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L3ED avatar 9:58 PM on 07.18.2013  (server time)
Monthly Obsession: Cave Story+

I've wanted to do a weekly blog, but my laziness wouldn't allow it. So here's a monthly blog about games I'm currently adoring.

A while back, I purchased my first Humble Bundle. It was the Humble Indie Bundle 7 and it came packed with a plethora of great titles. One game that caught my eye was Cave Story+. I knew very little of it and the only previous contact I had with the game was the WiiWare demo. I figured I'd try it again and booted it up.

I was greeted by a lovely main menu with a catchy chiptune playing. The + version of Cave Story is my personal favorite, as you can switch between original and enhanced graphics, and multiple soundtracks. The music is wonderfully composed and one of my favorite soundtracks in a game. I started a new file and away I went. Many nights were, and still are, spent as the silent protagonist Quote, shooting enemies with my Polar Star and crossing large gaps with my Booster 0.8 jetpack. One thing I love about Cave Story is the varied environments. One moment I'm in a desert-themed part of the cave, another I'm in a zone filled with dragon eggs. Each location in Cave Story has its own distinct feel, which is nice considering the game takes place in, well, a cave.

Cave Story is primarily a platformer shooter. Thankfully, the combat is addictive and rarely tiresome. My favorite combat mechanic is easily the ability to level up and level down weapons. Enemies will occasionally drop experience triangles that will level your gun up. Weapons have a total of three levels and with each level comes a new perk for that respective weapon. If Quote is damaged, he'll lose HP and the weapon he has equipped will lose XP. This adds an interesting incentive to avoid enemy fire. You start to plan out what weapons you need to keep at high levels and what weapons you can take hits with. You can't run guns blazing into a group of enemies because you're bound to lose a gun level, which can easily lead to your death. Who wants that? No one does, that's who.

Cave Story's plot is also a thing, and it's a very cool thing. I found it quite entertaining and delightful, and after a rather slow start, the game never slows down. It features multiple endings, each of which is obtained by small choices you probably won't realize you made at first. Things like talking to a character before you talk to another can affect the story, which I find really interesting. The first playthrough of Cave Story is best done without any walkthroughs, but I advise using them afterwords so you can see the other endings.

Those are just some quick thoughts on Cave Story. I like that game a lot and I can see why it's highly-praised. Among my ever-increasing library of Steam games (it's really only 19 games, but I'm getting there), I often find myself going back to Cave Story. It really is a charming game that I'm sure will continue to be loved for years to come.

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