold 5 cards. Weaons in the game also feel situational enough for that I would switch them around for specific bosses, there's no weapon more overpowered than the other. A lot consider spread shot OP, but due to its low range it's useless against certain bosses or boss phases where you're forced to stay at range from the boss. You can also have two weapons equipped and switch between instantly when you want.
Every boss has multiple phases, and are only 1-3 minutes long, but due to everything you gotta dodge all the time without much breaks just one minute can feel waaaaay longer. This is something I felt for Furi as well (another amazing challenging boss rush game I recommend). The boss phase transformations are very surreal and they can go from being a couple battletoads turning into a slot machine or a bird stuck in a bird house to a featherless bird carried in a stretcher spitting up its heart that attacks you. You can choose between fighting them in simple or regular mode. Simple mode gives you linear patterns, while regular they will be random, so you have to be more careful with what the boss will do next. You can only get a contract by playing on regular mode (required to advance the game), but simple mode is okay for practicing the patterns. The difficulty of the bosses curves really well too. It starts out a little rough, but gets really challenging at the second island, and even more so at the third island. Then the finale after that is a true Satan's work.
There are also shoot em up bosses with the same parrying, but instead of dashing it let's you shrink to move faster and dodge projectiles since your hitbox is smaller as well. But it also reduces your range and damage to balance it out.
Platforming sections, which were added later in development and got the game delayed are actually pretty good too. They really feel like old arcade platformers. Most platformer levels also have a miniboss at the end, so they're still not bossless (even a Mega Man 2 reference in one of them). The intensity of them are on the same scale as the boss fights, you won't be running around without enemies coming at you from multiple directions. Only thing I thought could be done better is hiding the coins, they're a little too easy to obtain, so most of the challenge is just finishing the stage itself with a good rating. You generally won't have to replay the level just to try and find coins you couldn't.
But on the topic of coins, you can find hidden things in the overworld. Some characters will reward you with a coin for doing things for them and there are a few hidden paths granting you a coin or a shortcut to later levels. It's a really nice touch I wasn't even expecting from this type of game.
The replayability is also great for with expert mode being unlocked after beating the game and trying to get S rank for every boss. There is also a pacifist rank for platform stages where you have to beat the stage without killing anything, which can be tricky since most stages have midbosses or walls that you need to find ways to skip.
I had been waiting for this game for years, and it honestly went beyond my expections. It's definitely one of my favourite games after just 10 hours and hope you all buy it, it's a very rare gem you won't see much of in modern gaming.… Expand

Source www.metacritic.com