2004 saw the release of Cave Story, available only to PC users. Shortly after its debut, this indie title reached critical acclaim. People fell in love with the game’s design stating that it mirrored the best parts of other similar games such as Castlevania and Metroid. Then, six years down the road, the game’s original creator, Daisuke Amaya (also known as Pixel), teamed up with Nicalis to bring the title to WiiWare and DSiWare. Having received even more awards and praise after the Wii/DSi transition, they’re finally bringing the game over to the 3DS under the slightly updated title, Cave Story 3D.
Is this remake of a remake worth the $39.99 price point?
The gameplay hasn’t changed and that’s what makes it so great. This is mostly due to the perfect control layout and easy-to-pickup style that we’ve seen from other iconic games of the past, such as Super Mario Bros..
New players will be drawn into the game immediately with the simplistic and responsive controls. Even long-time fans will be reminded of what drew them to the game in the first place. The gameplay consists of your basic side-scrolling with equal parts platforming and shooting. Toss in a few environmental hazards and you have a decent idea of how things play out. The game bestows newer weaponry upon the player as progress is made. This allows for greater exploration throughout the game since these weapons are crucial in gaining access to new areas and facing off against the game’s bosses.
If you’re feeling especially nostalgic, you can skip Story Mode and go straight to Classic Mode for even more pixelated goodness. Also, if you’re able to overcome certain obstacles you will be granted access to the Time Attack mode, which is exactly what it sounds like.
The updated visuals and addition of 3D capability has made this the best looking Cave Story yet. The environments look inviting and overall more pleasing to the eye. The environments have been given outstanding new detail, which were absent from previous versions. Who knew caves could look so beautiful. Lights spill in through openings and illuminate the greenery lining the cave floor. The addition of 3D only further brings the surroundings to life, adding wonderful depth to a 2-D side-scroller.
The soundtrack was given the same amount of time as the graphics. Fans of the game will notice that this isn’t the original score, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. Does the name Danny Baranowsky ring a bell? It should. That’s the mind behind the superb music contained within Super Meat Boy and he has lent his talent for this remake. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
For those who have played a version of Cave Story, free or paid, you may not find pretty visuals as enough of a reason to lay down $40. With 3 basic modes and an unchanged story or layout, it really is the graphical update selling this game. The biggest complaint is that there isn’t a New Game+ option to be found anywhere. If none of these negative remarks bother you, then overlook this portion of the review.
Cave Story 3D brings a classic game to Nintendo’s 3D portable device. While it doesn’t do too much to differ itself from previous iterations, it is still a highly enjoyable game. The graphical update and inclusion of 3D makes the entire experience visually thrilling. However, the graphical update is but a side-note when compared to the extremely addictive gameplay, especially for those who haven’t taken the time to try Cave Story. And did I mention that Super Meat Boy’s Danny B. updated the soundtrack? Yeah, he totally did and it rocks. Newcomers should see no issue with the price, but current fans may want to hold off until the game drops in price if they’d like to enjoy this 3D experience on-the-go.
[Editor’s Note: Cave Story 3D was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Cave Story 3D Review,