Play 'Cuphead' the Way It's Meant to Be Played: On a Black and White CRT

When you're evoking 1930s cartoons, it makes sense to ditch to the color.
October 3, 2017, 7:48pm

Part of the appeal of Studio MDHR's new game Cuphead is that it's just so darn colorful, and when all the wacky angry flowers and sadistic cigars on the screen are trying to kill you, playing it feels a bit like a psychedelic trip.

But as I said last week, it draws inspiration from the 1930s animation style of Fleischer Studios, famed for the first animated cartoons featuring Pope and Betty Boop. It's easy to forget these days that Great Depression audiences wouldn't have seen those cartoons with all that color, and they most likely would have watched them on a big screen in a theater.

Multiple generations, though, first saw cartoons like Betty Boop and Disney's contemporary Silly Symphonies as reruns on boxy monochrome TV sets.That's why it's so cool that YouTube's Lazy Game Reviews took the next logical step of playing the insanely difficult 2D run-and-gun shooter on a black-and-white CRT TV. The set he uses is from the 1980s, but the retro vibe makes Cuphead feel right at home.

If you're watching a particularly skillful player, it may not even be immediately clear you're watching a game. Cuphead already uses filters and other tricks to create an old-timey cartoon feel, but it achieves a near-magical presentation when you combine those techniques with the proper color palette for the period.

If you to try playing Cuphead like this yourself, LGR included a link to a video explaining how to hook up a modern HDMI cable to the older RF port.