DLC Review – Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course
It feels like it has been forever, but Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is finally here and ready to kick my ass, and I couldn’t be any happier. It’s been quite a while since the original release, with plenty of re-releases through the years on other platforms, but this is the first time we have actually gotten new content for Cuphead. So how does The Delicious Last Course stack up against the original? Let’s find out.
If you’ve lived under a rock the last five years and never played Cuphead, let me give you a quick rundown of what it is. Cuphead is a 2D bullet hell, boss rush, action game with some platforming levels sprinkled in between the bosses. You play as Cuphead and can be joined by a co-op partner who controls Mugman, on their quest to defeat the devil. It’s adorable, but don’t let the cute old styled art design fool you, it will absolutely destroy you.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course marks the first time you’ll be able to play as a new character, named Ms. Chalice. The new story and island revolves around her, with some boss levels really leveraging her new abilities. Essentially, Cuphead or Mugman can equip a cookie charm that will allow Ms. Chalice to step in for them and be used. She has the ability to double jump, dash, and roll. The double jump comes in handy a lot, but the dash is the most effective new move since it allows you to parry the pink items or attacks by just dashing into it. Rolling is useful as well, since you’ll be able to roll through attacks unharmed.
While the new island feels designed for her new move set, you can still defeat the new island as Cuphead or Mugman, as well as go through all the previous content as Ms. Chalice, which you may want to do since the new island isn’t all that long. Unfortunately, the worst part about The Delicious Last Course is how short it is. We get one new island which has six regular boss fights, one secret boss, and five parry challenges from The King’s Leap. The only thing missing from the new island are the 2D side scrolling platforming levels that you could play in-between the bosses. However, with the new parry challenges, it seemed like a good trade off. Regardless though, I just want more.
Luckily, the content we did get is fantastic and fits perfectly within Cuphead‘s style. One thing I will note though, is that playing solo does seem to be easier than previous bosses. However, co-op seems to have had a pretty big difficulty bump. Bosses will have different attack moves and mid stage transitions if you’re playing co-op, as well as a far bigger life pool. This isn’t a bad thing, but something I did notice. If you’re playing co-op and your partner dies, the remaining player has a far easier time progressing quickly through the boss. It almost encourages you to play solo if you’re having a hard time, when it should be the other way around.
Outside of the parry missions, there is a secret boss that can only be accessed if you purchase a new item, as well as solve a puzzle on the island. You’ll need to use context clues given by some of the NPCs on the island and interact with the headstones to unlock the boss. Besides this, the regular content is classic Cuphead and that is exactly what I wanted. All the bosses feel unique with their own theme, attacks, and crazy transitions.
There isn’t much to go over for the visuals, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course retains the games amazing hand drawn 1930’s inspired cartoon cartoon art style and continues to impress. I absolutely love the art style, and they hit it out of the park with the new boss designs as well. The animations are smooth and stages are well designed in order to make sure the background and foreground don’t make it hard to see oncoming attacks. I never felt like it was too busy, which can make it hard to pay attention to your character or flying objects. The boss designs also have that cute but sinister feel about them, which I always enjoyed. Especially when they transition into something a little bit nastier after giving them a bit of a wallop.
Sound design also remains fantastic here, with the vintage grainy sound effects of the old Hanna-Barbara cartoons and the music sounding like you’re hearing it out of a phonograph. Much like the art style, Studio MDHR put a great deal of care into making the sound design as accurate to the time. The heavy “bonk” sound effects, to the poppy sounds of the guns, as well as the grainy overtone to all of it simply fits perfectly with every boss.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is a fantastic addition to the Cuphead package that offers more of everything you loved about the game. Unfortunately, the only downfall really is how short it feels, and the unbalance of the solo and co-op difficulty. Despite it being fairly short for me, mileage may vary depending on how hard it kicks your ass, or if you’re a glutton for punishment and want to ace the entire island. Regardless, I was just happy to be back in the world of Cuphead experiencing something new.
Final Verdict: 9.5
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, and PS5.
Reviewed on Xbox Series X.
A copy of Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course was provided by the publisher.