The + symbol, signifying something extra but ultimately not enough for a revisit to someone who has already traipsed through this shooting spelunker. It’s like getting fixed at the end of the night with someone and you’ve offered each other a 2nd booty call the following weekend with a little extra cherry on the top. Is it worth it? Can you capture the original evening and retain its essence? Well, I don’t know – I’m a Cave Story virgin. The original was in my “to keep and try” folder, but time escaped me and I never got round to having a go.
Metroidvania is the buzz word often used to describe Cave Story. I personally think a tag like that can be off-putting. Cave Story is far more accessible than most of its peers within this NESesque genre. It has less backpedalling (albeit some), it has less “where the fuck to I go now?” moments, and has a perfect balance of platforming and shooting. May other Metroidvania games are more like Turrican’s take on the genre. Not that that’s a bad thing, I just love my platforming games. As Scotty mentioned on the sites mission statement, I benchmark everything against Manic Miner in terms of platforming greatness. A genre of game that I cannot get enough of.
So, is Cave Story+ any good? Damn righting it is!. I can’t praise the game enough; its tight mechanics and lovely exploratory world and genuine ambience provided me with some of the best enjoyment that I’ve had with gaming in years. The caveat in this game though is surviving the plot and all the needless dialogue. I don’t mind some dialogue in games like this, but I prefer it to be much more concise. Being a family man, my gaming time is extremely limited and I don’t want any game to go Metal Gear on my ass and I’m burdened with a fucking soporific plot. We never got screeds of dialogue back in the ZX Spectrum days. There was enough to give reasonable ambiguity of a plot and my mind filled in the blanks. I don’t want my platform gaming experience handheld by what I can only describe as downtime.
That aside, I’ve had great fun…. in fact, absolutely brilliant fun playing this. The blend of power ups for the weapons, not too infuriating bosses and good a progressive difficulty curve make the recipe for a brilliant experience. One of which I’ll be recommending and praising for many years to come.