The Delicious Final Course Review

It’s been five years since Studio MDHR released Cuphead: a charming yet brutally challenging platformer with a striking graphical aesthetic inspired by 1930s cartoons. Shortly after release, Studio MDHR announced a DLC add-on for the game, aptly titled Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, and then delayed it for several years. Four years later, The Delicious Last Course is ready to be delivered, bringing out some of the most challenging bosses in the Cuphead lineup, an animation feast, and new gameplay treats packed inside one delicious package . As players sink their teeth into The Delicious Last Course, it slowly becomes apparent that this DLC prioritizes quality over quantity. Delicious Last Course can take around four to five hours to complete a complete playthrough depending on the player’s ability. It features a new location, five unique bosses, and a new character as the main attraction of the expansion. However, each new element in the DLC has a noticeable level of depth, and it’s undeniable that The Delicious Last Course prefers to add fewer, deeper elements rather than multiple superficial ones. Delicious Last Course takes players to a new location, Inkwell Isle 4, which is easily accessible early in the base game or in any of the game’s three Mausoleums. Inkwell Isle 4 is a smaller area compared to the other three Inkwell Isles of Cuphead but features many visually diverse environments from snowy mountain tops to dusty deserts. Accompanying Cuphead and Mugman is a small cast of side characters that flesh out the world and make it more vibrant. Cuphead_mortimer_freeze Delicious Last Course introduces a new playable character in the form of Ms. Chalice. Previously a side character throughout the base game’s Mausoleum and now fully fleshed out with a unique set of moves. Ms. Chalice is on a mission to return his spirit form to the physical realm by using the ‘Wondertart’ which can only be accomplished by defeating every major boss of the expansion. With the help of Cuphead and Mugman and the Astral Cookie charm, which allows players to take on the role of Ms. Chalice, players can re-establish the physical form of Ms. Chalice. It’s a simple story that features some charming cutscenes but the core of the DLC still rests on the tight platforming and boss battles that fans love. Where players will see The Delicious Last Course expand on Cuphead the most is in its gameplay. Ms. Chalice brings a breath of fresh air to the movement mechanics that fans are used to and contrasts the more difficult gameplay of Cuphead and Mugman to the base game. Ms.Chalice has a natural double jump, a parry dash, a slide dodge that gives a moment of momentary invincibility, and an extra HP point. All the tools here create a gaming experience that feels more flexible and accessible. On paper, Ms. Chalice may seem like a character that lessens the challenge of Cuphead; however, his skillset functions more as an alternative gameplay strategy rather than acting as any kind of ‘easy mode.’ Delicious Last Course’s brutally challenging boss fight requires a high level of skill that cannot be easily solved by adding a double jump or dodge roll. Cuphead’s standard ‘Run and Gun’ courses are absent from The Delicious Last Course, but some of the best boss fights in the game take their place. Studio MDHR said the design philosophy behind the DLC was for each boss to “play like a final boss,” and the team has delivered on that promise well. The bosses contain many unique attacks, animations, and moving obstacles that are hand-drawn and well put together in the final product. A single boss fight stage can have more moving parts and animations than an entire fight in the base game, and the difficulty level for each boss matches the same level of depth and complexity. cuphead_challenge_room The bosses range from three to four distinct stages depending on the difficulty level, and no two bosses play the same or pull the same trick twice. Esther Winchester needs the skillful maneuvering of Ms. Chalice in an almost hellish battle scenario across the arena that moves at breakneck speed. Howling Aces takes players for a loop by playing on screen orientation in an almost vertigo-inducing dog fight. Each boss in the expansion has something new and exciting to see and experience. Fans who crave the challenge that only a Cuphead boss can deliver will surely be pleased with the lineup presented in The Delicious Last Course. However, the bosses aren’t the only main draw of The Delicious Last Course. Similar to the Mausoleums of the base Cuphead game, the DLC features a ‘King’s Leap’ challenge room that strips the player of their shooting ability and offers strict platforming and parry-based boss challenges . These tricky arenas are varied, each featuring a unique gimmick that’s up to the player to understand and just as brutal as the main boss fight. They serve as a great palette cleanser between the frenzied shooting and dodging matches of the main boss fights. RELATED: Cuphead Show Season 2 Release Date Announced With New Teaser The Delicious Last Course also contains a whole host of new items that contain exciting secrets and new ways to play the game. The Crackshot weapon, in particular, is a huge help for players who may be struggling and need a homing missile advantage. Homing projectile weapons are nothing new in Cuphead, but Crackshot feels like a step forward in player accessibility due to its excellent damage output. One of the most notable items is the Broken Relic, a mysterious object that has its own side quest puzzle for players to figure out and also has a great reward for those willing to dig into every corner of The Delicious Last Course. As mentioned before, The Delicious Last Course is not very extensive, but it is in these clever things where the DLC finds its cherry on top and makes the whole experience complete. cuphead_bullet_hell Bringing it all together is the visual and auditory experience, which is as impressive as ever. Part of the reason for The Delicious Last Course’s delay is that Studio MDHR painstakingly draws every frame in the game, and it’s a process that requires a huge amount of work. It was time well spent. The backgrounds are more dynamic than the base game, bringing an abundance of life to a game that looks lively. Scene composition changes and boss animations flow into each other so seamlessly and so well that it’s almost hard to believe that everything in Cuphead is truly hand-drawn. Complimenting The Delicious Last Course’s art style is the original soundtrack, which offers new tunes that are both catchy and frenetic. Kristofer Maddigan, the composer of Cuphead, returns for this DLC, and his work continues to impress, expanding the sonic palette of the game with diving into new genres. Delicious Last Course’s old-school analog sound and 1930s cartoon aesthetic come together for one last dance to produce a great looking and sounding game that is still unlike anything else on the gaming landscape. Cuphead DLC Boss Although short, The Delicious Last Course is certainly not lacking in quality and depth. It fine-tunes the best parts of Cuphead with its captivating art style and challenging boss battles while also providing deep and meaningful additions to the game with new weapons, items, and gameplay mechanics. Delicious Last Course combines everything that made the base game so successful into one package and adds a few finishing touches to make it a proper send off for Cuphead and Mugman after half a decade in the spotlight. Its title echoes its nature; it was a delicious final course. Cuphead is available now for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Delicious Last Course launches on June 30, 2022. Today Technology was provided a PC code for this review. MORE: Cuphead 2 Could Be Years Away

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