Upon its release, Cuphead stood out due to its rubberhose animation, which was a throwback to cartoons of the 1930s. Studio MDHR's title also served as a throwback to the run-and-gun games like Gunstar Heroes and Metal Slug, which were infamous for how tough they were.
However, Cuphead puts games like these to shame in terms of difficulty. Although the first 30 seconds is pretty straightforward, it's not long before the screen is filled with pits, spikes, enemies, and projectiles coming at you from all sides.
When a game proves too tough, players usually take their time to memorise enemy patterns. But because Cuphead has evil flowers and wicked mushrooms spawning onto the screen every second, you need to plough through as quickly as possible, while simultaneously dodging... everything.
Even though first levels are meant to gradually break the player into the game, thats not the case here. The opening of this 2D side-scroller needs to be hard to let the player know the brutal onslaught of rock-hard levels that lie in store for them. If you think this level is too tough, it's nothing compared to what comes next.