I gave it two valiant attempts, one on Xbox and one on Nintendo Switch, but my patience was tested and I just couldn’t do it.
Now, however, after playing one of the levels of The Delicious Last Course, the game’s giant DLC that has been in development for three years, I am determined to go back and do it once and for all.
Announced back in 2019, The Delicious Last Course is the first (and probably last) major expansion for 2017 indie mega-hit Cuphead. The expansion promises to build on the “classic Cuphead action” that fans fell in love with, and it is, without question, going to succeed in that.
The base game quickly found its audience for a multitude of reasons. For some, it was the game’s stunning hand-drawn art style, for others it was its throwback to 30’s cartoons and for the masochists, it’s the game’s brutal run-and-gun boss rush difficulty. It’s safe to say that all of this is back and in an abundance.
During my playtime at Summer Game Fest, I got to (attempt to) tackle the boss that Studio MDHR had previously shown off a few days prior during Geoff Keighley’s big live stream. Not only that, I was able to do it with the game’s latest playable character, Miss Chalice.
Mortimer Freeze is a three-stage boss fight, which during Summer Game Fest Live, we only got to see a glimpse at the final stage where Mortimer becomes a giant snowflake. Before that, however, are two phases that are tricky in their own right – especially the middle phase of the three.
In phase one, Mortimer is a wizard, using a range of different tricks and spells to try and take you out. Phase two is where it got really difficult, though. Mortimer this time turns into a giant snowman/snow monster and adds a range of new attacks to his arsenal. He rolls at you, throws ice cubes at you and causes swords to come out of the ground.
This phase feels like it’s really been designed with Miss Chalice’s moveset in mind. You’ll be double-jumping over the enemy’s relentless attacks and dash parrying on more than one occasion. It’s easy to imagine that StudioMDHR has kept the new character in its thoughts throughout the design processes of the Delicious Last Course.
The addition of Miss Chalice is most certainly a game-changer. The third playable character in Cuphead was always planned to come to the game, StudioMDHR just ran out of time. The brand new DLC, however, has allowed the studio the time to craft the character just the way they’d like.
Miss Chalice feels familiar to those who have made their way through the base game, however, feels equally distinct with her tweaked moveset and skills. Unlike the other two playable characters, Miss Chalice can now jump twice in succession, allowing players the ability to jump a little higher and dodge a few more attacks.
She also automatically parries pink items when dodging, which is great for building up the special meter and for those who aren’t very good at naturally parrying (like myself). Arguably though, Miss Chalice’s biggest benefit is the fact that she has four hit points instead of the usual three. This is a welcome little safety net for some of the game’s more tricky bosses, especially as the DLC is a natural progression through Cuphead in terms of difficulty.
While the Delicious Last Course adding another character to the fold is great, the DLC is so much more than that – especially when it comes to the animations.
The original game was stunning in its own right, with each frame of animation being meticulously hand-drawn by the StudioMDHR team. However, this new Cuphead DLC takes things to the next level.
It’s clearly noticeable how many more frames there are in the standard boss battles, however, in our interview with the game’s Executive producer, we were told that “there’s almost triple, quadruple the background count alone.” It’s hard to try and do justice to just how good this DLC looks, but there really is nothing like it in the whole of the gaming world.
With only a couple of weeks to go until the DLC launches, I’m excited. This preview of the Delicious Last Course has shown just how much love, care and effort the team put into creating this game.
If each of the DLC’s four other major bosses is anything close to this one, then we are in for an absolute treat and at only $8, this is looking like a must-buy for any Cuphead fan out there. I’m now determined to go back and beat it all, for sure!