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Cuphead Gives Even More People a Timeless Game With Its PS4 Port

Cuphead represents an ideal for independent developers. It’s a situation where a deserving game made by a team who put their all into it became a household name. You can find Cuphead shirts and toys in major retailers. It’s getting a Netflix show. Cuphead is even in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (as a Mii Fighter costume). When the Cuphead PS4 port was announced, it was essentially the gaming news of the day. And, when it comes down to it, anyone can see why its success is so deserved. (Even if you’re not particularly great at the game.)

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Part of the magic of Cuphead is how enmeshed in nostalgia it is. Everything about it feels familiar, while still being entirely new. The presentation calls to mind the wit and hijinks of a Looney Tunes’ cartoon. There can be winks and nods to more mature viewers, while kids can appreciate the cartoonish ambiance. It is reminiscent of Tex Avery and Fleischer Studios, calling back to cartoons people potentially grew up with, but is presenting them in a fresh way that makes them vibrant and new again.

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The sense of purpose offers familiar trappings that make it easy to feel fresh, but also ageless. Cuphead and Mugman are two innocents who get caught up and carried away. They end up having to fight people who “normally” might be friendly with them and also got caught up in the same predicament. They’re mischievous, but mean well. The villains are smarmy and charming, but very easy to hate. And, while there are morals being taught like don’t gamble or get involved with obviously bad folks and stand up for people who were scammed, it isn’t hammered down your throat.

The difficulty is another means of tapping into that nostalgia in a different way. Cuphead very much feels like the sort of Nintendo Hard title you’d play back in the day. There’s no safety. You sink or you swim. To get good, you keep playing. And yes, there might not be real guidelines to help you figure out what you might be doing wrong. Instead, you have to play until it clicks. But even then, this sort of notion, where people are presented with a real challenge and expected to rise to the occasion, has always had its audience and supporters. It pushes you to be better.

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As for the Cuphead PS4 port, which I’ve been spending time with all weekend, it’s perfect. It runs as well here as it did when I played my friend’s copy on the Nintendo Switch back before this whole pandemic hit and on the Xbox One. It looks amazing. It plays well. The only thing different is now even more people can play it. Which is great, because absolutely more people should play it. (Even if it places them outside of their comfort zone.)

Cuphead is a good fit on the PS4, just as it was on every platform it appeared on before it. The port is handled perfectly, giving people the exact experience they’re expecting. And, as someone might expect going in, it’s a challenge that pulls from nostalgic sources while still creating something new. It feels timeless and great, and it’s wonderful more people can savor it.

Cuphead is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Tesla.


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Author
Image of Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.