Conclusion: Nonetheless, Cave Story is a great game. It feels like some sort of gem from a bygone era that, while complete, never saw the light of day (think Star Fox 2). It's debatable whether gamers should fork over the $12 for the WiiWare experience or stick to the free PC download, but if one thing is for sure, it's that everyone should get this game in some form.
Summary: It’s hard to find fault in Cave Story. The graphics are simple but endearing. The music is masterfully composed, and when combined with an engaging story, carries true emotional weight. Combat is fluid and diverse, and the dynamic weapon XP system facilitates an ebb and flow that has you constantly reevaluating your skirmish strategy.
Excerpt: Cave Story is a game which celebrates the much-revered era of retro gaming without landing in any of the usual pitfalls of similar games. It doesn't attempt to mimic any particular game, nor does it confront players with antiquated gaming conventions for the sake of being old-school. Instead, what we see here is a truce between the simplicity and style of the old and the game design smarts of the new.
Excerpt: Playing Cave Story is like rolling around in a pile of your favorite 8-bit game cartridges. You’re constantly bumping into reminders of treasured adventures, you can’t help feeling like a kid again, and how hard and fast you roll determines exactly how much pain you can expect in return.
Summary: After more than five years, Cave Story is finally making its console debut with upgraded graphics and music. It's still a fine side-scroller, but a few graphical issues bring the experience down a notch.
Pros: Well-designed stages get increasingly hectic as the game goes on, Whimsical art and music help it stand apart from similar titles, Wide variety of weapons help expand the experience
Cons: A fair number of bugs, including one that freezes the Wii completely, Bad audio mixing hobbles the new soundtrack, Deliberately tiny sprites can occasionally get lost in all the mayhem
Excerpt: It isn’t often that consumers wait with bated breath for the privilege of paying for something that’s been available free for six years, but that’s Cave Story ’s migration from PC freeware cult hit to WiiWare exclusive in a nutshell. While the payday has finally come for creator Daisuke Amaya—who spent five years developing the whimsical action-platformer as a labor of love—many will likely scoff at shelling out $12 for a gussied-up port with a handful of new modes and...
Conclusion: Concept: Return to video game roots for a surprising new adventure
Graphics: Decidedly old-school visuals create a masterpiece of pixel art presentation
Sound: Just try to not have these tunes bouncing around your head for three days
Playability: Floaty jump mechanics take a while to get used to, but you’ll be thankful for them once you hit the end
Entertainment: Simple but solid mechanics and excellent game design can take a game a long way – here’s the proof