3DS

North America

Cave Story

by Neal Ronaghan - October 1, 2012, 11:03 am PDT
Total comments: 23

9.5

One of the best games in the past decade gets an even better 3DS release.

Cave Story, available as a 3DS eShop title, is the third version of the game to appear on Nintendo handhelds. The first was a DSiWare release of the original version of the game, and the second was the 2011 3D retail release. Both earlier versions of the game had their merits, but at this point, they’re just about worthless because Cave Story on the eShop is the definitive version (at least until they do some other re-release).

For the uninitiated, Cave Story was originally a freeware game made by Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya in 2004. It was beloved, and eventually Nicalis remade it for WiiWare and DSiWare in 2010. In 2011, Nicalis remade the game with 3D character models for a retail 3DS release and also released Cave Story+ on Steam, the latter of which is the basis for this new 3DS eShop release.

The game itself is comparable to seminal 2D works such as Metroid, though its story is a little more guided than that game’s. The hero has a variety of guns he can wield, and you learn a lot of fun combat and traversal tricks as you progress. The game features multiple endings, branching paths, and delightful 2D platforming gameplay. For anyone who has any interest in 2D platformers, you should have played this; if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

On the eShop, Cave Story features the original version’s graphics and music, but retains all the content (including the Wind Fortress and Curly Story) of the Cave Story+ Steam release. A few more additions sweeten the pot, including optional widescreen graphics, customizable controls, and wonderful stereoscopic 3D backgrounds. Still, there isn’t really anything new or unique to this version outside of some bells and whistles.

The use of 3D is masterful, as there are multiple layers of depth that make the simplistic 2D game look full of life. It might not add anything to the gameplay, but the 3D straight up makes Cave Story a better experience. The widescreen graphics, which fill out the top screen, are similarly effective.

Even without any additions, Cave Story is still the same amazing game people have raved about for eight years. It’s one of the best 2D platformers in recent memory, and this version is worthwhile if you’ve never played it before or are itching for a reason to play it again.

Summary

Pros
  • Fantastic gameplay
  • Includes tons of bonus content
  • Wonderful use of stereoscopic 3D
Cons
  • Nothing wholly unique to this version

Talkback

Fatty_The_HuttOctober 01, 2012

Hmm, might be time to finally take the Cave Story plunge with this one. Been mulling it over forever but there always seemed to be a new version on the horizon. This one sounds about right.

red14October 01, 2012

Hm! One of my fav games. I try to decide which song on Cave Story's my fav, but they're all unique in such great ways. Very retro and dignified I'd say. Well, that's a good way to describe the whole game too of course.


I even managed to get a copy Cave Story 3D back in March or so. Last one in Jacksonville FL practically. I think it would be the best version if most of the 3D sprites in the game were designed and placed differently.

RodrigueOctober 01, 2012

And how much does it cost? I got the DSiWare version and I'm not feeling too good about how Nicalis is milking this game.

TJ SpykeOctober 01, 2012

Quote from: Rodrigue

And how much does it cost? I got the DSiWare version and I'm not feeling too good about how Nicalis is milking this game.

It will be $9.99 when it releases on the eShop this Thursday.

ejamerOctober 01, 2012

I'm not sure I understand the "milking" objections. Nicalis is making the game available on many different platforms, but it doesn't seem to me that they are making each version of the game progressively better in a way that makes older versions obsolete.

Or to be more direct: giving consumers choice is a good thing. As a consumer, just choose what you do/don't buy and worry less about the rest.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 01, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

I'm not sure I understand the "milking" objections. Nicalis is making the game available on many different platforms, but it doesn't seem to me that they are making each version of the game progressively better in a way that makes older versions obsolete.

Or to be more direct: giving consumers choice is a good thing. As a consumer, just choose what you do/don't buy and worry less about the rest.


I think fans would just really like to see a sequel. I'm not sure if Pixel has ever said he would do one, but that's certainly what many fans seem to want. Personally, I'm glad it's been released on several different platforms but even I would agree that the game has been well and truely milked. Technically, this is the third variation of Cave Story that is playable on the 3DS. We had the DSi version, we had the polygonal remake which was a retail release and now we have a 3DSware release. It is abit much.

StogiOctober 01, 2012

And yet I still haven't played it.

purevalOctober 01, 2012

What exactly are the differences between the 3DS retail release and eshop one?

Quote from: pureval

What exactly are the differences between the 3DS retail release and eshop one?

A lot.

3DS retail release is the game completely redone with 3D modeled characters and environments. There is like one other bonus mode that unlocks at the conclusion of the game.

eShop release has the old graphics and music, but in stereoscopic 3D, and all the bonus modes (I believe there are 4 or 5 in total) present in the Cave Story+ Steam release.

Bman87301October 02, 2012

It's a damn shame those of use who previously purchased the DSiWare version don't get access to this as a free update... especially if it's going to offered for the same price. There's no excuse for this.

Quote from: Bman87301

It's a damn shame those of use who previously purchased the DSiWare version don't get access to this as a free update... especially if it's going to offered for the same price. There's no excuse for this.

Folks from Nicalis has said that they were trying to figure out a way to do it, but they couldn't get it to work.

At least if you previously bought the DSiWare version, you can bring it over to your 3DS. They could have been really douchey about it.

ejamerOctober 02, 2012

Quote from: Bman87301

It's a damn shame those of use who previously purchased the DSiWare version don't get access to this as a free update... especially if it's going to offered for the same price. There's no excuse for this.

What are you losing with the DSiWare version? Outside of a few tweaks to the presentation, it's the same game content.  Seems like allowing users to bring that release over to 3DS means you aren't losing anything (ie: still have exactly what you paid for) and the upgrades aren't that significant anyway.


More importantly, why do you think buying something once entitles you to free upgrades and support later? The world usually doesn't work that way... and when it does, it's an awesome bonus instead of a right.

Infinitys_EndOctober 02, 2012

As long as the music and graphics weren't totally raped like the Wii release, I'm happy it's out on 3DS.  Maybe I'll actually purchase this version.

Bman87301October 02, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

What are you losing with the DSiWare version? Outside of a few tweaks to the presentation, it's the same game content.  Seems like allowing users to bring that release over to 3DS means you aren't losing anything (ie: still have exactly what you paid for) and the upgrades aren't that significant anyway.


More importantly, why do you think buying something once entitles you to free upgrades and support later? The world usually doesn't work that way... and when it does, it's an awesome bonus instead of a right.

While I agree your premise that we shouldn't feel entitled to freebies, in this particular circumstance however, we have a version that is specifically replacing the DSiWare version in the eShop. It retains the exact same title, same price, and as you already noted, only offers minor upgrades which certainly doesn't warrant paying the full price again for-- in other words, it's just an update the same game. In all other instances, these kinds of minor updates are counted as part of the original purchase, and as such, are offered for free. Nicalis has even straight out said they wanted this to just be an update to the DSiWare version, but just couldn't work it out with Nintendo. So with all things considered, it really IS inexcusable here.

Bman87301October 02, 2012

Quote from: Infinitys_End

As long as the music and graphics weren't totally raped like the Wii release, I'm happy it's out on 3DS.  Maybe I'll actually purchase this version.

Um, the option to use the original music and graphics were in the WiiWare version...

But it's not like they're making the DSiWare version not work on the 3DS (which they could have done). If you bought it on DSiWare, you can transfer it over.

And once again, like you said, Nicalis attempted to make it a free update but they couldn't get it to work. Whether they're full of shit or not, if you take that at face value, it is excusable because they tried to make it work in the way that would benefit consumers but it didn't work. So they did the best they could with what they had.

Bman87301October 02, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

But it's not like they're making the DSiWare version not work on the 3DS (which they could have done). If you bought it on DSiWare, you can transfer it over.

And once again, like you said, Nicalis attempted to make it a free update but they couldn't get it to work. Whether they're full of **** or not, if you take that at face value, it is excusable because they tried to make it work in the way that would benefit consumers but it didn't work. So they did the best they could with what they had.

I'm not saying I necessarily blame Nicalis. The issue is most likely from Nintendo's lack of flexibility when it comes to accommodating 3rd parties, which we all know Nintendo is in dire need of addressing. Regardless, of who's to blame, it certainly COULD have been achieved and the fact that it wasn't deserves to be pointed out and criticized.

Agree to disagree.

I don't think it's an issue of accommodating third parties as the fact that 3DS eShop is a different beast than the DSi Shop, and that's not bad thing because of how flipping awful the DSi Shop was.

CericOctober 02, 2012

I would have really liked if it had a mode for the 3DS retail version as well.  Then it be the complete collection.

TJ SpykeOctober 02, 2012

No way would it be $10 then. Maybe they might release a version of the 3DS game that contains this extra content.

Pixelated PixiesOctober 03, 2012

Quote from: Stogi

And yet I still haven't played it.


If you'd like to, thanks to ejamer, I have a spare steam code for Cave Story +.

LittleIrvesOctober 04, 2012

I played the WiiWare demo but never got around to buying it. Frankly I'm confused as to how I haven't played this yet, as I loved the demo...  this feels like the right version for me, but I'm hoping the smallish 3DS screen (no XL for me yet) doesn't make it difficult to see what's going on, since all the characters and whatnot are pretty small.

NubOctober 04, 2012

Nice review.  I'm gonna be buying this later.

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Genre Adventure
Developer Nicalis
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Cave Story
Release Oct 04, 2012
PublisherNicalis

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