This review was originally posted by Thadeus Lorefield at Accursed Farms Forums on November 25th 2011.
CAVE STORY +
Buy on Steam
Cave Story, or Doukutsu Monogatari, is one of the more famous examples of "games you never knew existed that has a huge fanbase", the game is a 2D platformer with a big emphasis on exploration and defeating enemies, a style often refered to as Metroidvania due to its similarities to the metroid series exploration and the castlevania series focus on learning how enemies move and act to best beat them.
The game is available for free on the internet, however, an updated version of it is available on steam with added features, new graphics and new music.
Personally I love the graphics of Cave Story, they are basically a love letter to anyone that grew up in the 16-bit era of gaming, it's simple but charming at the same time with a lot of varied environments and the areas are memorably designed so you will most likely never really get lost because of things looking similar.
The version on steam has the option of switching between the new graphics or the old, so you can really pick whichever you prefer and for once to me the improved graphics have managed to keep the charm which is pretty rare in these kinda games.
Here is a quick comparison between the original graphics and the improved graphics:
Music and Sound
The music is also very similar to that of the 16-bit era and are alright and some are pretty catchy, however I dont like the improved music much, though that isn't a problem as you can choose between the new and original music independently of the graphics.
The reason I don't like the improved music as much (don't get me wrong, its not bad by any means) is that they lack the charm the original music have in my opinion, I'll use the title theme as a example:
And yes I know it says Wiiware version, but it's the same.
The gameplay of Cave Story is, as mentioned before, like a hybrid of metroid and castlevania, you control your character in a 2D world and have to use the small but varied arsenal of guns you gather through your adventure to beat enemies, bosses and anything else that stands in your way.
The game have quite a bit of replayability, more so then one might expect, for instance there are multiple endings to the game (three if memory serves), some weapons and items you can only get if you do certain things, such as trading in one of your guns to a NPC for a different one.
This game is a gem in my opinion and I urge anyone who haven't tried it to give it a go, especially if you grew up with 16-bit games.
That wraps up my first ever review, feedback would be welcome as well as your views on the game and if there is anything I've forgotten to add feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.