“Cuphead” isn’t so much hard as it is different.
At least that’s Tyler Moldenhauer’s take on the game he helped create.
“We never aimed to make it super hard,” Moldenhauer told Variety in a recent interview. “It was just that we kind of wanted to keep the action intense and that was sort of the way that it came out.”
Moldenhauer sees the perceived difficulty of being more a byproduct of player habits.
“Honestly, I find that a lot of people, once you get used to it, once you sort of Grok the controls at that point it’s a lot smoother ceiling. It’s kind of unlearning a lot of things that modern games have taught people that they can just get away with.
“Once you unlearn those tricks and kind of get back into the game and have a good time.”
Moldenhauer thinks that Nintendo fans — who will be able to start playing the game on the Switch on April 18 — are particularly suited to handle the game’s unique brand of play.
“If they’re from back in the day they know what Nintendo hard is,” he said.
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The fact that the once Xbox exclusive game is now coming to the Nintendo Switch is the result of a lot of internal discussions. Moldenhauer said it happened after Studio MDHR, Nintendo, and Microsoft “kind of came together.”
The Switch version of the game will bring with it possible Xbox Live integration to the Switch, much of which will be added in a post-release patch.
“We’re still trying to figure out what we can do,” he said.
The Switch game will run at 60 FPS and feature a bunch of new art, and new animation for some of the characters. Those art improvements, as well as support for nearly a dozen languages, will be added to Xbox and Windows PC as a free patch.
“Cuphead” arriving on the Nintendo Switch is just the latest sign of a game industry becoming more open with its titles. Where once platform holders like Microsoft, Nintendo, and PlayStation, fought over games coming exclusively to their gaming hardware, that seems to be loosening up a bit lately.
“It’s an exciting time,” he said. “A lot is changing. A lot is in flux. I think there’s going to be a lot of things coming up in the background. On the dev side, it’s really nice. It gives us a lot of options. It reminds me of back in 1995 when you originally had Sega and Nintendo and then you started having rumblings of Sony coming into the industry 3DO with Panasonic. We’ve just got a lot of extra, big players coming into the scene now.”