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Cave Story+

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Rating: 4.8/5 (120 votes)
Comments (16) | Views (23,678)

Cave Story

JohnBBest of Casual Gameplay 2011The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!

cavestoryplus.gifIt all begins with a scientist locked in a room, desperately trying to reach someone called "Sue" through his computer. You find yourself in a cave somewhere, compelled to explore simply because there are open passageways before you. Soon, you wind up in a village where a group of creatures called Mimigas are debating over what to do with someone they're sheltering, a villager called Sue. Eventually you learn of a larger plot involving a mysterious Doctor, and his henchmen come looking for you as your adventure begins.

Cave Story+ is divided into 15 levels that branch out from various hubs in the game. Throughout these levels you'll find more than enough obstacles and dangers to challenge your platforming skills. You'll find various upgrades to your health meter as well as new weapons and items to equip. Every gun has a strength and a weakness and changes the way you'll fight and travel. You'll also collect little bounding triangles that temporarily level up the weapon you have equipped, giving it more firepower and, possibly, an entirely new ability!

cavestoryplus2.gifAs the game progresses, Cave Story+ gets much more intense. The bosses range from tiny creatures to massive foes that will absorb a lot of damage. Some of the quests you'll undertake include helping an injured woman, hunting down stranded puppies, venturing into gigantic dragon eggs, and so much more. The story and setting are wonderfully imaginative, and even if you don't press on and follow the prescribed path to the letter, you'll find some great discoveries in this marvelous game.

Analysis: Our original Cave Story review still speaks volumes about the game, and Cave Story+ is an updated release of that well-tuned title. The differences include cosmetic upgrades and bonus modes you can unlock, including a handful of challenges that aren't for the faint at heart. There's the added bonus of not having to fuss with downloading and installing the translation patch as well (though one could argue this translation is inferior to the Aeon Genesis release). Regardless, if you're new to the game, this is a convenient way to get started, and if you're not, you've probably already installed and played it!

cavestoryplus2.gifEvery aspect of Cave Story was created by one person over the course of five years. The artwork, music, level design and programming is all the work of Pixel, and it's so perfectly constructed you would swear he did nothing but tweak the game over that half decade. Cave Story is a slice of perfection and has become a template other indie game developers love to emulate. Cave Story+ is careful not to mess with that success, and the only differences are surface and peripheral in nature. If the new music and visuals aren't as nice on your senses as the originals, you can mix and match as you please, playing with updated music and classic pixel graphics, new artwork and old music, or turn all the new things off and just play it like it was in 2004.

The Cave Story tribute site has everything you could ever want from the Cave Story releases, including editing and music tools, the English patch, translations into half a dozen non-English languages, and downloads for Mac and Linux (or the TI-83 port you know you want to play). The Steam version of Cave Story+ linked below contains the updates and additions discussed in this review, and it works with both Mac and PC systems.

Cave Story remains one of the best freeware games ever released. If you haven't played it, Cave Story+ makes it a bit more accessible and perhaps more friendly to the eyes and ears. Don't let a game as good as this one fall off your radar!

Download the original free game (English patch)
Get the full "plus" version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the original free game (English patch)
Get the full "plus" version


Cave Story+ is a huge improvement to the original game. It includes the first musics and graphics + the remastered ones, so even the most retro of us can take pleasure in this release. ~9$ really is a little price to pay in order to get such a jewel, with 4 new game modes ( 5 if you count Curly Story ) and a ton of achievements.
The only complaint I have is that these achievements are overly bugged. Finishing the game often doesn't give you the associated achievement, and it can be kind of frustrating.


I tried playing Cave Story a while back, and it was super fun until I got stuck on a really frustrating boss halfway through and kept rage quitting. It makes me sad that I can't finish the game because of that stupid boss.


Fantastic game, and in fact I think is the only game I bought immediately upon release.

From what I am guessing it is just the Wii for the computer which means worst music, graphics, and translation, but some interesting new features and you can turn off the "enhanced" graphics and music.
I am hoping you can turn off the new sound effects as well, because in the Wii version the text sound was horrible.


JohnB: regarding that part of the translation;

the original Japanese for Balrog's catchphrase was just "Heyyyy!"
That said, I still prefer "Huzzah!" since it works with the rest of Balrog's personality much better.


I'm a little tired of Cave Story rereleases. I played the original when it came out, and now we're on the third rerelease of the game? (Wii, 3DS, now PC)

I really would have preferred the time and effort be put into making a new game like Cave Story 2. I feel kind of gypped knowing I'll spend a few hours playing 90% old content trying to get to the 10% new content.


Except Nicalis has been the one handling the bulk of that work. Why complain about the rereleases stopping Cave Story 2 when Pixel is doing 10% of the work, if that, and is still completely free to work on Cave Story 2 while Nicalis does all this?


JohnB : You're totally right. Even though I'm french, Aeon Genesis's translation was better than this one, IMO. The translator makes some easy to understand dialogues really more complicated when there's no need for that ; it might not be important for you english people, but it can be quite annoying nevertheless.

I also think that adding other languages in the game would make it even played. I, myself, translated the game in french, a while ago, and I think that being able to play Cave Story+ in spanish/german/french ( most talked languages in Europe/USA ) would be a great feature.

SirNiko : You're right. Nicalis has released remakes of Cave Story on Wii, then 3DS, then PC again, and I think he's way too much attracted by commercial success to work a bit more on the releases itself. You could say that Cave Story+ is basically a port of the Wii version ( which was a port of the PC version with new graphics/community-based mods, like Curly Story ) with only 2 new challenges.
I'm not saying that it is bad. I payed for it the moment I saw the game on Steam. The thing is, re-re-re-releases tend to get quite tiring.

But I don't think a game such as Cave Story 2 will ever be created by Pixel, even though it's one of my greatest desires.

Raptor Jesus November 28, 2011 11:27 PM

Darnit, I hate Steam...
Can't I get this some other way??

[The original free version is still available. I also hear that it's coming for Nintendo DS soon, too. -Jay]


JohnB: It was Monster X. I just couldn't get the hang of that one.


I got to the Hell special level before I rage quit, but then I also didn't get the most powerful weapon in the game. maybe one day I'll find the patience to play this game again and see if I can't get to 100% completion.


Couldn't you link to the Mac App Store version instead of just using the Steam link for Windows and Mac OS X?


For Monster X, focus more on dodging and shooting his bullets instead of damaging him. Just chuck one or two Blades at him and then run or use the Bubbler as a shield. Make sure you clear out as many Gaudis (the beetle guys) as possible before the fight starts. In his second form, just stand under him and spam the Blade wildly.

For Hell, there's not much I can say. Definitely try it with the Spur, that makes Ballos much easier. Once you're past the collapsing hallway at the start, the worst is over, so just keep trying.

CatzCradle January 23, 2012 10:39 PM

Hmm... Though I've never played megaman, this game looks interesting. I just downloaded the original version with the patch, but for some reason, can't get past the Main Screen and click New Game at all >__

Zalkingwombie February 27, 2012 2:04 PM

i love this game but when i got to a cave called "hellcave" and rage quit after 14 trys


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