CupThread - The Cuphead Thread

One very weird thing I’ve started catching glimpses of via Twitter is a notion that the reviews for the game either were too critical of it or didn’t praise it in the right way(?). I get the impression that the portion of gamers who often snub their nose at critics were convinced that a tough-as-nails game like this wouldn’t appeal to game reviewers 'coz they’re not “Real Gamers” or something of that sort.

But…almost all of the reviews written have been universally positive, maybe one having a silly comparison to Dark Souls, or a few mentioning that the difficulty could put people off. This feels like a subsection of the gaming audience who have such an entrenched viewpoint on game critics that they’ll invent these sorts of self-fulfilling prophecies in order to validate that preconceived notion.

I know this isn’t really related to the game itself, but the culture surrounding it continues to be this bizarre microcosm of the attitudes those groups have about the field of game critique.

In case anyone’s still interested in talking about Cuphead and racial caricature, I think Yussef Cole’s article today “Cuphead and the Racist Spectre of Fleischer Animation” makes some interesting points, so I’m bumping this.

Personally, I was generally aware of how racist these early cartoons were, and I was a little surprised to see the style (esp the devil) but it also doesn’t (didn’t?) seem like this game was going to repeat any of those caricatures, so I shrugged it off. I don’t know–do other people think that the aesthetic can be divorced from its worst connotations? Is there anything the developers could/should have done?

If there are any critiques I have of the article, it’s that the archetypes mentioned predate minstrel shows, though their uniquely racist incarnations were certainly born of them.

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