I was interested in Cuphead because of its art style. Reading about the game’s merciless difficulty turned me off, but when I eventually decided to purchase it, the game’s start screen made me glad I had. The hand drawn visuals and accompanying music were pitch perfect for a 1930s vibe. This vibe continued and was my gateway into a superb gaming experience.
I have not played many bullet-hell games, and my play of them may stop at Cuphead, but I now appreciate the sense of accomplishment that comes with clearing a section in them. The announcer shouting “Knockout!” is euphoric.
Success requires many failed approaches. You will die a lot in this game. You best the bosses by discerning the types and pattern of their attacks and then iterating a response again and again until successful execution. On some it may take dozens of tries, but once you finally get it, the feeling of achievement makes all the frustration worth it.
There is a Simple mode for each boss battle. If you just want to progress to unlock more bosses and areas to check out, it’s useful, but nothing can replace the sense of accomplishment with defeating a boss on Regular. That, and beating a boss on Simple won’t get you an achievement or a soul contract (the in-game reward…play it and you’ll know what it means).
Even if the difficulty intimidates you, if the art style in any way interests you I recommend you try this game. It’s top-notch design on every level.