Cave Story/Cave Story+ (2004/2011)
Developer: Studio Pixel/Nicalis
Platform: PC/Mac/Linux/Wii/Xbox/PSN (PC reviewed)
Things you might like:
- Excellent story
- Unique character design
- ‘Metroidvania’ style game play
- Beautiful musical score
- Challenging game difficulty
Things you might dislike:
- Challenging game difficulty
Few indie games are as polished and entertaining as Cave Story. The only real drawback is retro game difficulty. Regardless, either the original freeware version or the updated + version is a must have for any gamer.
5 out of 5 “u jelly” indie game developers
CaveStory was developed and programmed by Daisuke Amaya over a 5 year span, however, with such a polished game, few could hold you accountable for believing that it was done by a team of programmers. The original Cave Story made the rounds on indie gaming blogs back in 2004 as a free download. After reading a few articles, I knew that I had to try it. After the many, MANY hours of amazing story and game play, years later I had no qualms about spending a few dollars on Steam to play the graphically updated CaveStory+ version.
As a child of the 80’s, I grew up on a steady diet of Metroid and Castlevania. Amaya must have done the same, because CaveStory+ clearly demonstrates that he has the same love for this type of game as I do. And for most of us children of the ninteen-hunded eighties, that love is strong.
You start CaveStory+ as silent protagonist Quote; a robot soldier (a cutely designed one, at that) with no memories if his past. Additionally, he has no idea of what he is doing at the present. He then discovers that he’s on a floating island inhabited by rabbit like creatures called ‘mimigas’. Shortly thereafter, Quote discovers the sinister plans of a mad doctor bent on harnessing the evil energies of the ‘demon crown’ for his dark desires. So…yeah.
As you play through the game, you’ll encounter several supporting characters who are also lost on the mysterious island. There is a brother/sister team and another robot, though this one is female. Together you must fight your way through the island’s perils in order to stop the evil doctor’s plans. Along the way you will collect a variety of weaponry and power-ups as you explore and ultimately master Amaya’s expansive world.
One thing to keep in mind as you’re playing this game is that this was done by one man and was given away for free. Free! For this reason, “Pixel” Amaya has more than earned the love and respect of the indie gaming community.
CaveStory+ is a must-have for its engrossing story, loveable characters, and lasting & polished gameplay. The game plays well and it will definitely take you a while to get through it. The only thing I can complain about, and it’s barely a complaint, is the rather high difficulty of the game. This is a game for the old-school gamers. You will come to rely on those save rooms as you die over and over again from falling in spike pits, challenging bosses, and even common enemies. However, with a game this fun, you won’t mind that much.
Oh, and one note, do find yourself a game pad. In my playthrough of the original version I did it with just my keyboard and that was just too frustrating. I’m currently playing through the CaveStory+ version and the graphical updates didn’t come packed alongside control improvements.
Now go! Get this game! Seriously! Steam has it!
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