Cave Story 3D Review

Cave Story 3D Review

I see there's some dust blanketing that 3DS of yours. No games to play, you say? Bored of Mario and Zelda already? It's no strange idea that Nintendo's 3DS has had a bit of a rocky launch, lack of quality titles, followed by a massive price cut not even half a year post, making for some rather upset fans. Regardless, if you still have that handheld 3D device and are looking for some action past the N64 remakes, why not check out NIS America and Nicalis' Cave Story 3D?

What is this Cave Story 3D, you might ask? Why, it's a remake of a classic action platformer. Now before you say, "balls, not another remake again," unlike the N64 re-releases of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Starfox 64, Cave Story 3D has been fully and properly remade into 3D. The original title was a humble little PC game released in 2004. It gradually garnered popularity with its charming 2D visuals (a homage to classics like Metroid and Castlevania), tight action-platforming gameplay and a compelling story.

Players step into the shoes of an unnamed character who, unfortunately, has lost all memories of his past. Long story short, a war had broken out on the floating land mass in which the game is set; there are some adorable little rabbit-like creatures called Mimigas that inhabit its cavernous interior; and a villainous scientist is bent on taking over the place. The adventure kicks off with players tumbling down into the underground caves.

The story is simple and kept quite linear. Certainly nothing ground-breaking when it comes to narrative. However, despite this, the pacing keeps players engaged and wanting to know more. There's something about keeping the malevolent Doctor's dirty mitts off of the peaceful Mimiga. While cinematic is as polar a description as any for Cave Story's in-game events, it's worth pointing out its ability to create powerful moments just based on character dialogue. Perhaps it's because of its simplicity that this is so, but if you're a softie, you just might find yourself quite attached to the characters that you meet throughout the story. The game also features multiple endings based on player choice, adding more than enough replay value.

Cave Story 3D - Plantation 14 Cave Story 3DS - Sandzone 8

For the nostalgic fans out there, this is quite literally Cave Story in 3D. The original was a game universally acclaimed for its tight action platforming mechanics and it's no different here. On the other hand, aside from a few tweaks, it's difficult to say if there has been any improvements. At the very least, it's not worse. For first-timers, this is an action platforming adventure you won't find anywhere else. While Cave Story pays tribute to titles like Metroid and Castlevania, its unique physics-based platforming and action mechanics make it more akin to bullet-mania titles. Players will find themselves trying to maintain momentum throughout a level, dodging and weaving through enemies that will crush, stomp, or blast you into oblivion. That's not even mentioning the rather challenging boss fights that lay ahead.

There are three modes to explore. Story mode is quite self-explanatory, players can experience the game's narrative and story here. Classic mode changes it up a bit, swapping all 3D character models out with the classic 3D sprites. It looks odd and quite funny when all is said and done. The final mode is a Time Attack mode for those that enjoy executing speed runs through each of the challenging levels.


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