Review by Grant Evans

Reviewed: 11/23/11

What can be said other than the fact that it's Cave Story, one of the best 2D computer game ever made, in *ahem* THREE DEEEEE!? Oh, and it's portable.

Before I start this review let’s get this out of the way: Cave Story 3D (CS3D), while a great game in its own right, is not worth full price at $40, especially since you can get the game for a fraction of the price on the Wii, DS, or the computer. However, this review is going to be fair and take a more objective approach to the game and assume that the player is playing the game for cheap or free. Now that this had been said let’s get onto the review! If you don’t want to read the entire review and just want to see the positives and negatives, scroll down to the bottom of this review and check the breakdown of what I think.

Cave Story is a wonderful game. It’s well crafted, fun to play, has interesting characters, has a great graphical style, well balanced in terms of difficulty (three difficulty levels to choose from), and so on. So why am I giving this game a 8.5/10 (rounded to a 9) instead of a 10/10 or even a 10/10. Let me put this bluntly: this is not the best version of Cave Story. While it is very faithful to the original source material, CS3D lacks some of the bells and whistles that the Wii version and the new computer version have. Don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely worth the purchase, even if you have already played another version of it, due to the updated graphics and THREE DEEEEE! effects. Despite this, though, I would not recommend paying full price for this game. I think that once it drops down to $20 or so then it will absolutely be worth the price. Until then, though, I would save your cash.

Gameplay: CS3D plays virtually identically to the other versions. However, it is in glorious THREE DEEEEE! If you have played Cave Story before, just skip the following paragraph and know that I am giving this a perfect 10/10 for gameplay. I am not the kind of person to waste your time, you know!

CS3D is a sidescrolling shooter in the veins of games such as Metroid and Megaman. The game has multiple guns you can obtain that all have different functions to them. For example, the first gun you get is a fast shooting pistol called the Polar Star. Later on you can get a weapon that acts as a machine gun. The different weapons in CS3D can be used for different. For example, the machine gun (when fully leveled up, something I am going to explain in a second), when in the air and shot downward, propels our hero upward. There is a super light RPG element to the guns in the game with leveling them. When you defeat enemies you will get golden pieces that allow you to level up your equipped gun and allow it change its function. For example, the Polar Star acts as a single shot pistol at level 1. When you level it up to level 2, though, it shoots out two bullets that are horizontally parallel to each other. The levels are generally linear, but are still a blast to play. All in all CS3D is a great game that warrants multiple play-throughs, in my opinion.
Sound: The music usually fits the mood of the area you are in. The sound effects are pretty sweet, as well. I could go on about how great the soundtrack is and how cool the SE are, but let us just get on with more important details and know that I am giving the sound an 8.5.

Controls: The controls are tight and it feels good to control our hero. The only controls are to shoot, jump, and switch weapons. The rest is done with the bottom screen (map and inventory). I would give the controls a 9/10, but I’m docking a whole point due to the fact that the inventory is a pain to access, with one having to manually touch the bottom screen to change inventory. Why the developers did not make an optional inventory button is beyond me. Due to this let’s give controls an 8/10.

Graphics: THREE DEEEEE!/10. Seriously, though, the graphics are only decent, which is fairly ironic since the main selling point of the game is it’s 3D graphics and effects. The graphics are competent, yet could have had a bit more spunk to it. I realize the developers were trying to keep to the design of the original game, but, in my opinion, the game’s visual flare is very basic and does not translate very well to 3D. Also, like most 3DS game, the 3D effect does not really affect the gameplay. I’m giving graphics a 7.5/10. Not bad, but they could have been oh so much better.

Overall: This is a wonderful game, but could have been so much more. While it is very fun, I would wait until the price drops on this badboy before going out and purchasing it. If you are new to Cave Story or absolutely love it then I would say buy CS3D once it is cheaper. However, if you thought Cave Story was ok at best, there is nothing really new here to convince you otherwise…unless you REALLY like Prinnys (Prinnies?), because they threw in a hat of them in the game.


+It’s Cave Story
+It's Cave Story in THREE DEEEEE!
+The game is still fun as ever
-Not enough new content to warrant a purchase at full price
-The 3D effects are neat, yet disappointing

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Cave Story 3D (US, 11/08/11)

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