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Cuphead

Cuphead (Switch)

Studio MDHR's fantastic run 'n' gun platformer has made the leap from Xbox One to Nintendo Switch.

  • Dóri HalldórssonDóri Halldórsson

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It's been nearly two years since the release of Cuphead on PC and Xbox One and that being the case Studio MDHR has decreed that it's time for Nintendo Switch owners to get some quality time with Cuphead and Mugman in what remains one of the greatest action platformers of the decade.

Now, when looking at a re-release of a game on a new platform there are three main pillars to focus on: content, performance, and adaptability.

In terms of content, the Switch version of Cuphead is near identical to the original PC and Xbox versions (with a free update on PC and Xbox bringing that gap to zero). This new version allows for a character selection between the two brothers, Cuphead and Mugman, in single-player and so you can now play as Mugman from the very beginning of the game.

We are also treated to "FULLY ANIMATED CINEMATICS!" which while feeling fairly insignificant, do help slightly with immersion. What is more interesting is the inclusion of new animation and art sprinkled throughout the entire game, which adds that little bit of eye candy to an already gorgeous game.

What's more, the Switch version even brings with it a taste of trophy hunting for the curious Nintendo crowd, with built-in achievements to give you extra motivation to push through the devilish boss battles that define the game.

Cuphead

Cuphead has also been fully localised in eleven additional languages with Studio MDHR taking particular care over each and bringing in expert calligraphers for the Japanese, Korean and Chinese versions. This reviewer, however, having only played the game in their native English, can't speak for the quality of the end result.

Aside from the above and further bug fixes and tweaks, the Switch version is near identical to the launch version on PC and Xbox and therefore our earlier review still stands. Back then we wrote that "Cuphead invokes that rare but sought after feeling of infuriated joy, and instils the mantra of 'just one more try', however, if you're not interested in difficult yet repetitive gameplay, don't be fooled by the striking art style."

CupheadCuphead

Performance wise the game shines on the Switch, and Studio MDHR has got it running at a silky smooth native 60fps in 720p resolution when played in handheld, and 1080p when playing with the console docked. All things considered, this is one of the best running games we've seen on the Nintendo Switch.

Finally, we need to look at adaptability, and it is here where the Switch version can offer something truly new and novel that isn't available on the other platforms that the game is available on: portability. Being able to sneak in a quick session while on your daily commute is pure magic and due to the length of each boss encounter never straying beyond three minutes (when successfully beaten, of course) it's a great game to pick up for quick bursts on the go.

Naturally, the co-op play offered by Cuphead takes advantage of the Joy-Cons, so two players can band together and take on some of the game's immense challenges without the need to pick up a second controller. As we mentioned in our original review, multiplayer isn't our favourite way to play, but it's still another Switch-only feature that has been added and of which we approve.

To sum up, Cuphead is a fantastic game that has seen nothing but improvements since release and is now available to a whole new player-base. Does the Switch version justify double dipping if you already have the game on another platform? We're not so sure, but the possibility of one of Cuphead's characters making their way into the roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has our mouth watering.

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09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
+
Still a fantastic audio-visual achievement, incredible world and character design, addictive 'one more try' gameplay, portability on Switch is a boon.
-
A couple of uninspired levels, Crowded co-op.
overall score
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