by Nolan Leahy
Warning: This article contains spoilers to ‘Cuphead’. Proceed with caution.
Get every coin possible
Within Cuphead, each Run N’ Gun level carries five coins for players to find as they jump, shoot and dash through the constant flow of enemies. Some can also be gained from exploring the worlds and talking to NPCs. These coins are used to purchase powers at Porkrind’s Emporium. Many of the shooters and charms can prove to be invaluable and allow for different styles of play. By possessing more powers, you can ultimately strategize for each level, which leads to tip number two.
Experiment with different powers and charms
Each available power allows for a different style of play. The Chaser shooter has homing bullets that don’t require aiming, which means that dodging can be your main focus for as long as you use this weapon. Although Chaser has the weakest attack-power per hit, it allows you to solely focus on dodging for those pesky levels that congest the screen immensely. The Charge shot, on the other hand, deals the most damage of all the shooters in the game. Some bosses are weaker to different shooters, and that can mean less time spent fighting them.
Also, it’s highly recommended to swap charms around if you can. Bosses that have you play as an airplane, therefore, make the smoke bomb useless. Having extra heart charms might not be useful on the bosses because they weaken your attack power; however, they are excellent for the Run N’ Gun levels. Coffee is also the prime charm to have for the airplane levels as well.
If you struggle with a boss early within a world, beat it on simple difficulty first and explore
This goes back a little to the first tip. Beating a boss on simple won’t permit the player to collect the soul required to progress to the next world, but it will progress the player further within the current world by unlocking new routes. This can grant access to the Run N’ Gun levels that contain the valuable coins that unlock new strategies. In addition, each world contains a secret shortcut that also grants access to other levels without having to beat additional bosses. Obtaining the coins from the Run N’ Gun levels, getting the powers from Porkrind’s Emporium and coming back to beat the boss on regular difficulty with different powers can save some heartache.
If all else fails, grab a partner and play it co-op
This game is tough, but who says that you have to do it alone? In all honesty, playing Cuphead‘s local co-op is arguably the optimal experience for the game. Being able to revive one another can mean an extended boss fighting experience, and having an extra set of eyes can allow communication of fighting strategies facing certain opponents.
If you aren’t going for perfect grades, then figure out when NOT to parry
With Cuphead, parrying is mostly beneficial, because it gives you an extra card for your super meter. Despite this factor, it’s sometimes best not to parry because of the surrounding foes around the pink object/enemy. Parrying can do more harm than good if it means losing a hit point. Value your hit points, and don’t waste them on a parry that may be unsuccessful.
Enjoy the game, be patient and take breaks
There’s no secret that this game has some frustratingly difficult bosses. Just be reminded that this game is unique in its art style and music. Sit back; listen to the music on YouTube or during the boss fight, take a break from the game or go back to an easier boss fight to get your fighting spirits up again. Many are comparing this game to a platformer version of Dark Souls because of how often the player dies. In my own personal playthrough, I’ve died over 750 times. This game is intended to be a challenge in its greatest moments and at its worst. Going in expecting to beat the game within the first three to five hours is an expectation that will be demolished. The game may have a childish and friendly aesthetic, but it ultimately demands your respect. Have fun, laugh a little and smile. There’s no game quite like Cuphead.