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Cuphead & The Difficulty Dilemma

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  • Cuphead has had a bit of controversy in regards to its difficulty, but today I’m going to focus on how it stacks up to other challenging platformers that are held in high regard. Does Cuphead offer a good “rage game” experience? Let’s find out!

    Dark Souls footage by NickolaiBoulton:
    Music used: “Soul Vibe” by Aso, “Autumn Leaves” by Axian X J’san, Cuphead OST

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    Tanner Prince says:

    Honestly I feel like Cuphead is one of the best rage games of all time. It's certainly one that I have enjoyed, especially when you compare it to the monotony of Super Meatboy. The aesthetic feels better, it's visually dynamic, and the game rewards you for trying out new techniques. Others throw you through the same gauntlet over and over again, forcing you to take the same path repeatedly with no alternatives and no way to progress without beating the stage you're stuck on. I really felt the "rage" when playing Meatboy but honestly never did while playing Cuphead. And although Meatboy is a classic, I enjoyed Cuphead far more.

    TheKFCGamingCouncil says:

    "Health Bars" wouldn't really work well with the aesthetic of Cuphead, however, you can still show damage without having a health bar and I think that's something Cuphead should have implemented. Having the boss show wear and tear or having there movements be more panicked, frantic, and/or stammering about. The comment made about having too many projectiles on screen is kind of a misunderstanding of what this game is. Cuphead has a lot of inspiration from bullet hells (along with boss rushing, platformers, and rage games) thus the amount of threats on the screen at a time.

    DisneyDude 1928 says:

    Wait isn’t CupHead being praised as much as Super Meat Boy

    Jonathon Weldon says:

    I love these analytical videos but i have to admit I like it better when the first 2 thirds of the video is all screen capture with only the last third showing snowman. Great videos, just my input

    Lil Chwis says:


    Devin Sloane says:

    I agree 100%. Cuphead was a great game with some serious flaws. In particular, the clown and bee bosses drove me nuts with their random factors. I know a lot of people raged over the dragon which I totally see as well.

    Adam Mcfall says:

    Imo, cuphead isn't a rage game. It's a great boss rush game with memory, skill, and rng that will test reaction time. Cuphead can be won in 30 minutes, but practice is key just like any other game. I'm sure some people say the first mario bros game is too difficult..but with practise, it becomes beatable and with over 1000000 copies sold, the money has spoken.. people like this kind of challenge, no matter what game journalists say.

    furllan says:

    When the devil uses the dragon attack you can safely avoid damage by being under his neck, you don't have to go to the corner, it's actually the right way to avoid this attack.

    The running little devils telegraph their attacks, you can know which side they will appear by watching them in the background.

    furllan says:

    Cuphead is not even that hard to begin with.

    If the standard difficult was the expert, then all people complaining about how hard the game is might be right. But, as it is, the game is hard, but not at all frustrating. I personally think Super Meat Boy, for example, is harder – and more frustrating.

    Stefan Lopuszanski says:

    Great video. I was really enjoying Cuphead, but have been very frustrated at the two bosses I'm on now (Dr. Kahl's Robot and Cala Maria). They have so many random attack patterns with so much on the screen it is impossible to see what's coming. I feel like I have no control, even more so because of the airplane mode. I originally was going to give Cuphead a 9/10, but now I'm struggling to give it an 8/10. We'll see how farther I go as I've been making sure to 100% A+ every level and I'm on the last 2 in World 3 and they are far beyond challenging compared to the others.

    The Hypist says:

    Your argument at 7:20 is pretty moot. The Smoke Dash is the best charm in the game and the only one worth using. Most attacks can be evaded with this and you're just shooting yourself in the foot for not equipping it.

    Obligatory Boss Battle says:

    I used to have some of the same gripes about the game, but then I decided to go even further beyond, plus ultra style and get all the achievements. This meant I had to learn every trick and nuance of the game to come out on top. Things stopped being random and became predictable and manageable. My first playthrough was without the smoke bomb. Through planning and execution troubling parts turned into afterthoughts. The game has glitches like the phantom hit box on the right side devil snake, but even that is avoidable if you don't try to cheese the attack. I don't think it's fair to criticize something out of ignorance of deeper nuance. It's not the designer's problem if you're unaware of telegraph or what have you. It's also not your fault for not knowing everything about the game.

    Also can you and other critics stop labeling this a "rage" game. I feel like trying to shoehorn the game and pigeonhole it to fit some preconceived notion of what the game is "supposed" to be. Although to be fair you didn't stoop to the lazy Dark Souls comparison like so many others. It's misleading to lump this game in with Boshy and Meatboy when the design philosophies are clearly different and mark the game down because it doesn't meet the previous games' standards. By all means you're entitled to your taste in games but don't make sweeping assumptions based on misguided genre conventions that don't really apply.

    Andres Reyes says:

    I had the same issue in the devil fight and only on the left side of the screen. I think it's just a glitch. I learned that if you jump at just at the right time you can dodge the hit consistently, including the running devils.

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