Cave Story Review
Cave Story box art
System: Wii (WiiWare), PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Studio Pixel, Nicalis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Nicalis 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: March 22, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

We have only a few complaints. By far the biggest is that each boss fight is preceded by some dialogue, which you can't skip. The save points are (usually) close enough that you can get back to the action in a minute or so, but we'd have preferred instant re-tries, especially considering how hard some of these fights are. When you spend more time running through the dialogue (or in some cases, working your way back through the level) than you do fighting the boss, it's a problem, and on the harder fights, some gamers will just flat-out give up. It's frankly astounding that no one thought to add a "skip cutscene" feature.

Cave Story screenshot

Our second complaint is that, for a game that lets you level up your character with HP boosts, there sure are a lot of one-hit kills. It's an apparent nod to Mario games (falling in a pit is usually what does it), but it gets frustrating, especially when you're just retreading ground to get back to the teleporter. The incessant re-spawning of enemies also makes retreading ground a pain when you have to do it.

The third problem is that the story is a bit silly and nonsensical, combining a fantasy world with dragons and talking non-humans, the modern world of chatty instant messages, and a future world of teleportation. Apparently, some man called "the doctor" is kidnapping members of a race called Mimigas. Players sit through a fair amount of dialogue, so it would be nice if the tale were a little more interesting.

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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.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.7
Graphics
It looks like a very well-done NES game, just as it's intended to.
5.0
Control
The developers absolutely nailed the feel of old-school platformers.
4.7
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Like the graphics, they're old-school, but they're well-done.
4.1

Play Value
The new features (relative to the free PC game) don't really justify the $12 price tag, but the Classic Controller compatibility might. Regardless, it's a great game that provides hours of fun.

4.6
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A faithful NES-style Metroidvania adventure.
  • New features, including boss-rush mode.
  • A huge, open world filled with bosses and platforming puzzles.


  • Screenshots / Images
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