Fire Emblem – Path of Radiance: Progress Log #13

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

This chapter and the one after it are a little overwhelming because of how many characters are introduced, but it helps to separate them into groups based on where they’re from. We’ve met Daein people and Crimea people and Gallia people (cats?), and now it’s time to get a small glimpse of the laguz kings from Kilvas and Phoenicis in addition to the important Begnion characters who will eventually become the backbone of the entire story. Even just the way that Begnion functions is incredibly important, but I’ll try to cut all of this new information up into digestible bits. Read more →

Fire Emblem – Path of Radiance: Progress Log #12

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Chapter 12 is the first glimpse we get into laguz types other than Gallia’s beasts, and since it’s not going to be a friendly meeting, we’re going to make good use of that Laguzslayer sword that the (now dead) vigilante idiot gave to Ike in the last chapter. But Ike won’t be using it, obviously, since his level is maxed and it’d be wasted experience. Instead it’s going to go to Zihark so that he can try to catch up to Mia. Read more →

Cuphead Review

First, a little context that most people will be aware of, but that’s bound to be lost over time: a game journalist was recorded struggling to get past Cuphead’s tutorial level in the runup to its release, something that caused much embarrassment as well as questions about what kind of playing proficiency it’s reasonable to expect/demand from those in the industry. Now that it’s finally out, there’s been a veritable flood of outlets putting out videos of employees making it through levels unscathed and reviews that are quick to mention how difficult—but fair!—most of the game is. I imagine many of these people genuinely liked it, and that’s nice for them, but let’s not pretend that the overwhelming praise has nothing to do with the fact that the game has become a litmus test for reviewer competency as far as the gaming public is concerned. Let me tell you about my decidedly less positive Cuphead experience. Read more →

Cuphead Screenshots

I think that I’ve finally got my Xbox One screenshot ordering figured out to where they don’t come out all chronologically-challenged. Not that it matters here since Cuphead’s stages can be tackled in any order (the ones in your current area can, at least), but it’s a minor victory that means that I don’t have to turn this little pre-screenshot writeup into a rant about all of the problems I encountered with the game. There will be plenty of that when I get around to the review. Read more →

Cuphead: Progress Log #4 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Okay, a little story about today: I got to a part of the endgame that pretty much borrows the whole dice palace bit from Gunstar Heroes. It was long. It was tedious. It ended with a difficult boss fight—the fourth in a row (at best)—that ensured that the long, tedious bit leading up to that had to replayed over and over again. That’s when I decided that I was done with the game and wrote out a large block of text detailing why, but decided to keep playing and only post it if I didn’t finish Cuphead before my normal posting time came around. Then I managed to squeak past this bit of BS and get to the final boss fight, which I steamrolled without much of a problem. Kind of weird. Then I went around and found all of the coins hidden on the overworld map, which was enough to buy everything from the store. All of this is a relief; not only am I now free to never revisit the game (unless I want to play one of the stages I actually liked), but beating the game is a handy shield against those so desperate for non-patronizing games that they’re willing to overlook major design flaws and ascribe any criticism of their new favorite thing to an inability to handle the difficulty.

Not only did I beat Cuphead, but I did it while it was stuttering like crazy, completely unable to retain a consistent frame rate. Which is to say that power cycling my Xbox One didn’t work. I also beat it while contending with numerous new and exciting bugs that increased the difficulty by doing things like disabling buttons for short periods when certain weapons were used. Come at me, Cuphead apologists. Read more →

Cuphead: Progress Log #3

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I avoided Cuphead yesterday and posted about a different game because I didn’t want to play any more Cuphead. That’s not to say that I hate it, but it’s definitely a Jekyll and Hyde situation where half of the stages are difficult and rewarding in all the right ways, while the other half are so cheap and packed with what I’ll now be referring to only as “GDMFBS”—the “BS” is exactly what you think, and you can work out the rest from there—that getting through them feels more like a Pyrrhic victory than an accomplishment. Of course, the slowdown doesn’t help matters any and makes stages even more difficult because the frame rate alternates between being smooth and stutter-y (oh, and I came with video this time). It’s just meh. The whole thing is meh. I love the graphics and the music is catchy, but the amount of GDMFBS here leaves me wanting to play less and less and eventually just drop it. Read more →

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