I’m glad to see Cuphead back in the limelight, and even more glad to see it come to the Nintendo Switch. If you don’t already have this beautifully unique run-and-gun shooter, I can’t recommend it enough. We’ve reviewed it once already, so you can check out our full impressions right over here. TL;DR, It’s awesome. And with the Delicious Last Course DLC on its way this year, it’s a good time to make a decision about which platform you’ll want to play it on. But now you’re probably asking, is the Switch version just as good as the original? And if I already own it, is it worth getting again?
The answer is yes, although it might depend on what you’re expecting.
This port is flawless. The Switch runs Cuphead at a constant 60 frames, with no blips or stutters, and the platforming is just as tight and responsive as ever. In fact, it runs so perfectly you could believe that it’s been made just for the Switch.
While it’s great that the experience is consistent, it does mean that there’s not much here for those of you that already own the game. Compared with the earlier releases, nothing about the gameplay or performance is better or worse. Load times, while always a little tedious, aren’t noticeably changed either. That leaves only one real selling point of Cuphead on the Switch… and that’s the Switch itself.
Until now, the only way to play Cuphead on console was with the Xbox One. Those of us who didn’t own one had to play it on PC instead, which in my case created something of a tone mismatch. Cuphead is famously steeped in cartoon culture from the 1930’s, and just feels so much better on a television screen. All of the little touches that made the 2017 award-winner perfectly emulate the old cartoons that inspired it – film grain, picture quality, and more – felt a little odd on a computer monitor. I loved the game anyway, but I’m having an even better time now what it’s on the Nintendo Switch.
“You could believe that it been made just for the Switch.”
Playing such a crushingly hard game on a Nintendo console brings with it a nostalgic feeling, reminding me of the days of being unable to beat Mega Man 2 on the NES. And with the Switch’s portable mode, I tend to play it more often than I ever did my PC copy. With stages and bosses that take under 4 minutes each round (and even less if you’re like me and die quickly) it’s so easy to pull out and play anytime.
The only downside I found was that playing it in portable mode felt a little unwieldy to me, but that may not be an issue for you. Otherwise, the controls translate perfectly to the Switch’s various modes of control, with the Pro controller feeling the most natural. Playing in 2P mode is easier than ever too, thanks to the joycons and docked mode.
This new release of Cuphead is a slightly updated version with some small changes, which are worth a brief mention. If you already own Cuphead, though, you can download the same update for free.
The picture book style story segments have been updated with new animations, and are now much more lively. They’re still not fully animated – that would have been a gigantic task – but it breathes a lot of life into the otherwise static illustrations. In-game, Cuphead and Mugman have some new animations, and you can now choose to play as Mugman right out of the gate.
If you haven’t got around to buying Cuphead yet, or if you own the PC version, you should seriously consider picking up the game on Switch. The beautiful animations are better enjoyed on a large television, and the pure convenience of the Switch makes it a match made in heaven. If you’re happy with your own copy, though, there isn’t much reason to fork out for it again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to fighting my nemesis, Rumor HoneyBottoms.