Cuphead: Progress Log #2

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

The good news is that I haven’t run across any more bugs. The bad news is that the slowdown is worse than ever, taking the frame rate down to almost unplayable levels at several points. It’s driving me crazy that it isn’t captured in my videos for whatever reason, but I know what 10-20 frames per second looks like, and it’s definitely dipping down into that range during the more chaotic sections. It’s even started eating some of my button inputs during these periods of slowdown, and this is no longer a problem exclusive to the homing weapon. The most frustrating thing of all, though, is that I can’t find a single other person having the same problem. You know that Twilight Zone episode with the gremlin on the wing that Shatner kept freaking out about? And it would run off whenever someone else showed up to look? This feels like that episode. I’m about ready to just record the screen with my phone when it happens. That’ll prove to you all that the Cuphead gremlin is real.

I love the hourglass on the loading screen

Seriously, just look at this thing:

The running and gunning and flying are better

I wouldn’t say that the running and gunning segments are good yet, but I’m definitely much less annoyed with the ones in the second area than I was with the first couple.

One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s not always easy to get a sense of what’s safe to touch and what will cause you to take damage. Take the very end of the stage above; is it safe to jump through the wall’s mouth at the end without there being an obvious platform there? You can see me hesitate before going for it because things like that are equally likely to damage you. And sometimes bosses move through you, while other times touching them damages you. That’s besides the point, though. Running and gunning didn’t fill me with rage, so I’m putting it in the “win” column.

The flight stages were also fairly decent. Infuriating at first, of course, but learning the patterns and blowing through the whole thing was nice. There are still foreground objects flying by the screen, but I found them much less distracting and cheap than the ones in the first flight stage. These also go in today’s “win” column.

Parrying harmless things is decent

There are these little minigames where you have to parry away a bunch of ghosts while protecting an urn with a friendly ghost trapped inside of it. She gives you new special moves to use afterwards, and the whole thing is easy enough that I blew through both the first and second area’s ghost parry stages on my first try. Parrying is only a problem when it comes to hazardous projectiles, because that changes up the necessary timing and typically occurs in a setting where things can go wrong.

I mean, you can see me doing the parry move after the enemy exploding animation finishes here, and it’s clearly the end of the parry rather than the full thing. It just decided that I was a split-second too late. Again, I don’t see why I should even bother if this kind of thing is going to happen. Then again, I can’t help but blame part of it on the slowdown. There’s a lot of slowdown on this particular stage, especially when the boss goes crazy and launches a little bullet hell-style maze of feathers (though it’s a bit more generous with the free space than actual bullet hell games). That’s the part where my frame rate consistently hit its lowest point.

It’s not all cupcakes and roses, though

What’s the fascination with distracting foreground elements? Seriously, they serve no purpose other than to block off parts of the screen. That becomes super frustrating when an enemy spawns at the right of the screen and I can’t see it because there’s a giant foreground cupcake blocking my view of things. There’s no reason to not give players an option to turn all of this foreground crap off.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve finished most of the second area with the sole exception of this dragon fight. The third phase is throwing me for a loop, and I’m really uncomfortable platforming while trying to simultaneously avoid attacks. That’s not the point of the video, though—the point is that you can get hit immediately after using your super attack because your invincibility wears off instantly and the stage continues around you while you use it. This goes into today’s “lose” column.

[Click here to go to Cuphead log #1]
[Click here to go to Cuphead log #3]

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