Update: The Kickstarter is now live, with a €120,000 / £104,659 goal.
Original Story [Fri 3rd Apr, 2020 11:00 BST]: Enchanted Portals – the 2D platformer that caught heat for looking a lot like Cuphead – is heading back to Kickstarter, developer Xixo Game Studio has announced.
The game was first announced in October of last year, with a Switch release on the cards even at that early stage. It quickly faced accusations of plagiarising the look of Cuphead, and the crowdfunding campaign was cancelled not long afterwards – although the developer insisted that this was down to interest from a publisher, negating the need for the Kickstarter.
Now, Xixo Game Studio is resurrecting the crowdfunding drive, claiming that it will allow them more control over the project – and has released a new extended trailer to support this.
Here's the statement:
After several months of hard work and exploring different options to fund the development of Enchanted Portals, we have ultimately decided to relaunch the Kickstarter campaign as we believe it would grant us more control over the project. To that end, we have created a new extended trailer in which we show some of the changes and new additions we’ve made to the game and a lot of you have been suggesting:
- Given the large number of people who have asked for Enchanted Portals to be on PS4, we’ve decided to launch it on that platform in addition to PC and Switch.
- We have made some adjustments to the overall gameplay speed, aiming to offer a more exciting and dynamic experience.
- We have put a special emphasis on elements and mechanics that help our game further differentiate itself from Cuphead, including a new, more diverse soundtrack that uses different musical styles for each world in the game.
- We have added platforming stages, with a great variety of character-environment interactions to spice up the gameplay.
We’re really excited to finally take this huge step forward in the development of Enchanted Portals, we hope you enjoy the new trailer and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your ongoing support!
Interesting that they directly acknowledge Cuphead in the patch notes. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt here. It's not as if one game can solely own a visual style (which was itself an homage to an existing visual style anyway). Yes it's not particularly original but it's not plagiarism and the bosses look like they have had a bit of thought put in to them, not just copied over from Cuphead.
I hope people will let them do their thing this time.
It's not like Cuphead invented thirties cartoons, or boss rush shoot-em-ups. And they certainly didn't patent the combination of the two.
Yeah but you know how people are.
Most wil just screech "ripoff !!!" and gather torches and pitchforks.
I hope it does well but really hope for lesser enemies and platform levels mostly. That will get my purchase.
I for one hope it copies as much from Cuphead as possible - Cuphead is an amazing game after all - except the difficulty.
I want to see how this turns out. Nothing wrong with a Cuphead clone.
It looks like there is a lot of love in this but also it feels like it has a bit too many similarities to cuphead. Even the shooting doesn't seem different. They could have taken some spin on the concept, if only to have something to point at when people call them dirty ripoffs.
Whamsaynis: Hope they don't shoot themselves in the foot by being so similar.
I think we can all agree that if Cuphead didn't come to Switch, the reaction from all of us towards the "next best thing" would have been way different.
It looks shameless but if it's actually as good as Cuphead, I'll play it.
Adding new music and some platforming levels isn't going to make it feel less like a Cuphead knock-off. It's a shame because obviously a lot of work has gone into this but both the gameplay and the art style look incredibly similar. One or the other would be fine, but both together? Also a lot of the bosses look quite similar to Cuphead ones, even if not in their patterns there are a lot of familiar themes, which only adds to it.
You could fill your Switch with nothing but metroidvanias and rouge-likes. So a couple of Cuphead-likes is nothing.
I totally agree Enchanted Portals should be prevented to exist as it copies Cuphead's style.
And I think Cuphead should be prevented to exist as it strongly copied/pasted all its style from the cartoons of the 1920's-40's.
As long as we are there,, we should bannish Mortal Kombat and Tekken : they are just copies of Street Fighter 2.
And Sonic because it's a copy of Mario.
@Ooccoo_Jr exactly. Cup head was an exact copy of other art in the first place!
@Ogbert There are s lot of games you can point to that are just clones of another title. I like cuphead so if this game give me a similar experience im good. I dont back kickstarters though, but i will definitely buy it if it get released.
It is a tricky situation.
On one hand I love to see more games like Cuphead and I am definitely getting Enchanted Portals once it gets released.
On the other hand I totally get the people that are saying this is a rip-off of Cuphead.
True, Cuphead doesn't own the style of 30's cartoons, but, if I'm not mistaken, it is the first one to utilize such style in a video game, at least to that degree. So when something similar comes out, absolutely it will be compared to the original.
But the problem here is not really the art style but the gameplay. It has more than a passing resemblance to the Cuphead.
While it is true there are plenty Metroidvanias out there and nobody seems to complain it copies original Metroid, a good portion of them give a unique spin to the formula.
Unfortunately, Enchanted Portals, as good as it looks (and hopefully plays) is copying a lot from Cuphead in both visuals and gameplay. It lost it's identity because of it and will always be compared to Cuphead.
But, as I said at the beginning, I will play it and hopefully enjoy it.
@illmatic20xx Absolutely, but most don't acknowledge that's what they are/seem and release statements about how they are trying to differentiate themselves.
@Ooccoo_Jr See, I'm conflicted. On the one page, I agree that no one title can have a monopoly on a visual style. And it's very clear that a lot of passion and effort are going into this title. BUT, why does the gameplay also have to be just like that of Cuphead? It seems odd that the next game to go after that '30s animation aesthetic, would also make their title a run & gunner and not something else.
@duffmmann I do agree that there are certainly a few too many similarities. They could have done a pure run and gun like Metal Slug for example instead of copying the Cuphead format as well. If it's well done and fun to play then I will pick it up but you are right they could have been a bit more original.
@Pod Although you are completely right to some extent, I do think that for many of us, it was more like some other people already noted that even though Cuphead's developers did not invent the aesthetics, they were the first to use them in a game, and they used it so well. And there's definitely also a few too many similarities, level-wise, to a point where it's basically copy/paste but with other characters.
And for me personally, this game just doesn't seem to nail it as well, using wrong colors (too bright and colorful, not at all in line with the 30s animation aesthetics), and some of these bosses and levels also look WAY too modern, so that kind of takes me out of the whole "oh, wow, this plays EXACTLY like a 30s animation", which is a sense which I actually DID get from Cuphead, so this game not nailing that essential part, is what ruins it for me.
But having said that, obviously, this is just my personal opinion, so if anybody else does like this game, then that's also just fine, but it's definitely not for me.
This game might not be for me either, I'm not saying that they're earning the right to copy an idea by merit of their craftsmanship.
The point is that it doesn't matter to begin with whether they are making the game because they thought Cuphead was really neat, and wanted to do something similar.
It's a good thing that someone would do that. More games should try working in alternative visual styles. And obviously no graphical assets have been stolen or anything like that.
@MatoFilipovic I feel the same way. On one hand, I like the game genre and the style, but on the other, I'm not sure I'm entirely ok with pretty much the same game only with different characters. I think that since it's not directly stealing from Cuphead's fanbase (I mean most people already have Cuphead) and is directly acknowledging that it's inspired by Cuphed it's kinda fine. I will probably check it out at some point since Cuphead was indeed a brilliant game and I like shmups and bullet hell games.
Imagine if people in Japan were this precious about games/etc having similar animation styles to each other...
@Pod No argument, there. The more, the merrier, I'd say. But besides the whole "they stole the graphics" debate going on, which I don't really agree with anyway, I do think that they could have made more of an effort to give it a bit of its own twist, instead of not only choosing the same aesthetics, but the same level formula as well, which in all honesty is a bit too much "flattery" towards Cuphead, in my humble opinion.
I can't wait for next month when they beg for money again. And then the month after that. And then the month after that.
I don't get the point of the trailer, everything still looks like a bootleg Cuphead or ripoff or something...
The audience that's being asked to pay for it is allowed to say no.
Enchanted Portals' problem might be that other developers aren't tripping over themselves to take advantage of Cuphead's USP the way the industry does with others hits.
How bad could things have been where they had to return to KS?
Only things I can think of is either the publishers were asking too much of them, or they lacked the confidence to fund the project.
On the one hand, this is clearly a Cuphead knock off not just taking inspiration. The running, air dodging and constant shooting are dead give aways plus the animation is VERY similar.
On the other hand it's really up to Cuphead's devs to sue if they have a problem with it.
It's not that I don't agree, but leaning a little close to a source of inspiration in that way isn't by itself a crime, and it certainly doesn't offend me. Besides, the game isn't finished, and they might WANT to give it more of its own spin during development.
We can't really hold anything against them just yet, the way I see it.
@Pod I guess we'll find out whenever it's going to be released.
There's making games with a similar art style, then there's this. This game is literally just a copy and paste of Cuphead, same exact style in every shape and form right down to the boss rush design and gameplay mechanics.
Idk it just feels too similar, and looks nowhere near as good as cuphead. Blatant ripoff
I'm excited! Cuphead is amazing! If more games create hand drawn artsyles. Even though this one has a more flash animation, looks great!
I like that the characters interact more with the environment (being eaten by crocodile, crushed by gravestone, roaster with mirror). I'm excited to see what it brings to the table.
I suppose there's something to be said for having a bad idea and just absolutely refusing to let it go. Godspeed, sirs.
Do people have to put money into this again? Or how does this work?
Well the inspiration is very clear to see here. lol
The bosses have to be my favorite part. They all are very original, wacky, and stand out. And the projectiles of different bosses have different effects, which is something neat Cuphead didn't have
I think this game does not deserve the heat. Yes, it kind of rip off the looks and gameplay of cuphead, but how many games dont do the same? I mean, the eshop is crowded with metroidvanias. Also, the game looks fun (that rooster is hilarious). if the quality of the final product is good, why complain?
Here are the original bosses.
I don't care if the developers want to emulate the "style of Cuphead" (yes, I know cuphead didn't invent the style), but this is more than an homage. Why can't they get their own ideas when it comes to boss battle set pieces.
Yeah, it's the gameplay that bothers me, it's literally a Cuphead ripoff. I wouldn't mind another 60s cartoon game with tons of bosses everywhere, but at least change how you fight them.
This just looks like a Cuphead game that was made in Flash or something...
This isn't "inspired by Cuphead". It's a sequel to Cuphead under a different name.
Well I'll be avoiding this for the same reason I avoided Cuphead--I hate the art style of cartoons from that era, and utterly despise the music style. Cuphead could be the greatest game of all time, but I'll never know, because I'm never playing it.
If there's one thing I might have a bit of a hang-up with in regards to this project... it's the title.
Enchanted Portals sort of imply that you might come across non-enchanted ones on a daily basis. Or that Valve's game ought to have been called Scientific Portals.
It just mentions a bit too little about the spirit of the game. Most traditional games have you visit a broad variety of locales, so I'd instead focus a title on what they feel is unique about their game or its story.
Man, those juxtapositions are a bit of a stretch. They make it seem as if all the bosses both look and function the same, which isn't the case.
I would absolutely buy this, if only it has more levels than bosses and a lower difficulty than Cuphead. I love Cuphead. But I just stopped playing in the second world. It’s too difficult.
@JimmySpades You're the first person I've heard saying that, and I quite agree. This art style just gives me the howling fantods. I watched a fair number of them as a child and could never shake the unsettled feelings.
I am a fan of just about every other style of animation, but this one is a complete no-go for me.
@Pod I mean, you do encounter non-enchanted portals on a daily basis. We just usually call them doorways.
plenty of games just blend together so i just see this as a chance to throw another style into the mix, which i think is nice since we're seeing the quality of pixel art starting to really vary
@nimnio Made by the same people who made Cuphead?
I don't care if it's just another Cuphead like game, if it runs and plays great I will support. Looking forward to it.
I totally get what you guys are talking about. And that creep factor is WHY people find it alluring to revive this art style, and couple it with dark sinister stories and hauntingly difficult gameplay scenarios. It's the contrast of what looks cheery and inviting, but works underneath on an almost animalistic level of mental brutality.
The animators in the 30s were inspired by the fresh raw possibilities in finally being able to put ANYTHING on screen, and often sought to harness the human duality of fright and delight, as found in traditional fairy tales, folklore, and urban legends, meant to scare kids away from temptation and on to a righteous path. But they always exaggerated the imagery grossly, and they questioned the moral values of these stories. Such were the times.
Concerning the eeriness of art style itself, in the 30s, we hadn't yet had Bambi. Disney's 1947 magnum opus, a paradigm shift in the design and portrayal of appealing animated characters. Even influencing Osamu Tezuka's manga output so heavily that Bambi is still considered responsible for all the perky, slender, smooth-faced, large-eyed youngsters in japanese comics and animation today.
Before that time, animation was a rough, incomplete language, utilized by madmen who didn't always know exactly which feelings they were generating in the audience. But we can assume they WANTED to give us those heebie jeebies. Popping in to the cinema for a quick afternoon thrillride was the "stupid youtube video your friend just HAS to show you on his phone" of the time.
</history lesson nobody asked for>
forgot to say i'm not sure if it'll make its goal, emotions about the project have weakened
grabs popcorn This'll be interesting.
"As long as we are there,, we should bannish Mortal Kombat and Tekken : they are just copies of Street Fighter 2."
Wow boy are u people ignorant you have no idea what this article is about.
It's only made less than $15K AUD out of the $205K AUD it's asking. There is no chance this is happening and there is no prevaricating about the bush.
We'll see, they have another good four weeks, but it aint a good start, that much is true.
And I gotta say, attempting to crowdfund this type of product would appear a recipe for failure to me at the outset. It doesn't have its own unique concept, and from the looks of the trailer, it doesn't seem to do its thing nearly as good as that thing has been done before.
I'd like to see them succeed with this game, but man, I ain't backing it.
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