The Cuphead at Cologne, Germany Incident starring Dean Takahashi
Dean Takahashi is a veteran games journalist having written about games for over 18 years according to his bio over at venturebeat.com. Unfortunately that badge of industry recognition came undone when he failed to get to grips with a simple platform game.
A somewhat salty and embarrassed gaming journalist was given the opportunity to play the upcoming classically themed plat-former “Cuphead”. This game is set to release on the 29th of September 2017. The game comes across as unique and exciting due to being hand drawn and based on early 1930’s cartoons with wacky over the top character designs. The game has been made by brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer created on the Unity engine.
The controversy around this game comes from the inability of Dean to play a demo of a game without performing to a satisfactory standard. The cynic in me believes this is one way to get your video noticed and to get views. The video of his gameplay can be found readily available over at venturebeat.com.
The gameplay shows Dean struggling to perform basic functions such as jumping from one platform to another and combat very simple enemies. The startling gameplay can only be outdone by his official response and commentary on his session playing Cuphead. If you weren’t offended by the gameplay then his written response to the debacle will probably do the job.
Some of his more disconcerting statements made by Dean surrounding this game include; “hard games that depend on skill is like a lost art”, “But I quickly put the lie to that terminology” and finally “like in the Mario games”.
What stands out in his response is that he was playing the game based on knowledge of playing Mario games which is somewhat suspect as Mario is probably one the oldest games franchises and pretty much everybody has played one iteration or another. To expect the same gameplay mechanics of Mario comes across as someone playing a game for the first time and not someone plays games on a regular basis let alone someone with over a decade’s worth of experience.
Dean referred to Cuphead having a high skill barrier which is clearly untrue and more of a reflection of someone not use to modern gaming controls and someone not familiar with what a truly difficult game is in 2017. The gameplay comes across as a newcomer to gaming. The starting stage is a basic level in black and white with instructions written out with little room for failure. Dean somehow managed to struggle with basic movement and it got worse from there.
Dean Takahashi admits he did “suck” at the game, unfortunately his follow up article shows how he is clearly not into gaming culture and he is more of a technology journalist and the claim to be a gaming journalist is more of an attempt to fit in with modern and challenging times where we are often required to wear various hats to do any job.