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December 24, 2015

Demo Review 49: Cave Story

A WiiWare remake of a Windows game for the WiiWare, played by holding the Wii remote horizontally like a controller. Cave Story is the story of a human soldier, Quote, who falls in an underground village inhabited by rabbits; their numbers keep on decreasing because of a mysterious entity, the Doctor – not a heroic one who travels in a police box, mind you – who has been kidnapping girls from the village, and killing the others. We assist to the kidnapping of one of the rabbit girls by a human sorceress named Misery and a robot-like creature named Balrog, and we can even battle said robot. Afterwards, we report back to the chief of the village, who lets Quote into the graveyard where their hero lies. There, we battle mushroom creatures and a knife-wielding monster, and we get a key that opens the door to said hero’s house. We get in there and activate a teleporter that brings us to a Hall with numerous numbered eggs. There’s also a real armada of flying enemies there, so navigating is difficult. And don’t get me started on the insta-kill thing at the bottom of the screen!

I tried to get to the end of the demo twice and gave up. I got killed, both times, by the thing at the bottom of the screen in the Egg Hall. And each time, I had to start everything over. Everything! Now, this is just a demo, so I was probably close to the end anyway.

The controls are simple, really; 2 to jump, 1 to shoot, left and right to move around, Start to open the inventory, and Down to speak to the rabbits, find objects, or activate things. The weapon has a pretty cool mechanic, too, in that when you defeat enemies, triangles may appear; collecting them will level up your weapon (to a max level of 3), allowing you to deal more damage. Getting hurt, however, makes you lose weapon experience, leading to a possible downgrade if you're not careful.

I really liked it. Even though I probably didn’t get very far, I must say I greatly enjoyed the exploration aspect of this game – as small as it was in this demo. The concept is pretty great, and the story seems to be very complex – what a shame, though, that I cannot see more of it! You get used to the controls very quickly (though I’m so used to pressing Up to open doors that, at first, I had to tell myself to press Down instead). The pixel work is great. If I had money to spend, I’d probably buy Cave Story. Give it a try. Download the demo, play it. If you like the action platforming and the small RPG elements (such as the life bar), you might just love it. Then again, I see that Cave Story already has quite a following, so maybe I’m just late to join the fun.