Cave Story is a game that I’ve been meaning to play for the longest. It’s always been a game that I always heard praises of, but for some reason, I never gave the game a chance. But I finally had a chance to play through the game, courtesy of Nicalis, and I can honestly say, I understand why this game gets as much praise as it does.
Cave Story takes inspiration from games like Metroid and Castlevania. Even the jingle to finding new items is really similar to Metroid’s. You’ll find new weapons and gear along your way to add to your arsenal, backtrack, and meet lots of interesting characters. And while the game does have backtracking, it’s pretty straight forward on where to go. It’s not something you’ll really be getting lost with. Annoying at times, yes. But not hard to figure out.
With each weapon, you have 3 different levels that you can level up to. When you kill enemies, they’ll either drop down a heart, missiles, or these Dorito, triangle pieces. Collecting the triangles will allow your weapons to level up. The more you level up, the stronger they get, and the farther they can shoot depending on the weapon. If you get hit however, you’ll lose some of your gauge, and eventually level down, depending on how often you get hit. Which I really like. You can’t just go in gun blazing killing everyone as soon as you reach level 3. Going back to level one feels terrible on all weapons. So I think making sure you try not to get hit, to make sure you keep your level 3 weapons, adds an extra layer of depth to the gameplay.
The music for Cave Story is simply incredible. This was another aspect of this game that I always heard praises of, and I can see why. Even after turning off the game, the music stuck in my head because it was amazing. The game gives you 4 different music options to listen to. You’ve got Cave Story+, Remastered, my favorite or the 4, Organya, and Famitracks. Each of them great in their own way, but my favorite was definitely Remastered. There’s even a jukebox in the menu, where you can listen to each song in the game in whatever style you want, provided you unlock them all.
While I did enjoy my time with Cave Story+, it does have its problems. Its main problem is how perfectly you have to play a game to get the best ending. Cave Story+ has multiple endings, and to get the best ending, you have to do a lot of very specific tasks. I won’t really get into it since it’s spoiler territory, but there are some parts of the game that you wouldn’t even had known to do. And messing up even once, will stop you from getting the best ending. The only way you’re really going to get the best ending, is by using a guide, because you’re bound to miss a lot of key steps in getting the best ending. And once you actually reach Hell, good luck. I have never seen a difficulty spike so high in a game before, it’s absolutely insane. Let me just leave it at this: Do not be surprised if you simply can’t beat the game, because the final area is extremely challenging.
Cave Story+ also has challenges you can do to try and rank as high as you can on the leaderboards. And yes, it’s challenging. You’ll be able to do a boss rush, regular stages where you reach the end of a level, and the Sanctuary that you unlock once you get the best ending.
But overall, Cave Story + is a game that I could easily recommend. It might be harder to recommend to players who have played Cave Story in the past, but to newcomers, it’s really a no brainer. There’s a lot of content in this game for the price you’re paying for it. Cave Story+ is a very charming and interesting game that you’ll want to see to the end.
Cave Story + is a game that I could easily recommend. It might be harder to recommend to players who have played Cave Story in the past, but to newcomers, it's really a no brainer. There's a lot of content in this game for the price you're paying for it. Cave Story+ is a very charming and interesting game that you'll want to see to the end.