What's new for people who've played it before?
NIS America didn't actually have a booth at TGS this year, but that didn't stop them bringing the finished English version of Cave Story 3D over to the Tokyo Games Show to show the Western media.
Having very little experience with Cave Story, I couldn't tell you specific details that are different in this 3DS version, but I was assured that this is a complete 3D remake of the original game with some additional rooms that may surprise long term fans.
Another fan-pleasing feature is Classic Mode where all the character sprites are replaced with the flat 2D original versions running around in the new 3D environments, very Paper Mario-esque.
The environments looked great, with some nice details in the foreground that help give it a pop-out diorama feel. I did stumble upon an area I remember from the original and while it did look familiar, it was also brimming with small animated touches and lighting effects which completely changed the look.
Everything has been completely reworked into polygons, even down to the tiny shards that you pick up. Purists may argue that it has now lost its retro charm and looks more like Metroid: Other M than a 16 bit game, but who would really want to play the same looking game yet again?
Speaking of playing it through again, as I mentioned there are additional rooms for the experts to discover, there is also a hard mode which I'm told is extremely difficult. On the other end of the spectrum, newcomers will be pleased to hear there is an easy mode which removes some of the more unforgiving aspects of the original such as instant deaths when touching spikes and other deadly objects. This should remove some frustration for people playing through for the first time.
For people who have played every version on the PC, WiiWare and DSiWare, you may be wondering should you play it again, especially considering as it is now a cartridge game and not a downloadable game. Well, truthfully, this version sounds like it's not for you. This is more to bring in new players who would normally never find it on the eShop.
I had fun with it, but next time I'll definitely be sticking it on easy!