Cuphead is nowhere near to be an easy game and reviews online express that, there is no doubt.
When games like these come around, a little push is always appreciated. I have decided to share some of the wisdom I have learned along the way through my gameplay, as well as what I was able to find online.
Patience Is A Virtue
Cuphead comprises mainly of multi-phased boss fights but also features some Run and Gun platforming levels. Regardless of the content, you are doing, you will most probably die during the first, maybe even the next few runs. The trick is to stay calm and not let the game take you to a dark place – it was designed that way.
Be patient and when the opportunity finds itself, take mental notes of how enemies interact. What is their pattern? How do they attack? If other enemies spawn, should you prioritize fire on them or evade? The more knowledge you have on an enemy and, when applicate, their phases, the more chances you have of being victorious.
On those platforming levels, taking your time will give you more chances of spotting the location of all the gold coins – they will be useful throughout your journey.
Utility Over Swag
Coins in Cuphead are a very valuable resource and an incredibly limited one. There are but a few platformer stages where you can grab those pesky coins from, so what you purchase from the get-go will have an impact on how you deal against early bosses.
I understand that many of you out there will be looking to purchase every single buff, and I don’t blame you. However, don’t do the mistake of blindly purchasing those potions without prioritizing the best choice. As a matter of a fact, I would recommend you get your hands on the teleport dash – or whatever it is called – and either the homing weapon or the curving weapon (the one with the boomerang effect).
Later on, unlock the weapons first, and then go for the rest. For example, leave the one that auto-counters pinks for last. There are a lot more useful items I guarantee it.
Jumping, Shooting, Dashing, Countering…these are all part of the basic mechanics of the game and you should learn to master every single one. Jumping and Shooting is a must and I can’t stress that enough. Dashing is great to get out of really tough spots or to put yourself in a strategic position against an enemy. Countering, now that is going to be your best friend.
In Cuphead, some stages can overwhelm you with the amount of “things” you must evade. Some of those can be pink and as you’ve learned early in the game, pink stuff can be countered. When in an overwhelming situation, countering at the right time can give you that single moment to relax your brain. If you can make it into a reflex, not only will you grab more points and get closer to getting a Grade A, but it will make it so that you won’t need buffs like the one mentioned above, and leave the slot open for better things.
Grade A & Perfect Gameplay Grants You Rewards
There are a few secrets that have been shared left and right online, so might as well share them with you here as well. As it turns out, you can change the game’s filter, but only if you can unlock them. There are two known ways to unlock them.
The first, you must get a Grade A or higher on all boss fights. It isn’t mentioned on which difficulty, but still, a challenge nonetheless. Secondly, you must complete all platformer levels without shooting a single shot. As relatively difficult as this might seem, I would like to remind you that some of those stages have a mini-boss guarding the end. The first unlocks the 2-Strip Filter, and the second, the Black and White filter.
I was reading up and doing some research on what others have to say about Cuphead. I fell on this article published on Polygon that recommends remapping the controls. He claims it helped against his case of rigor mortis, but I believe that the idea is pretty good.
Single all the main buttons are quite close to one another, I recommend you change the controls, early on, to something you find comfortable. There are a lot of recommended schemes, but test some options out. You might find something really comfortable and suited to your gameplay preferences.