First Impressions: Cave Story (3DS)

A truly stunning upgrade

After enjoying years of success as an indie PC release, Cave Story finally made the transition to the dedicated game systems on both the WiiWare and DSiWare services thanks to the good folks at Nicalis. Now the game is getting a rather thorough 3D makeover on Nintendo's new 3DS system and while the game has taken a rather significant step up visually, it's gotten a few other upgrades along the way as well. There are even a few surprises to be found, although Nicalis is being rather tight-lipped about them.

For the most part, Cave Story 3D plays exactly as the previous releases, right down to the spot-on play controls and intense shooting action. You'll still spend a lot of your time exploring the many areas of the cave, not to mention splattering baddies with your arsenal of weapons. Even the story itself has remained pretty much intact.

As you progress through the game, you'll locate new weapons and be able to power them up by collecting crystals that are dropped by enemies you defeat along the way. You'll soon find that powering up your weapons and refilling your health meter play a vital role in your survival throughout your adventure. Of course there are still plenty of hazards that can knock your character out in one hit, another interesting twist that forces you to watch your step.

For anyone that's seen the various screenshots of Cave Story 3D, you need to toss those out of your mind because you can't truly appreciate the game's amazing visual presentation until you've seen it for yourself. Once you witness the game in motion and with the full 3D depth in place, then you'll begin to appreciate just how beautiful the game truly is. Worlds that were once familiar to you from past releases come alive onscreen in a way never before seen. It's like playing a completely new game, and one where you'll catch yourself constantly looking forward to each new area in order to see what visual treat it holds.

Just like the visual makeover, the game is also getting a full audio upgrade compliments of Danny Baranowsky, already well known for his work on Super Meat Boy, and as good as the original tunes from the game were, the new remixes are that much better. While I was only able to hear a couple of tracks, it's perfectly clear that they feature the same attention to detail given the other updated facets of the game and really compliment the game's highly upgraded presentation.

As great as the WiiWare and DSiWare releases of Cave Story were, it's impossible not to get excited all over again given the absolutely stunning transformation the game has undergone on the 3DS system. The gorgeous 3D visuals and amazing remixed soundtrack perfectly compliment what was already a very charming and engaging title. Whether you already own the game or not, you really owe it to yourself to give this enhanced remake a try as games this good just don't come along very often.