News Article

First Impressions: Cave Story (3DS)

Posted by Corbie Dillard

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.

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User Comments (56)

GameLord08

#1

GameLord08 said:

This looks just amazing. Maybe it's still worth buying at full price. Nice impressions, Corbie.

Aviator

#2

Aviator said:

The fact that it hasn't changed at all is the reason I don't want to buy this. I can play the exact same game, minus flashy visuals and better audio, for free. If they came out with a new game, I would be more than happy to pay for it. But keep re-releasing this old thing, money will be spent on new games.

SennaKurosaki

#4

SennaKurosaki said:

Thanks to the genius of Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya the world has a great game in the form of Cave Story. But Nicalis keeps on messing things up by ignoring the rest of the world and testing everyone's patience.
The DSiWare version of CaveStory still hasn't been released in Europe and the WiiWare version took over 9 months to be released in Europe. And now for Cave Story 3D the European release date still has to be announced. I start to think that the DSiWare version will not be released in Europe at all with the possible release of the full-price 3DS version when it eventually inevitably will be released. I find this extremely narrow-minded and short-sighted from Nintendo too. Nintendo should support game developers to have simultaneous world-wide releases.
Every one loves great games and it's a small world now, so let's make the best of it!

LEGEND_MARIOID

#5

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Already have the WiiWrae version and I'll download the dsiware version - so won't be getting this. Sounds beautiful though and sounds a really good addition to the increasingly good 3DS library :-)

BTW, when the heck are the EU getting the dsiware version?

FonistofCruxis

#6

FonistofCruxis said:

I haven't played this yet so I'll be getting this version but I hope there are enough new additions to the game to make it worth being a retail game.

ueI

#7

ueI said:

I knew avoiding previous iterations would eventually pay off!

Malkeor

#8

Malkeor said:

@uel: I'm with you there.

This will be the first time I dig into Cave Story. Should be a blast!

SullKid

#9

SullKid said:

I wish there is an option to turn classic music on. It is incredible.

odd69

#10

odd69 said:

I wish this would come to a console though. As much as it being on a handheld rocks, I would still like a larger screen..

Punny

#11

Punny said:

Even though I'm not finished with the WiiWare version, I will still get the 3DS version. Hopefully, we'll se a true sequel someday, not a remake.

D33G

#12

D33G said:

Huh, I kneqw there was a reason not to buy the wiiware or dsiware versions...

warioswoods

#13

warioswoods said:

Sounds like yet another 3DS game where screenshots give entirely the wrong impression. They need to really exploit the 3D videos on the eShop feature to sell these games.

pixelman

#14

pixelman said:

Bah, thanks a lot Corbie, now you've got me interested in this again. Well, as long as Nicalis doesn't screw up the release date again, it'll be out in time for my birthday, lol. :3

I just wish they'd change that fugly box art.

SilverBaretta

#16

SilverBaretta said:

While I do love the original sprite graphics, this new 3D presentation of the game looks great! It really makes it look like it's actually taking place in a system of caves rather than the labyrinth of the other releases. I say bring it on! :)

Late

#17

Late said:

I have Cave Story on my computer and on my Wii but somehow I'm still looking forward this game... I'm sure to buy it if I can find it for a low price someday but I don't think that I'm going to buy it for full price as I know already what to expect.

Chris720

#18

Chris720 said:

I already have this on WiiWare and since the game is the exact same as the previous iterations, there's no point in buying it again at full price. I would've rather had a sequel or something, but releasing the same game but with upgrading graphics, controls and audio sounds pointless to me.

BalrogtheMaster

#19

BalrogtheMaster said:

Still no talk of new features or extra zones....I won't buy this at full price unless it has that. I have it for WiiWare, PC, DSiWare...

JayceJa

#20

JayceJa said:

i find it weird how quite a lot of people are saying they dont like the sound of paying full price for a remake with new graphics, yet those people are probably going to be rushing out to buy ocarina of time 3d which is the exact same thing...

im going to get this definitely, but maybe not right away, depending on when it comes out and what other games i want at the time

HiroshiYamauchi

#21

HiroshiYamauchi said:

Sounds good, but i really don't want to pay for Cave Story for the third time. I'll wait for the sequel...

CorbsAdmin

#23

Corbs said:

They've said if this one sells well they'll likely do a sequel, if not, they probably won't. So I'm buying 10 copies myself. LOL

Tar

#25

Tar said:

I might get a 3ds, if I do, I will just transfer my DSi version to it, I don't like these new graphics. Can the DSi one be transfered anyway? or is it one of the few that cannot?

Portista

#27

Portista said:

Cool! BTW, in the fifth paragraph you made a typo: While I was only able lot hear a... the lot is wrong. :)

Retro_on_theGo

#28

Retro_on_theGo said:

Great impressions Corbie! Now I'm interested in this game again,. I hope it has new stuff though because I already have the DSiware version.
Speaking of Super Meat Boy has Team Meat given any update on bringing it to the 3DS!?!

Psifork

#29

Psifork said:

I Registered just to say this. All the people not buying cave story for it not having new content. It definately does a few months back Nicalas posted on their twitter about the flying fortress level being designed. So thats at least one new level! As well as this The launch for EU cave story 3ds is I belive confimed for September 11. Ill be flying over to my local store as soon as i wake up that day! Cant wait to play it gonna be a blast!

CorbsAdmin

#30

Corbs said:

I get the feeling from talking to Edmund that Super Meat Boy isn't going to make it to a Nintendo platform, sadly. :(

TKOWL

#31

TKOWL said:

Nice impressions. Loved the WiiWare version, cannot wait for this one.

Meta-Rift

#32

Meta-Rift said:

This version is supposed to have a bunch of stuff that was pulled from the original. I haven't bought the WiiWare or DSiWare version, so I might get this even though I played the original.

New_Age_Retro_Hippie

#33

New_Age_Retro_Hippie said:

I've seen it in action, and it looks terrible. Unless they've changed from the first gen PSX-quality 3D and that one model of a Mimiga that looks like a statue, I'm not convinced that they are not doing a disservice to Cave Story.

CorbsAdmin

#34

Corbs said:

You saw it at E3 or back at GDC? Wow, I thought it looked incredibly smooth and I loved the lighting effects. Ah well, different strokes. :D

Chris720

#35

Chris720 said:

@20 True, true. But OoT 3D isn't just a simple port with extra graphics. It has Master Quest, a Boss Rush Mode, improved controls, portability and bringing back the greatest game to ever be developed.

Cave Story 3D is just the same old stuff we already played but with new and enhanced stuff. No add-ons, no new guns, no new levels, no new modes. I'm hoping Nicalis will speak up and tell us what will be in the final design, but since it's 2 months from launch... I guess this IS the final design.

shinesprite

#36

shinesprite said:

The 8-bit presentation kept me on the fence with the WiiWare and DSiWare versions. . . . Suffice to say, I will not be getting this. (The graphics remind me of CN games in a bad way)

WolfRamHeart

#37

WolfRamHeart said:

I'm still on the fence about this one. I already own this game on WiiWare but the 3D visuals look really impressive. Not too crazy about the character models though. I'll just wait for the review before deciding if I want to double-dip or not.

Imperfect

#38

Imperfect said:

@ everyone "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."

Seems their may be a few new modes or something that they aren't telling us about.

emayer

#39

emayer said:

The video from GDC looked very incomplete and stiff, particularly with character animations, so I'm glad to hear it's looking good now. It's a shame no one could get any E3 video.

OverlordMao

#40

OverlordMao said:

a special Nippon Ichi surprise is the only thing that would make me buy this at full price since I already have the WiiWare version.

Meta-Rift

#42

Meta-Rift said:

@xDemon720x: Actually, this is supposed to have new content that wasn't in the original, while OoT 3D only has a few minor additions like Boss Rush mode.

Kid_A

#43

Kid_A said:

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.

**sigh of relief** thanks for the write-up, Corbie. I was really worried about this one, but you've swayed me :)

Skotski

#44

Skotski said:

While it's great that people can just enjoy the free version... wouldn't people want to support the artist? ...or is it that you'd rather pay for a new creation?

Honestly, I love to support my favorite developers and publishers every chance I get (as long as the game's good, that is). My little dollar ain't doing much, but with everyone doing the same: we ensure these devs keep their jobs - and ensure bigger devs are encouraged to make more quality titles.

HandheldGuru97

#45

HandheldGuru97 said:

Corbs is there ANYTHING new in this game any thing at all, like a new weapon or something. If there is something besides the 3D that is different than I will pick if not then I will wait.

Meta-Rift

#46

Meta-Rift said:

@Skotski: I plan on buying it for three reasons:

1. Supporting the developers (I haven't bought the Wii or DS version)
2. This version is going to have new content (same reason I'm not getting OoT 3D)
3. If this does well, there could be a sequel

@Square-enixFan: Yes, it's been revealed in an interview.

New_Age_Retro_Hippie

#48

New_Age_Retro_Hippie said:

Corbs: I haven't seen it recently, and I admit that it could have improved; however, I am absolutely unconvinced, and will have to check out some more recent stuff to see if it's not just hugely differentiating opinions.

EDIT: Upon further inspection, it seems improved, but it doesn't meet my standards for "good 3D visuals". For me, it might as well not even try if it's not going to produce very good 3D.

BulbasaurusRex

#50

BulbasaurusRex said:

I'm still waiting for an announcement of these new features. An upgraded A/V package, and on a smaller screen, isn't worth the extra $28 over the WiiWare version (which I'm still waiting to get until we get the full story on this 3DS version). If it wasn't for the added diffuculty levels and game modes in the WiiWare version, I'd just stick with the original free PC version.

CorbsAdmin

#51

Corbs said:

We'll keep at Nicalis and see if we can't pry some information about what new features the game contains.

Kid_A

#52

Kid_A said:

@Skotski
Exactly. I love Nicalis and Studio Pixel, so if they put out a quality project, I'm going to support it. I realize Cave Story has been through a port overload recently, but I think this is one of those rare cases where it's a good thing. Cave Story deserved to be massive--it's one of the best games ever, in my opinion, and I think it's great that they're trying to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Linkuini

#54

Linkuini said:

The screenshots of this game that were on this site two or three months back looked terrible. They didn't look like they fit the style of the original at all. Recently, though, I saw a clip of it on the Nintendo Channel (I think it was in a video with other third-party 3DS titles at E3) and it looks much more appealing in motion. Once I see it in 3D I think I'll be comfortable with it.

I haven't bought the DSiWare release, so this will be a good way to play Cave Story on the go. Plus, the soundtrack might actually get the makeover it deserves if it's being arranged with somebody who had a hand in the one for Meat Boy. :) The one in the WiiWare release mostly sounded like the original tracks were improved versions of the new tracks. :( And it was my first time with the game, so that isn't just nostalgia talking.

JebbyDeringer

#55

JebbyDeringer said:

It looks much better in 2D (though granted I haven't seen it in "3D 3D"). I'm not a big fan of 3D over 2D unless the gameplay benefits from it significantly, or the graphics are clean and detailed.

Here the graphics are blocky, there is plenty of aliasing and the texture detail is really low.

Henmii

#56

Henmii said:

I was surprised a lot that they chose for a totally different graphical style. It's a bit strange though, since the originals selling point was the old pixelated look!

It doesn't look bad though!

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