Can I copy your homework? Sure, but don’t forget to change it a bit so that it doesn’t look like Cuphead 2. You know, replace Cuphead and Mugman with a couple of young wizards, take out King Dice and put Beethoven in his place, spice it up a little and you should come up with something whimsical. That’s Enchanted Portals in a nutshell, a co-op 2D platformer developed by Xixo Games Studio.
Enchanted Portals is in development for PC and Nintendo Switch, and the first trailer just dropped, with a Kickstarter campaign starting on October 24.
The Enchanted Portals Kickstarter trailer is getting quite a backlash for being unabashedly inspired by Cuphead. While StudioMDHR didn’t invent the genre, the exceptional and original art style is what made it a special game, treasured by many players looking for a substantial, fun challenge.
Enchanted Portals features a pair of young magicians who are sucked into a vortex, landing in a world where many bosses await. The gameplay mechanics heavily riff off Cuphead’s accomplished blend of platforming and boss rush, with the two main characters as the biggest offenders. Everything about them feels like a carbon copy from Cuphead, from jumping to shooting. At least, they use a magic wand instead of firing from their fingers.
There is no denying that some of the artwork in Enchanted Portals is extremely eye-catching, with clever color choices and all-around impressive animation, despite the odd lapse or two. The boss design isn’t bad either; the stylish Elvis Presley rooster and the princess are a couple of good examples. Boss battles are hectic and seem to feature some imaginative mechanics and tough challenges.
However, the leading duo is downright unappealing, and there’s a disconcerting lack of concordance between the characters and the background in some stages, leading to a weird immersion-breaking effect. Even the soundtrack in Enchanted Portals features some quirky jazz tunes that would sound completely out of place… if it wasn’t for Cuphead doing it first to wide acclaim.
Ultimately, Enchanted Portals will never be Cuphead 2, but it could turn out to be a guilty pleasure; one of those games that can be enjoyed if you turn off your brain and forget that Cuphead ever existed. First impressions are definitely mixed, but now it’s a matter of waiting to see how the Kickstarter campaign performs.
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