Sad news, Cave Story fans. It might be a while longer before Daisuke Amaya delivers his next game, Gero Blaster. The prolific Japanese indie developer has announced the sidescroller is being delayed to make the game "mor... read
Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya has new game coming out in a matter of months. That news alone is sure to give fans of the illustrious one-man development team a strong case of the vapors. His latest creation is Gero Blaster, ... read
Recent rumblings indicate that Internet funnyman brentalfloss has only just discovered the magical indie darling Cave Story. How dare he not be 100% on top of every major gaming wave the second it breaks! Revoke his Internet... read
Oct 31 //
Jonathan Holmes [embed]237705:45616:0[/embed]
* Along with the all new Halloween graphics and pre-existing Christmas themed re-skins, this new update for Cave Story+ on steam also includes a special Machine Gun Challenge mode, and at least one new Halloween themed song remix..
* Ikachan, is hitting DSiWare and the 3DS eShop simultaneously. This new version of the game will have new enemies, areas, and other content. The eShop version will also feature a new aspect ratio, similar to the display utilized with Cave Story eShop. Both versions will (hopefully) be released in December.
* Nicalis is looking into a Holiday themed update for Cave Story eShop, to include the Christmas themed re-skin from Cave Story+ on Steam. It's not guaranteed to happen at all, but if it's possible, the free update will be released before Christmas.
* Aban Hawkins and the 1,001 Spikes will have +12 playable characters in multi-player Vs. mode, including Aban, his sister, his father, Commander Video from the Bit.Trip series, characters from Tempura of the Dead, and many more. The game will also feature a new multi-player mode where players compete to climb a tower and "save a maiden". The game is now on track for release in 2013. Release has been delayed by the fact that Nicalis keeps adding new content. The publisher is also looking into releasing the game on the PS Vita and on Steam via Greenlight.
* Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya is working on a "Metroid-like" game for iOS.
* Yatagarasu was originally developed by 3 ex-SNK staff (an artist, a programmer, and a engine designer) who had formerly worked on the King of Fighters series. Nicalis is helping to make adjustments to the game to take advantage of the 3DS hardware, such as altering the backgrounds to optimize them for a 3D display. The game may have online multi-player, but only if they can get the game running with minimal lag and without other performance issues. Local multi-player lobbies are also a possibility.
* NightSky is coming soon to iOS, and will have optional touch control, tilt control, and virtual game pad and button controls.
* Cave Story has been rated by the ESRB for the Xbox 360, the PS3, and the PS Vita, but Nicalis has no current plans to port the game to those consoles. In Tyronit e's words - "We submitted all the consoles so that we wouldn't have to resubmit in the future, IF we ever decided to bring to those consoles."
Whoever drew that Falcor sprite is a genius [Update: Added a very special Halloween illustration by Nicalis artist Linzb0t.]
Due to some technical issues, we may have some trouble getting you the full re-run of last Sunday's Sup, Holmes any time soon (though the podcas... read feature
[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup, Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup, Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Subscribe... read
Oct 04 //
Jonathan Holmes [embed]236010:45287:0[/embed]
Cave Story (3DS eShop)Developer: Pixel, NicalisPublisher: NicalisRelease: October 4, 2012 MSRP: $9.99
This latest iteration of Cave Story was made to replace the DSiWare version of the game released in 2010. Tyrone and Cave Story creator Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya weren't happy with how that version looked on the 3DS, so they went all out on adapting the game for the newer console. Sadly, technical limitations prohibited them from making this new version a free update to Cave Story DSiWare.
Nicalis and Pixel did their best to make up for that by loading up the eShop version with new content. The resolution and playable screen size have been optimized for the 3DS, stereoscopic 3D has been added, the DSiWare's unique feature (Jukebox mode) is still in, and all the modes from Cave Story+ on Steam -- Boss Rush, Sanctuary Time Attack, Curly Story, Wind Fortress, and Nemesis Challenge -- are all here as well.
If you're new to Cave Story, check out the review Anthony Burch (writer of Borderlands 2 and Dtoid alum) penned for the original freeware version of the game back in 2006, and/or my review of the WiiWare port back in 2010 (and if you're really curious, the review of the 3DS retail version from 2011). That's where you can get a look at what the main game is all about. For the rest of this review, we'll be focusing on the things that make this new release of Cave Story different from the prior versions we've reviewed.
Lets start with the bad news first. The game is missing the larger, redrawn graphics from the WiiWare/Steam/iOS version of the game. Thankfully, the small screen size on the 3DS makes the "old" graphics looks almost identical to the new ones. Ultimately, those new graphics have become largely unnecessary. Their more detailed look was originally put into place in order to make the characters look less flat. The game's 3D display accomplishes the same goal without altering the original artwork. This may be the original art, but this is still the most crisp, well-defined, pronounced version of Cave Story yet.
It's not just the 3D that's responsible for the game's sharp new look. Cave Story eShop has been custom fit for the 3DS' larger screen size, resulting in a sharper level of definition and a stronger sense of place than the DSiWare version. With the action zoomed out, more activity can fit on screen at once, and players will be likely to less likely to focus in on one of the (now smaller) characters with so much going on at one time. That can help the player to take in everything going on and make more informed decisions. It's easier to string a series of jumps or dodge a volley of attacks when you can see them all coming. As much as I prefer the widescreen look, you can revert to original dimensions if you want.
The game's controls are also customizable, allowing you to flip the jump button and shoot buttons to suit your fancy. There are a few other balancing tweaks that truly diehard fans may appreciate, but most fans might not pick up on. For instance, the in-game map no longer runs along the bottom screen at all times, which encourages the player to not rely too heavily on it. That's not something that everyone will notice or even care about, but it's an example of the care that went into this revamp.
The Boss Rush, Sanctuary Time Attack, and Curly Story modes are just as they were in the WiiWare version. The more notable additions here are the two modes imported from Cave Story+: Wind Fortress and Nemesis Challenge. Both are adapted from level designs from the unreleased beta of the original Cave Story, and are just well-designed as any parts of the main game. They might be even a little better, as both modes assume that the player is skilled enough to get through the game's campaign, and are therefore ready for the roughest stuff that Cave Story can offer.
The Wind Fortress starts with a fantastic platforming section where the player's skills at jumping and hovering with precision are immediately pushed to the limit. Your weaponry is limited to the Blade and the Spur, which limits your defensive options when the screen quickly fills with jerkface flying insects that love to knock you to your death. They make mid-air safety a bit of a problem. From there, the focus turns to action, with new enemies and a new boss fight which are focused on tense, nail-biting shootouts. I don't want to spoil what happens, but I'll tell you that the Wind Fortress is a real love letter to the fans.
The Nemesis Challenge is an even harsher test of player skill. It starts you off with just ten health, the Booster 0.8 (which allows you to hover for only brief period of time) and the Nemesis, the strangest weapon in the Cave Story world. The base stats for the Nemesis are fairly good, but if you grab even one power up, the gun gets substantially worse in both power and range. Just two power ups will take the weapon to its maximum "upgrade," where it shoots harmless rubber ducks. The only way to make the gun more effective again is to take a hit, forcing the player to swap health for firepower.
With only ten health and a horde of enemies in your face, the temptation will be to take down foes fast. The downside to that strategy is that killing enemies is the fastest way to fill the screen with power-ups, which is the last thing you want to do with the Nemesis. Those conditions reward a player who is able to dodge enemies as opposed to destroying them, though that's a lot easier said than done. On top of that, the level design of Nemesis Challenge is about as precarious as it gets. Platforms are few and far between. Combining that stress with the pressure to play in pacifistic style makes for a unique series of obstacles that even the most seasoned Cave Story veterans wont easily overcome.
Hopefully by now it's clear that I love Cave Story for eShop, but there are a few things that keep me from proclaiming that it's the only version of the game you have to play. It lacks the highly detailed backgrounds and additional level designs found in the 3DS retail version of the game (like the Inner Wall) and the previously mentioned sprites from the WiiWare/Steam/iOS remakes. It also lacks the full Christmas and soon-to-be-released [redacted] Holiday themed skins found on the Steam version of Cave Story+ (though you do get the Reindeer and Vampire sprite swaps from the WiiWare port).
That said, there is no one version of Cave Story that has everything. This new release has just as much content as any other version of the game, if not more. Overall, it stands right alongside Cave Story+ as one of the best, if not the best, version of Cave Story to date.
For those of you who have lost count, this is the third time that I've reviewed Cave Story, and the second time I've reviewed it on the 3DS platform. That may sound like a lot, but I've actually been slacking. This eShop-spec... read feature
Even though the entire day seems to have been dedicated to the Wii U, let's not forget about the last piece of hardware the Big N dropped on an unprepared world. Games will still be coming out for it, don't worry. Like Cave S... read
Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis seems to be one of those guys that always has at least 10 projects going at one, and it's anyone's guess as to which one will be completed first. The only constant is that it always seems to come b... read
Apr 30 //
Tyrone had this to say in regards to his prior comments on the Wii U: "Sadly, the original quote was taken a bit out of context. Here's exactly what I meant: for what we need, and maybe for other developers, the Wii U's [capabilities] are more than sufficient for five to ten years. We're not making AAA games or using a crazy insane 3D engine, but the Wii U can definitely do both. With that said, for what we are doing, we could work on the Wii U easily for another five years without making it break a sweat. We don't do massive productions."
That makes a lot more sense. It also makes me feel great. There has been a lot of talk about the Wii U and how powerful it will be compared to the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Some say it will be more powerful, some have said that it's less powerful. For me, power isn't really the issue. 99% of my favorite Xbox 360 and PS3 games are on XBLA and PSN and don't use a fraction of the processing power of their respective consoles. As long as the Wii U meets the needs of developers who support that development model, I'll be happy as a clam.
[Art by Risachantag]
Speaking of downloadable marketplaces, I also got some word from Tyrone about the upcoming release of Cave Story+ on the eShop. Let's start with the bad news first.
Even if you bought the prior version of the game on the DSiWare shop, you'll have to pick it up again if you want this enhanced, remade, 3D version. Per Tyrone: "So, it won't be a free update, unfortunately. I fought really hard to try to get it to be just a 'simple' update; I feel that Nintendo wanted the same thing too, but the logistics behind it are pretty huge. The good thing is that if you already bought the DSiWare version on your 3DS and ever delete it, you'll still be able to download it. The update won't stop you from playing the prior version of the game."
The other bit of bad news is that eShop version of Cave Story+ "can't do the Steam version's art or music, the former because of resolution, the latter because the file size would get massive." That's sort of a bummer, but not a huge deal. The HD sprites wouldn't look that different from the original graphics on the 3DS' small screen anyway. Having the original Cave Story sprites in 3D will be exciting enough. As for the soundtrack, the original sounds are timeless. No complaints about getting to hear them again.
[Art by Puglord]
On a more positive note, Tyrone gave us a rundown of some of the features for Cave Story+ on the eShop, some of which you may already know. In case you hadn't heard, the game will have "4:3 and widescreen modes (not stretched, but actually see more in widescreen mode), an option to flip the jump buttons (in case you're used to the DSiWare version or the 3DS cart version), just about all the modes from Cave Story+ on Steam (so it'll have even more levels than the WiiWare version), and touchscreen support for the Sub menu. We're also playing a lot with 3D and depth."
As someone who loves how 2D sprites look in 3D, I couldn't me more excited about that.
Tyrone also let us know a bit of why this port is happening: "To be totally honest, the update is entirely for selfish reasons. I don't like playing DSiWare games on the 3DS, and I especially don't like playing Cave Story DSiWare on my 3DS. Instead of being 16x16 pixels, the main character becomes 20x20 and the entire game is a bit blurry. Daisuke made some beautiful pixel art and I want to play it the right way. In a month or so, you'll see what I mean."
[Art by Zanpan]
A month or so! God damn, that was fast. On top of working on NightSky, Ikachan DSi, Aban Hawkins & the 1,001 Spikes, and that Wii U/3DS game, Tyrone and Nicalis must be too busy to do anything else, right?
Before wrapping up, Tyrone let out this little tease for fans of Cave Story+ on Steam: "You already know about the Cave Story+ Steam updates we have planned? How do online leaderboards for the challenges sound?" Then he ended the whole exchange by saying, "I love Cave Story."
Yeah, I had a feeling you loved Cave Story, Tyrone! I do too. Thank you for giving literally one billion different ways to play the game. So far, I've loved every one of them.
It wasn't that long ago that Tyrone Rodriguez (Janitor of Nicalis) announced on Sup Holmes? that he's working on a titles for the 3DS and the Wii U. Since that time, Tyrone had reportedly stated that the Wii U "was Nintendo's... read feature
[Cave Story art by glitcher, Mighty Switch Force art by Genzoman]
Two of the better games on Nintendo's downloadable service are about to become even more awesome, according to fresh tidbits straight from Nintendo Power.
You can always count on an indie dev to say something outrageous about the bigger boys, and today the peanut gallery has Nicalis producer Tyrone Rodriquez to thank. The Cave Story port developer has accused Hideo Kojima ... read
[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Download th... read
Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, the creator of everyone's favorite freeware-turned-paid-game Cave Story, has just released his first title on the App Store. Azarashi, an updated version of a quickie time-waster he made over a decade a... read
I love talking about Cave Story, but with so many versions of the game out today, it's hard to know which one to recommend. The new backgrounds, soundtrack remixes, hidden areas, and 3D graphics of the 3DS version make t... read
Kodykoala, a.k.a. ekoala2002, is back with a non-zombie custom figurine. We have here the robot pair Quote and Curly from Cave Story recreating the iconic scene after the Core battle. Kodykoala has even included an air bubble... read
There are a lot of things I adore about Cave Story. The visual presentation, the pixel-perfect platforming, surprisingly effective characters; I could go on and on. The music is the aspect of Cave Story that I've spent t... read
Nov 08 //
Cave Story 3D (3DS)Developer: Nicalis/PixelPublisher: NIS AmericaReleased: November 8, 2011 MSRP: $39.99
[For a full review of the Cave Story experience, start here. The remainder of this review will focus on the new and altered content of this 3DS exclusive version of the game.]
Cave Story 3D exists almost solely because of its new graphics, so we might as well start there. The game looks really, really different now, to the point where it's almost unrecognizable. The original Cave Story was created by one person (graphics, music, story -- everything), and while it's an incredible piece of art, some parts of the game are stronger than others. It think it's safe to say that Cave Story's backgrounds are probably the aspect of the game that fans are least attached to. They aren't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not hard to imagine that they couldn't be improved upon.
With Cave Story 3D, Pixel got his chance to do just that. The settings and background graphics of Cave Story 3D are as close as we'll likely ever get to seeing what Pixel truly intended the world of Cave Story to look like. The differences here can be staggering. The Labriynth has gone from being a nondescript brown cavern with inexplicable floating blocks to an intricately designed network of high-tech elevators, littered with decay and half-destroyed dreams. Where there were once basic platforms, there are now gigantic statues, corroding passageways, and sparkling pools of water.
The result of the full backdrop overhaul reminds me a lot of classic Disney films, where the detailed backgrounds lend a strong sense of place and "reality" to the game's events, while the simple and iconic give us characters that are easy to relate with. Screenshots do not do this game justice. You have to see it in motion running on the 3DS to really understand how nice it looks.
The 3D effect does a lot to further drive that improvement home. I didn't turn the 3D off once during my time with Cave Story 3D, and for good reason. The game is still played purely on a 2D plane, but the team at Nicalis put in every effort to make the world feel three-dimensional. Tiny details lie in the background of nearly every stage, and objects in the foreground pop out at you with convincing strength. The camera is really smartly implemented as well, zooming in and out of the action at just the right times to imply a sense of intimacy, grandeur, intimidation, safety, or whatever other feeling may be appropriate for the scene in question.
There are some drawbacks to 3D, though. For whatever reason, the game is generally pretty dark, so make sure you turn up the brightness on your 3D to the max. the screen can also get pretty cluttered at times, but thanks to the crystal-clear map on the lower screen, it just takes a quick glance down to figure out exactly what's going on.As for the backgrounds themselves, some of the more organically based areas don't translate to polygons that well. Grass doesn't always look like grass, some trees don't look like trees, etc.
This is also true of the game's polygon-based characters. A lot of them look and animate fantastically, such as the protagonist, series co-mascot Balrog, and all of the big bosses. That's part of why it takes you out of the game so much when some of the enemies and a few of the NPCs just don't animate quite right, either with stiffness, or that "gliding" walk animation that has haunted many an animation student in the past. It's barely noticable, but it still stood out to me. If I didn't have the original title and the WiiWare remake to compare them to, there is probably no way I would have even noticed these little issues, but that's Cave Story 3D's dillemma in a nutshell. It's impossible not to compare this remake to the near-perfect versions of the game already available on multiple platforms.
Thankfully, Pixel and the team at Nicalis were aware that not all fans may want fully polygon-based characters in their Cave Story. The game has a mode that can be selected at the title screen that allows for it to be played with Pixel's original sprite-based characters in the polygon based-backgrounds. The results are really nice. The sprite-based characters are lit in real time just as the polygon characters would have been, which allows them to blend in seamlessly. As a huge fan of Pixel's original sprites, this is the version of the game I prefer, but it's definitely worth playing both versions to see for yourself.
The graphics aren't the only thing to get an overhaul. The soundtrack has also been remixed, by Dtoid Show award winner Danny B and Dustin Kulwicki. A couple of the remixes will probably come across as too different to some fans of the original arrangements, but the craftsmanship here is inarguably top-notch. The more ominious tunes in particular are much more intimidating and evocative now, which comes as no surprise coming from the guy who did the soundtrack for Super Meat Boy.
Beyond the new graphics and sound, there are a lot of little tweaks. The platforming feels a little easier sometimes, there a lot more health pickups to be found, and most importantly to old fans, there are about four new areas to be explored. These new levels are all based on designs from the unreleased beta of Cave Story, but they've now been seemlessly integrated into the main game. Though they are a nice touch, only one of these areas stuck out to me as truly amazing. You'll know it when you play it. It's also the area that's also home to the game's new NiS-flavored surprise.
Sadly, that's all there is for new content. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal, as Cave Story has plenty of playtime and replay value. The problem here is that Cave Story 3D has to compete with $10 versions of the game that arguably have more content. The recently released Cave Story+ has the new graphics and music from the WiiWare version, an all new unlockable "gaiden" area called the Wind Fortress that features new enemies and bosses, and many of the other features from the Wii original. Most of that new content did not make it to Cave Story 3D. Also M.I.A. is the soundtrack player from the DSiWare version, one of my favorite features from that port. Again, if this were the only version of Cave Story that existed, no one would think to care about these "missing" details. As with nearly every aspect of Cave Story 3D, its main problem is that fans of the original title have been spoiled by Nicalis and Pixel's previous efforts.
In the end, Cave Story 3D may be the best version of the game, but it's not necessarily the definitive version. You really need to buy Cave Story+ in addition to this title if you want to experience everything that Cave Story potentially has to offer. At $40, Cave Story 3D is four times more expensive than the other retail version of the game, which will undoubtedly hurt this iteration of the title in the eyes of many consumers. Knowing that a perfectly playable, attractive-looking version of the game is available on the eShop for $10 makes it hard to say that Cave Story 3D offers the best Cave Story bang for your hard-earned buck on the 3DS.
It's still an amazing game, and it's definitely worth your time and cash, but budget-conscious consumers who prefer an 8-bit look may be better served by picking up the DSiWare version for a fraction of the cost. Either way, every 3DS owner should buy Cave Story. It's one of the best games ever made, in 3D or otherwise.
Cave Story is a modern classic. Sadly, many people still haven't ever played it, even though it's been released on WiiWare, DSiWare, and the iTunes App store. That's probably partly due to its retro look. It's hard to generat... read feature
Cave Story is coming to 3DS, which is exciting news for fans of the cult smash platform title. However, publisher NIS America isn't exactly jumping for joy. President Haru Akenaga is worried about the game, claiming NIS ... read
Cave Story 3D was originally meant to come out this summer, otherwise known as the past. It's now scheduled to come out on November 8th in the United States. Perhaps these screenshots will tide you over.
Feel free to stick th... read
Cave Story has seen -- and is still seeing -- quite a few releases, but it is one of those games worth playing by all. Beyond this, more content seems to be thrown in with each version, so you won't hear me complaining. The l... read
With today's announcement that Cave Story 3D has been pushed back to November 8 in the United States, the holiday season for 3DS owners gets that much busier. Why the delay? "Additional game improvements."
"We are currently u... read
Now that I've actually seen Cave Story 3D in person, I'm totally confident with the game's visuals. The way that objects scroll both in the foreground and the background and the way the camera zooms in and out at strategic m... read
With E3 officially over, now is the time to get back to being excited over the games that are actually coming out in the near future.
One of these games is Cave Story 3D. Releasing for the Nintendo 3DS on August 9th (only two... read
Was today's earlier exclusive nugget not enough for you? Need more Cave Story in your life? Good ol' Danny Baranowsky, who you may remember as the composer of Super Meat Boy, just tweeted a preview track from Cave Story 3D.
Here's an exclusive look at the Cave Story sprites as they'll appear in Cave Story 3D. This optional display of the game was revealed a few days ago, but this is the first time it's been shown to the outside world. Check out ... read
So far, it seems fans are fairly split on Cave Story 3D. Some of you are all about buying the game again, for its new 3D display and promise of new areas, enemies, modes, and features. Others are so turned by the game's new v... read
[Update: Just spotted an image of Mimiga Viliiage in polygon form on Nicalis's Twitter and added it to the gallery.]
Cave Story 3D is one of my most hotly anticipated titles at the moment. The promise of new content, designed... read feature
I'm guessing the answer is "no", because I've been scouring the internet all morning for some source or report on this. Sadly, I can't find anything. All I have to go on is an email I got from Tyrone Rodriguez from Nicalis (... read
Finally, I know when my 3DS is likely to have some value to me as more than the sexy thing that sits in a cradle on my desk. NIS America has announced today that Cave Story 3D will be releasing on Nintendo's new toy in North ... read