After several years, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC has dropped, and fans of the game are in for a tasty treat as StudioMDHR’s commitment and dedication to the game’s unique style and aesthetic have paid off.
From the moment it was revealed, gamers worldwide were equally captivated and absorbed by Cuphead’s endless charm and individuality, making it look like it was going to stand on its own in the gaming market.
Since its 2017 release, Cuphead has sold millions of copies as players have been drawn to its painstakingly precise rubber hose animation and surprising difficulty.
It’s taken several years for StudioMDHR to finally release Cuphead’s long-awaited DLC – The Delicious Last Course – but the company’s exercise in patience and attention to detail has seen them whip up another sumptuous banquet of gaming excellence.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course key details
- Developer: StudioMDHR
- Price: $7.99/£6.79
- Release date: June 30, 2022
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch & Steam
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course trailer
StudioMDHR have cooked up something special
I’m not going to make a meal out of this, but it’s clear to anyone that Cuphead’s story is merely a few cutscenes – albeit gorgeous hand-drawn ones – of exposition to give you some basis for taking on bosses.
In Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, you won’t be collecting contracts for the Devil, you’ll be acquiring ingredients for Chef Saltbaker so that he can concoct the ultimate Wondertart. So, it’s up to Cuphead, Mugman, and the debuting Ms. Chalice to gather these resources.
The rest of the storytelling is passively explained through NPCs and the ongoing narrative of boss fights.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is restaurant quality
Just like Cuphead, The Delicious Last Course DLC throws up even more tough, and potentially grueling, boss encounters for you to overcome as they change up their attack patterns and even the scenery itself to become more dangerous.
Glumstone The Giant is a wonderfully dynamic fight featuring spiky gnomes, grizzly bears, and even the insides of Glumstone himself. There’s another tactical mid-air scuffle in a plane, this time against Esther Winchester, and the Moonshine Mob are out for your head — which can end very badly if you’re not paying attention!
As always, each fight is rife with hidden details, meticulous design, and an abundance of creativity in its attack phases to ensure that each and every attempt isn’t boring.
The game’s shopkeeper, Porkrind, has new weapons for you to try out as well as new charms, but it’s in Ms. Chalice where the individuality of Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course pays off. No longer a spectral entity, by equipping a cookie, players can now take complete control of her as a new playable character.
She has a double jump, an invincible roll, she can auto-parry when dashing, and has 4HP compared to the usual 3HP. Whilst this might sound overpowered, her single jumps are far weaker than Cuphead and Mugman’s, and you basically strip yourself of charms too.
Along with new bosses, there’s a secret boss – which we won’t spoil – and StudioMDHR has addressed one of the original criticisms of the game, the Run ‘n’ Gun levels, and instead opted for the King’s Leap.
Consisting of five different and fun mini-bosses, the only way to win is to become the parry perfectionist. As with the main game’s bosses, every fight feels distinctly different and will ultimately test your skills all the way to the gauntlet – an arduous boss rush.
Given that this is only DLC, don’t expect to be toiling away on this new isle for hours. There are seven main bosses, as well as the five brief King’s Leap encounters. Seasoned players will likely conquer the main content in a handful of hours, but it’s hard to complain about that when it has such a small price tag.
The introduction of King’s Leap is more than welcome, but it’s still a larger extension of the original’s mausoleum side fights. So it does feel like a new level type might be needed for a Cuphead sequel as right now you have traditional bosses and plane bosses. Another variation might freshen things up.
Blink and you’ll miss something
It’s no secret that StudioMDHR’s work on Cuphead is laborious to ensure that every single detail makes sense and fits the theme. It’s laudable and ends up with some of the most visually striking and eye-catching content possible.
From the gangly, deer-on-ice flailing of the Chess Knight to Mortimer Freeze’s multiple wardrobe changes, you’ll likely stumble across something new on each visit.
Another area in which Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course excels is in the music department as intense compositions are the perfect accompaniment for the on-screen chaos you’ll face. Each score fits the situation and is so deeply layered that your brain will become a swirling cyclone of jazz notes.
Throw in sound bytes and more drapes of personality from bosses and it’s clear why, despite only being DLC, it’s taken the devs so long to make this.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course is a delectable meal of polished excellence that I only wish had a tiny bit more substance. But what you do have is faultless and flavorsome and is a palatable plate of exquisite art and game design.
No matter how long it takes, any future Cuphead content will be welcomed with open arms.
Reviewed on PlayStation 5.