By now you should have a good idea of what you’re getting when you invest in Cave Story. The question is, do you need another copy? That’s an automatic “Yes!!” in some people’s books, since there is absolutely nothing wrong with “collecting” different copies of such a wonderful game. Moreover, the eShop version of Cave Story is probably the most complete thanks to the inclusion of extras and a wide-screen mode. Also, it’s portable. Honestly? You just can’t lose.
ESRB Rating: E10+
Compatible With: Nintendo 3DS
Price: $9.99 USD
GOOD: The classic Cave Story gameplay formula still shines. Lots of features that aren’t in the Nintendo DSi version of the game. New widescreen view.
BAD: No customizable controls. Is more or less the same version of the game that’s offered on Steam.
THE BASICS: Going Underground Again
Cave Story has a surprisingly deep and compelling story for an action game, and what you see on the surface isn’t necessarily the whole tale. Characters’ fates split, acquaintances come and go—sometimes violently—and if you have the stomach and skill, you can even journey into Hell to learn the secrets of a mage-king gone mad.
The eShop version of Cave Story has plenty of extras that you can indulge in if you’re feeling brave. You can play through the story again as Quote’s pal, Curly Brace. You can also fight through the Wind Fortress, the Boss Rush, and more.
GAMEPLAY: Welcome to the Old School
Cave Story is fine-tuned for expert platform fans, though it’s highly accessible for newcomers, too. There’s also a difficulty selection if you’re just not confident enough to go at the game full-tilt—or if you want a super-hard challenge.
Cave Story has long been famous for its razor-sharp controls, and that remains the case with this version. You may fail several times in your quest to defeat the Doctor, but if you die, the blame lies squarely on your skill (or lack thereof)—never on unresponsive or finicky controls. If you’ve been feeling frustrated with potentially great iOS/Android games that fall flat because of lousy touch-screen controls, Cave Story for 3DS is your balm. That said, customizable control schemes would be nice.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND: Pieces of History
CONCLUSION: Begin Rescue Mission
If you’re utterly burnt out on Cave Story, you can go ahead and skip this one. However, if you’re looking for a Cave Story fix that you can carry with you on the go, don’t think twice about hopping onto the eShop. Save the Mimigas!