When Cuphead was released in 2017, it was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, even topping the charts as one of the most popular reviews here on CGR. Therefore, it was all but certain that the developers would want to strike the iron once again before the excitement died down. Lo and behold, we got an announcement at E3 2018 (back when that was still a thing) revealing DLC for Cuphead aptly named The Delicious Last Course. Although originally slated for 2019, a combination of delays to prevent crunch and deal with COVID-19 led to this release being pushed back 3 years, or 4 from the announcement date. The class of 2022 legitimately entered and graduated high school in between the time this DLC was announced and released. For such a long wait, even considering the delays, you’d think this would be a pretty meaty expansion, right?
Unfortunately, time does not reflect content this time around. With a total of 12 boss fights (a few of which I’d consider more a short challenge), you aren’t going to be spending as much time with this new content as you did with the original 28 bosses. I’m also not taking into account the several “Run & Gun” levels featured in the original of which there are none in this DLC. While this is somewhat disappointing as I was able to beat everything in less than 4 hours, the low price to access these fights keeps me from feeling swindled in any sense. At $7.99, it’d probably be more expensive to swing through McDonald’s (9 bucks for a quarter pounder & large fries these days) than to make the adventure into Inkwell Isle 4.
Besides, the new fights are just as great if not better than the originals. You even get to play as a new chara-
Oh right, there’s an additional story here as well. I should probably explain why Cuphead & his brother Mugman are beating up more residents after they already collected all the soul contracts 4 years ago. We’ll get back to the fights later.
This time around, Cuphead is not fulfilling another deal with the Devil (seems he learned his lesson) but rather trying to rescue Ms. Chalice from the Astral Plane (she’s a ghost and wants to come back). Ms. Chalice obtained an Astral Cookie that allows her to live again – but only by switching spots with another being. Recognizing this issue, she asks Cuphead to help her gather the ingredients for the “Wondertart” made by Chef Saltbaker to bring her permanently back to life. Not much else to say – without spoiling things, at least. Overall the story teaches a generally good lesson and even features remorse and forgiveness – although there’s no real justification/explanation for why Cuphead has to fight residents of Inkwell Isle for the ingredients instead of purchasing or borrowing them. Hmmm.
Anyways, back to the boss fights. 5 of them are played in the King of Games’ challenge, in which Cuphead, Mugman, or Ms. Chalice must defeat bosses in unique ways that only allow parries – no shooting or charms. I found most of these to be quite fun, creative and a good way to mix up the gameplay between traditional boss fights. And yes, I said Ms. Chalice could battle these bosses. As long as you’ve got the Astral Cookie equipped, you can enjoy her unique abilities – a double jump, extra hitpoint, parry dash, and invincible roll, at the cost of being able to use charms. Still, it’s pretty clear that her many abilities are more than worth the trade-off (especially when playing in those challenges that don’t allow charms anyways), so if you’re really looking for a challenge, you might want to stick with the original two characters.
The last thing I really have to discuss that wasn’t already covered in the original is potential new additions to the morality/parental warnings. I didn’t uncover anything crazy here, but there’s a few things I’d like to quickly mention.
– One of the new battles pits you head to head with a “snow cult”, which includes a battle against a wizard who throws tarot cards or at least something similar at you.
– Utilizing a broken relic, you can access a secret boss fight titled “One Hell of a Dream” in which you battle an angel and demon. There’s some additional details here which make it a bit scarier/creepier than any of the other fights in the game. After this fight, the broken relic becomes the ”cursed relic”, inflicting harmful effects when equipped.
And that’s all I have to say about the new Cuphead DLC! Aside from those two points, everything is similar enough that I think it deserves the same score as before. And if you haven’t read the original review, well, I thank you for reading through this one but the first is more comprehensive of the whole game. You can check it out here.
Original Priestly Comment by Fr. Samuel Beardslee:
“Any fan of animation should at least watch this game. Also, for parents considering for their children: This game may prompt some discussion on the role of Satan in our lives. The way this game handles this is not perfectly realistic (it is a cartoon), so it may be good to reinforce the fact that Jesus has already done what Cuphead and Mugman do in this game – paying the debt of our sin and releasing us from Satan’s authority. And Jesus did this without “working with the devil” as Cuphead does in this game (even if he does shoot the devil in the end). While in a game it’s good to fight the devil, in life it is good to rely on Jesus for the strength to fight against Satan.”
Scoring – 90%
Combat/Gameplay: 4/5 (-1 from weapon balancing issues)
Original Morality/Parental Warnings:
-Language: The (original) final two boss fights are located in “Inkwell Hell”, name of final battle is “One Hell of a Fight”
-Sex/Nudity: Mermaid in usual mermaid getup (bikini)
-Violence: Some bosses get beat up as you fight them, can have some scary animations, plane shoots realistic bullets and bombs, some bosses do as well
-Occult/Magic/Paganism: You are fighting the devil, gathering soul contracts, some bosses use cartoony magic, two boss fights reference Greek gods