A little more video from my son and I playing Cuphead. I cannot stress enough how difficult the game is when you consider everything that happens on the screen at once. Overall the game is not really DIFFICULT compared to other games of its type, there’s just so much happening at once that it is very easy to get distracted! Enjoy! (BTW: I’m the red ‘Cuphead’ that keeps dying while my son is the blue ‘Mugman’. Younger eyes and fingers are a boon in this game!)
Back in the day my friend and I used to play a little game named Contra on the SNES. You may have heard of it before. It is probably one of the most well known of the ‘run-n-gun’ style games in which you (and occasionally a second player) move across a map, machine guns blazing, while taking out a constant stream of bad guys. Super C, the iteration of Contra on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System upped the ante with bigger explosions, large bosses and new play mechanics (double guns).
That was many, many years ago.
Enter Cuphead, a unique run-n-gun style game along the same lines as Contra, but with the unique distinction of completely hand drawn animation that reflects the style of old cartoons. Not just any cartoons, but Fleisher cartoons, which you may have heard of if your my age (42) and have every seen old Betty Boop or Superman cartoons, amongst others. The thing is the game really, REALLY does an absolutely fantastic job of emulating the original cartoon style, right down to the odd black, scratchy screen between scenes. For someone of my age it seriously takes me back to being five or six years old, sitting in my grandma’s TV room (yeah, old people used to have a specific room for TV watching), after church on Sunday, tuned in to KTLA Channel 5 Los Angeles watching Colonel Tom Parker host Fleisher cartoons.
Recently I have been keeping tabs on the game ‘Cuphead’. A run-n-gun style shooter, it stands out from other games in the genre by being comprised entirely of hand drawn, cartoony animation in the style of Max Fleisher. Being a bit of a fan of old Fleisher cartoons and such great games as Contra and others, I decided I was going to pick it up as soon as I could (got to use those Bing points for something). If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer:
The game follows our protagonist, Cuphead, and his brother, Mugman who apparently enjoy gambling a bit too much. Whilst rolling at the craps table, Satan himself walks in and challenges the boys to a single toss. A win means they get then entire casinos wealth, while a lose means they give up their soul. As expected they lose and upon preparing to lose their souls they strike a deal with the devil (literally). The two will keep their souls if they can gather the souls of the others on Satans collections list. Gather the all by the next day and they are free to go. Fail and, well, you know….
This turns our two boys into bounty-hunters for the damned as they traverse interesting locales in search of coins for purchasing upgrades and fight boss battles to reap the souls of those who owe.
Ill likely do a better review at weeks end, but at first blush the game is a great run-n-gun that is not overly complicated but can be devilishly tricky at times. Having not played any games in the genre for some time I found myself losing track of Cuphead while looking at the rest of the screen, which is beautifully animated with great backgrounds and weird bad guys.
Check back later for a more detailed impression!
A couple of things I enjoyed growing up were old Fleisher cartoons and, when I was a bit older, Dragonball Z.
You’ve probably seen a Fleisher cartoon more than a couple times in your life. I remember going to my grandmas house as a kid and, every Sunday afternoon, KTLA channel 5 with Tom Hatten, and watching Popeye and others (as well as the occasional Godzilla movie).
Well now you can get your Fleisher cartoon fix along with your gaming mix, all at once! Cuphead is an interesting co-op shooter along the lines of Contra, but features some great, Fleisher inspired animation, all done by hand! It really is cool and you have to see it to fully grasp the beauty of it (make sure you watch through to the boss battles or at least skip ahead):
As I got older, around Jr. High my friends and I got into anime and one of the coolest shows you could find was Dragon Ball Z. This was way, way before anime became so mainstream and well before the internet, so it could be difficult to find proper copies of shows. Dragon Ball has been used as the subject of may games in the past, but the latest iteration, Dragon Ball Fighter Z is incredible! You are practically PLAYING THE SHOW! The way the camera changes dynamically during certain attacks and power moves really makes it feel like you are controlling an episode! Its insane!
As usual, Dragon Ball is not intended for those who suffer from epileptic seizures from flashing light patterns!
Cuphead is going to be on PC, and I will likely buy it, as I am a big fan of Contra and the animation style.
Not sure if Dragon Ball is going to be on PC or not, but since I am also a big fan of fighting games I may buy it just for the cool factor and the enjoyment of beating my sons and my brother on 4th of July, when we have our Street Fighter marathon!
Any gamer worth their salt (and older than 20) should be familiar with the often excellent Castlevania series. For many a century has the Belmont clan battled with the dread Count Dracula, along with many allies.
Aside from the great gameplay one of the equally incredible elements of the game has been the music. Though great from the first entry the series really took off at the Playstation’s Symphony of the Night.
This is not Symphony of the Night.
Dracula X remixies (yes, you read that right) is a remix album of a few songs from the game Dracula X, on the SNES. Released in 1997 it features house/dance beats in songs mixed by several different artists and may not be for everyone. If you like this kind of music, however, it is a rare treat, as you will hear several familiar Castlevania tunes mixed in with thumping bass and trippy beats.
- Dracula X – GATE TO HEAVEN – DJ FEILONG Xbeat MIX
- VAMPIRE KILLER – DJ FEILONG ORIENT EXPRESS VOCAL MIX
- BIG BURN X-STORM DUB
- TRANS FORM
- CEMETARY OF RAINBOW
- VAMPIRE KILLER
Out of all the tracks the only one I really have issue with is track 4: Trans Form. If your listening to this around other people be wary that there is an ongoing scream throughout nearly the entire track that gets old very fast the first dozen or so times you hear it, thought you get used to it after a while. I have had this album for well over 10+ years, so it doesn’t bother me so much.
By far my most favorite tracks are ‘Cemetery of Rainbow’ and both ‘Vampire Killer’ tracks.
I have fond memories of my time in jr high and high school, and one of those memories centers around this game, a game I actually got on accident when the store I pre-ordered Fatal Fury from informed me the release date had been moved and offered to send me another game. Going solely off the image of the cover in the magazine, I told them “just send me this Secret of Mana’. Oh how glad I am I did! One of the few games to use the SNES multi-tap it let up to three people play at a time, each in control of one character. My friends and I had plenty of fun times playing and…..the music. The music is still one of my favorite soundtracks to this day!
Enjoy a brief glimpse at the upcoming remake of this great title, and a couple of old SNES rendered songs from its past.
Found the complete soundtrack on YouTube. It may not be for everyone, but take a listen. You wont be disappointed!
Soooo, apparently Final Fantasy 15 is coming to mobile. It actually looks like it really could be the ENTIRE GAME, which is both cool and weird because this means they remade the ENTIRE GAME for mobile platform. THE ENTIRE GAME. What they need to do is port this to the 3DS as soon as they can, as it looks very much like the 3DS remakes of FF3 and FF4. I will probably pick it up for my Android emulator on Windows, though it says Windows in the video. We’ll see how it works.