Cave Story Retrospective: Part 1

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I’m going to talk a little bit about Cave Story and the different versions available. I recently got Cave Story+ from Steam. This is my first time playing the game although I did play the WiiWare version briefly just to get a feel of the game. I really wish I hadn’t of waited so long to experience this masterpiece. I urge anyone who loves 2D games and classic sidescrollers such as Mega Man and Metroid to give this game a shot. There are several different versions of the game so I’m gonna break it down for you to make it easy to choose which one is right for you.

First off, there are 5 versions.

Version 1 – Freeware PC

The original version was created by Japanese freelancer Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya. He developed the game entirely by himself over the span of five years. He even created his own music program for the awesome tracks used in the game.

This version is freeware. It’s the bare bones version of the game (sappy translation, retro music, hardly any content at all) but it is free and allows everyone to experience it.

Version 2 – WiiWare

The game did so well, a WiiWare version came out. This version added tons of new modes and content and overall looks fantastic on the Wii. A Boss Attack mode and Time Attack mode was added by getting the best ending. Also added is Curly Mode, the cute female robot that fights against and along side Quote can now be played. Not much of the game is different, but the new dialog alone makes it very interesting for enthusiasts.

Version 3 – DSiWare

Due to the success of the WiiWare version, a DSiWare port came to fruition. This version finally made playing the game on a portable system possible. It’s as affordable as the WiiWare version and looks amazing on a DSi/3DS. However, this version actually had some features removed for unknown reasons. Curly Mode no longer exists in this version, Boss Attack mode was also removed. This version of the game is easy to use and makes playing on the go a blast, but it’s a shame they removed all those nice extras in this port.

Version 4 – 3DS

After years of playing the same game, a brand new remake was finally released! The 3DS version features all new 3D graphics, along with the use of 3D technology, the visuals in this version are outstanding. There’s also a classic mode where you can use the old school sprites in the new environments. This version is expensive, but it does feature the best graphics of any Cave Story to date and it’s portable. This game gives a whole new generation the chance to experience the masterpiece known as Cave Story!

There are a few things missing from the game. Curly Mode is gone which is such a shame, it would be awesome to play as her in 3D (and she’s even on the cover! come on!) however there is some brand new content in this game featured in no other version. You can get a Prinny Hat as a skin to turn you into a Prinny. NIS localized this game so it’s a nice little easter egg they include but doesn’t really make up for the lack of Curly Mode. Also I hear there’s a small new area in this version.

Version 5 – Steam

The latest version of Cave Story is out on Steam now, it’s called Cave Story+. This version uses the original 2D style of the game, but the graphics and music has been enhanced greatly. The visuals look mindblowingly awesome. Something about 2D in HD just looks so vibrant to me and it’s something I really enjoy. The music has been remixed entirely, but you can also change the music and visuals to the original style if you so prefer. They also added Curly Mode, Time Attack, Boss Attack and even Challenge modes to this version! On top of that, there’s a brand new stage/area where you can go under the Island. This area features cut music from the original development. It’s truly the perfect version and it’s very affordable.

If anyone is interested in this game in the slightest, I urge you to please give it a shot. This game is such a masterpiece in my eyes, and I hope that more people get to experience this phenomenon so that a sequel may be possible. The developer Pixel has inspired me deeply with this creation. I hope that some day I am able to do exactly what he did by created a Freeware PC game that was so good, 5 versions total were made and even got a 3D remake. Very inspirational!

Check out my Part 2 of this post to hear my full thoughts on Cave Story 3D.

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