Cuphead was a phenomenon when it released, both because of its unique (for a video game) art style, and its insane difficulty. I’ve never played such a visually appealing side scrolling boss rush, and I really don’t think I’m ever going to play something that approaches Cuphead’s novelty. While Cuphead released almost five years ago now, it’s as popular as ever, with an animated TV series even releasing earlier this year. And while Cuphead 2 looks like it’s a long way out, we have The Delicious Last Course to tide us over.
Cuphead—The Delicious Last Course adds a whole lot of new gameplay to Cuphead in the form of a new location, Inkwell Isle, which means new bosses, new charms, and even a new character in the ghostly Ms. Chalice. Ms. Chalice is stuck in the astral plane, but a cookie allows her to temporarily take corporeal form. This cookie takes the place of one of the charms that Cuphead or Mugman use, so instead of Ms. Chalice being a character that you can choose outright, you have to equip a certain charm to play as her. That might seem like it limits Ms. Chalice’s abilities, but the truth is she has a unique moveset (compared to Cuphead and Mugman) and she tends to feel a little overpowered.
Ms. Chalice, for me, was one of the biggest draws of The Delicious Last Course. I always love it when a game introduces a new character, and lets you play old content with that character’s new abilities—it’s been something I’ve loved since the Sonic and Knuckles Genesis cart let you insert Knuckles into earlier Sonic games. Ms. Chalice has the ability to dodge roll, during which she has i-frames. This dodge roll sounds ridiculously powerful on its own, but she’s also equipped with a forward dash that also works as a parry.
The Delicious Last Course also features new shots and charms, some of them are pretty powerful. It’s been so long since I played Cuphead that I came into The Delicious Last Course completely rusty. While my character had my old, preferred shots and charms equipped, I found myself replacing them with the newer ones I picked up. The new shot options were especially alluring; with some that shot slower but punched a noticeably harder punch. Not to say the new abilities/attacks are overpowered, but they definitely allowed me to play with a different style that suited me just a tiny bit more.
Of course, The Delicious Last Course also means a whole new set of bosses to fight. I expected these boss fights to be more difficult than the original game’s, and while you might have a different experience, I found The Delicious Last Course to be surprisingly manageable. Don’t get me wrong: I died dozens of times to most of the new encounters, but I never found myself stuck on any one boss for days like I had with the base Cuphead. Maybe The Delicious Last Course isn’t easier, and I just got much better. But for those who worry The Delicious Last Course isn’t a suitable challenge, don’t fret: it’s still hard as hell.
Bosses are encounters are still outlandish, and always visually striking. Which is part of the problem: while you’re admiring the ornate animations, you’ll be killed by the projectile hell that fills the screen.
The Delicious Last Course is a heaping portion of new Cuphead, but even still, I managed to gulp most of it down in only a few sittings. It’s sad to think that this is the last Cuphead video game entry we’ll have for a bit, because playing through this DLC made me crave more of that rubber hose animation meets hard as balls boss rush gameplay. In the meantime, I’ll just have to go back to The Delicious Last Course to try to uncover all of the secrets.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review