The Nintendo Switch has scored an excellent addition to its library in tough as nails action-platformer Cuphead. The Xbox exclusive joins a collection of top platformers on the console.
It’s been a tough console generation for Xbox. They abandoned their unique Kinect peripheral due to the fact that it largely never worked. And a significant drop off in landmark exclusives has seen the Xbox One fall far behind the competition.
The PlayStation 4 has sold an estimated 54 million more units than the Xbox One. The Nintendo Switch meanwhile is projected to overtake it’s sales this year, despite being a much newer console.
So if like the majority of gamers, you don’t own an Xbox One, you’ll have missed out on those few good console exclusives. If this describes you, you’ll want to get your hands on Cuphead’s Switch port, as the best experience this latest indie darling.
Nintendo and Xbox
The collaboration comes as a surprise considering Nintendo and Xbox aren’t exactly the best of friends. And not just because of the competitive nature of the console wars. The relationship between the two studios deteriorated back in 2002 when Xbox bought out Rare Limited.
Rare and Nintendo had collaborated to produce some classic titles such as Goldeneye 007 and Donkey Kong Country. The Japanese studio declined to buyout Rare when they hit financial trouble and Xbox stepped in.
But that was all fair game, the real disputes broke out over a series of debates regarding licensing issues. Rare had worked on some significant games series’ and Xbox wanted those titles on their console.
Certain lines were split, with Xbox securing the likes of Perfect Dark and Banjo Kazooie, whilst Nintendo retained withstanding characters like Donkey Kong. Some issues raged on though, and it’s a large contributing factor toward the absence of an N64 classic.
Nintendo felt the console couldn’t be well represented without those titles. Leaving the classic console to largely fall by the wayside as opposed to some of Nintendo’s other early classics.
Cuphead And Switch Nindies
Nintendo has invested heavily in the indie market to compensate for the Switch’s lack of power. Releasing ports for critically acclaimed classics like Limbo and Undertale to name a few.
Cuphead is arguably their best accomplishment yet as Nintendo look increasingly set to corner the indie market. That market is a very profitable one, and the short turnaround for Cuphead shows Nintendo are closer than ever to staking a claim as the go-to publisher for indie developers.
The Nintendo Switch is the also perfect console for platformers and indie titles, supported by its portability. A lot of Nintendo’s major exclusives still belong to similar genres so the console was purpose-built to house them.
Rival studios have noticed the obvious compatibility, which likely contributed to Xbox licensing Cuphead to Nintendo. PlayStation is even doing the same, although they’re being a little more clandestine, publishing their own indie titles through pseudonym studios.
The Story of Cuphead and Mugman
Cuphead follows the titular Cuphead and Mugman as they embark on a quest to save their souls. After gambling their souls away to the Devil, the duo must collect a series of others souls for the Devil to break their contract.
Designed as a throwback to run and gun platformers like Contra, Cuphead translated those OG difficulty curves. Relentless enemies fill the screen in the short platforming sections, where players power up for the boss battles.
Boss battles make up the majority of gameplay, with each boss being one of the souls owed to the Devil. All packaged in the 30s’ Disney-inspired art style made Cuphead one of the standout games in the Xbox One catalogue.
Cuphead has been playable on Switch since April 18th, with upcoming DLC Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course available later this year. The Delicious Last Course will feature a brand new adventure, new bosses and a new playable character.