Cuphead The Delicious Last Course Review

Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course Review – A Cup Half Full

A fanciful adventure!

I praised Cuphead when I reviewed it five years ago because it, unlike most of its contemporaries, trimmed the filler to deliver a super stylish boss rush platformer tailor-made for sadists. The Delicious Last Course—a cute name for the game’s downloadable content, no doubt—has been a long time coming and I do worry people’s expectations might need checking at the door. 

Thanks to its meticulously hand-crafted art, Cuphead itself took an age to develop. This expansion, which delivers one new isle housing six new bosses, might have taken a handful of years to pull together, however, it’s worth remembering what has been endured throughout that time. MDHR has been vocal about its culture being free of crunch, and it’s clear that the effort poured into The Delicious Last Course is painstaking. 

Because of this, as well as the content’s exceptionally reasonable price point, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the expansion is fleeting.

The expansion places a focus on the returning Ms. Chalice, who debuts as a playable character after numerous appearances in both the original game and the Netflix series. Her hope to escape from the astral plane and return to her golden-lipped corporeal form hinges on Chef Saltbaker’s infamous Wondertart, a legendary dish capable of turning Ms. Chalice into a real chalice. However, it’s not that simple as the ingredients for the mystical pastry are all under the safeguard of the isle’s bosses.

It’s an adorable jaunt, and The Delicious Last Course delivers a surprising amount of content and changes for its short stay. Ms. Chalice herself brings exciting new abilities including a double jump, an invincibility roll, and a dash parry with an extremely generous hitbox, it’s definitely fun relearning the game of Cuphead through this new lens. Beyond that, there’s an entire fourth isle to explore, cool weapons, and new charms including the Heart Ring—a handy trinket that restores a hit-point for the player’s first, third, and sixth parries of the level. This one, in particular, was a game-changer for me in surviving the toughest of the new stages.

These new additions not only make The Delicious Last Course a delight of its own, it completely changes how the original Cuphead can be enjoyed. There’s value in simply going back with a new character, along with the abilities she brings to the table and taking down the devil to task all over again. With only a handful of levels, it mightn’t deliver the most content, but the quality of life improvements can’t be overlooked.

Obviously, the main event of The Delicious Last Course are its larger-than-life boss battles that punctuate each biome of the isle. Although the Run ‘n Gun levels are absent here, the big battles are a mix of regular fights and shoot ‘em ups. Unsurprisingly, all of the bosses are wildly imaginative from a speakeasy housing a gang of criminal bugs to Esther Winchester, a bovine cowgirl who transforms mid-conflict into a chain of sausage links—a comical and cartoonish commentary on the meat packing process.  

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As if the development time wasn’t evidence enough, the care and consideration are clear in these new levels and not one of them feels like something half-arsed or pulled from Cuphead’s recycling bin. They’re rock solid from a design standpoint with each phase—no matter how outlandish—rolling seamlessly and logically into the next. I do think a couple of The Delicious Last Course’s levels were among the toughest Cuphead has offered so far, but I never once felt I’d died cheaply or unfairly and I think that’s an exceptionally tough balance to strike in a game like this. 

Regular difficulty is essential to making progress towards the much-required tart, but it’s also essential to not experiencing a watered-down version of Cuphead’s glorious, multi-stage encounters. 

Don’t get me wrong, these levels can be hard. But practice makes perfect and it’d be an enormous shame to settle for scraping through the easiest option and not seeing the journey out in full. 

The isle also has a few little side dalliances and non-playable characters to occupy your time with as you explore. There’s a whimsical cactus sat by a campfire waxing lyrical about past deeds, a podium of anthropomorphic mining gear, and a ghost detective seeking aid to solve a graveyard riddle. It’s hard not to get drawn in by Cuphead’s fanciful world when untold personality is piled into each and every point of interest. 

As someone who adored Cuphead, The Delicious Last Course scratches that persistent itch I’ve felt since exhausting myself of that game five long years ago. The price is certainly right for a new isle, a new hero, and a host of cool charms and abilities. Although it’s painful to consider that we might not see our porcelain pal again for some time—if ever—and if this serves as his last playable adventure then what a bloody treat it has been. 

Cuphead The Delicious Last Course Review
Conclusion
For Cuphead fans, The Delicious Last Course is an essential add-on adventure that more than delivers enough content for the price of admission. The art is sumptuous, the fights are fanciful, and there’s effort crammed into every nook. I expect some might say The Delicious Last Course under delivers considering the time between drinks, but I’m a cup half full kind of guy.
Positives
It's still gorgeous and wildly imaginative
A lot of new quality updates
Negatives
A bit light on content
Still might alienate a few through its tough difficulty
8.5