Cuphead’s long-awaited and aptly named The Delicious Last Course serves up a wonderful final dish that acts more like a satisfying dessert than a full second helping. Though not for long, it delivers an enjoyable batch of diabolical boss battles and a welcome addition to the now playable Ms. Chalis.
Ms Chalis sports a unique trick such as the double-jump, a dodge roll that can safely bypass threats, and even an extra health point. He’s a blast to use, and I loved taking advantage of his extra mobility. Does that make Cuphead an easy experience? To some extent, but that doesn’t make the game any easier. Instead, she gives players more options to work with, which in a way makes her a more advanced character because of how I had to change my playing style for her new moves.
I like that she encourages aggression by having a dash parry rather than a jumping version, which means I had to move toward the threat in order to skillfully clear off the offense. His final attack, a vertical energy column, requires getting up close and personal with enemies, rewarding courage with big hits. I also enjoyed taking Ms. Chalis through the base game and dealing with bosses familiar with her unique traits. She offers newcomers a great alternative from the well-known, while giving veterans a new way to outwit familiar baddies. Ms. Chalis makes the base game’s polarizing run-and-gun phases more tolerable.
It doesn’t matter how many jumps or hit points you have if you don’t know how to use them. The Delicious Last Course presents a platter of delightful but demanding boss battles that, in most cases, pushed my skills to the brink. I highly recommend players to warm up by replaying a boss or two in the base game before jumping into this expansion. Since you can access the DLC early, first-timers should at least complete the first island before tackling the new content.
From tennis balls and laser fire to evading sensitive snowflakes while fighting a snow wizard in a topsy-turvy dogfight atop an airplane, these gripping new foes are everywhere able to throw everything at once. take pleasure. I’d say they rank up with the fight from Cuphead’s final third in terms of difficulty, as the challenge comes in freeing yourself from hell while parsing multiple projectiles and weaving between them. Design-wise, these antagonists match the whimsy of the original Rogue gallery, and it’s just as fun (and stress-inducing) to watch as, for example, a gangster spider take on several new forms.
Only one boss has one final twist that feels cheaper than fun because it reimagines the controls with little time to adjust. Skill matters most, but the sometimes frustrating element of trial and error experience remains. Taking damage from a new attack I couldn’t anticipate, like a bad guy falling on my head with no indication of where it might come, is still annoying. But every opponent feels victorious, whether you’re Ms. Chalis or Cuphead/Mugman.
Surprisingly, the revamped parry challenges turned out to be my favorite encounter from The Delicious Last Course. An evolution of the base game’s Tomb mini-games, which were decent but one-note, this new take pits players against five unique bosses that can only be defeated in creative ways using parry moves. I loved flexing my platforming skills and timing by carefully bouncing off a horse’s knight’s weak point or retracting a severed head on an executioner. Most importantly, these levels made me think about how to attack. In Cuphead, any enemy can be shot down by pressing the fire button, but figuring out different ways to use defensive maneuvers aggressively turns out to be an exciting combat puzzle. Since The Delicious Last Course skips the platforming levels, these arena battles provide a terrific break from the primary confrontation. I would love to see more of them.
Our heroes can arm themselves with new powers, such as the spread shot or a lightning-flavored version of the tornado that fires overhead, ideal for hitting air targets. My hands-down favorite turned out to be the crackshot, powerful projectiles that break into smaller bullets that nail the nearest target. They fit in well with the existing arsenal.
I apologize for not mentioning the soundtrack. Cuphead has some of the best scores in modern gaming, and The Delicious Last Course carries that banner with some finger-twisting new tunes. The new main menu theme manages to top the original intro song by a mile.
Delicious Last Course sends our Jolly Beverage containers on a high note. It provides an entertaining ultimate test of your skills while refreshing the original adventure by giving players a cool new character to enjoy. It’s more Cuphead at the end of the day, but I had a great time revisiting Studio MDHR’s wonderfully animated universe, testing its ability against its baddies, and experiencing fist-pumping victories all over again.