Cuphead made a tremendous, technicolor splash when it was released back in 2017. Nintendo fans had to wait until 2019 to get a taste of that boss rushin’ run n’ gun flavor, but these days they’re some of the most voracious patrons of the game. Thank goodness too, because I wouldn’t be able to stomach having to wait for this highly anticipated (and just as spectacular) DLC any longer than absolutely necessary.
Yes, The Delicious Last Course is here, serving up some of the tastiest throwdowns Cuphead and Mugman have ever known. They’re joined this time around by the lovely Ms. Chalice and one Chef Saltbaker, the quartet working together to try and restore Ms. Chalice’s corporeal form. It all fits well enough with the established Cupheadisms of Don’t Deal With the Devil but ultimately serves the purpose of giving us more of what the game was all about – challenging fights and superlative animation.
The bosses featured in Cuphead’s DLC are all on par with the base game’s, and in several ways exceed them. There’s some imaginative stuff here that plays with expectations, serving up some curveballs to try and catch even the most seasoned players off guard. Where things really shine is the visuals, as each encounter is a new opportunity to see this game and its characters in motion. If you want an idea of what you’re getting and why it’s so lauded, might I point you to our original Cuphead review, as everything there effectively applies here as well.
It’s not all praise here though. As enjoyable (and difficult, in the best of ways) as The Delicious Last Course is, it’s also brief. Considering the amount of work that goes into animating, scoring, and developing Cuphead this makes sense; but you’re ultimately getting one “Island’s” worth of boss fights. On top of that there are no side scrolling stages, and if you’re extra particular one of the bosses is airplane based. So while the bulk of what’s here is what I’d call the best of what Cuphead has to offer, it’s also a short experience at its core.
One notable addition though is a floating castle of chess-themed opponents that are fought exclusively with parries – no shooting allowed. While they’re typically quicker affairs than the “standard” bosses, the change of pace and approach makes for a sequestered off extra challenge that is just as impressive stylistically as the rest of the DLC – perhaps even more so thanks to consistent theming throughout.
The real standout of the entire affair is the final boss, though. Overcoming it felt thrilling and satisfying, eclipsing the rest of the encounters and wrapping things up with a perfect last bite.
You’re not just getting more wallops, as The Delicious Last Course also offers up new shot types and charms. Mixed with the existing arsenal, fans will find exponential new combinations of ways to approach the totality of Cuphead.
That extends to its new playable character as well. Ms. Chalice is more than just a charming “skin” for Cuphead and Mugman. Her parry works completely different from the others, propelling her forward as a dash and as such letting her do so on the ground just as well as in the air. She’s also got an invulnerable, rolling dodge that makes her a solid alternative for beginners to get in on the action. It is worth noting that she’s only accessible via a charm, meaning her skill set is “locked” compared to the more flexible nature of the original drinkware duo.
Whatever your vessel of choice, there’s plenty to love and gain from this DLC. It’s just a shame that the experience is on the shorter side – a compliment to its excellence that all I want from Cuphead is even more Cuphead. If you’re in a similar situation and haven’t sprinkled on this extra seasoning yet, don’t think twice and savor The Delicious Last Course for all it’s worth.
System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: June 30, 2022
Categories: Platformer, Action