Unfortunately, I did not get to participate in the Indie Impression for Cave Story+ as I was, at that time, an insane man, trying to pack for MegaCon 2012 and make sure I had all things with my minicomics straightened out before leaving for Florida or else I’d be totally boned. Which stinks, as I have played it both on my laptop (with and without a gamepad) and on my Nintendo 3DS and definitely have a few thoughts on the little indie darling that could, but now they go here, instead of over there. Right, well, time to level up and share some words…
Cave Story+ is surprisingly simple, and it’s surprising in how many times it surprises you. As the game’s title implies, there’s a story here, and it does a great job of presenting emotion via the varied portraits of Mimigas. Seems like a girl named Sue is missing and you, a baseball cap-wearing robot who awakens in a cave, are off to find her. Along the way, you’ll learn of an evil doctor who is terrorizing the local village and killing rabbit people with sickening glee. Stumbling across special moments seems natural, but whenever the game cuts back to the man locked in the room trying to instant message with his computer, it all slows down and feels iffy.
Gameplay is fluid and fast, with your little robotic hero leveling up and leveling down within seconds of one another thanks to the swarms of enemies that want to inflict damage and destruction upon your very body. On occasion, a jump might feel a little floaty, but otherwise, everything is crisp and can make for some crazy tense scenarios where you are just shooting at everything that moves while trying to reach a save room as quick as possible. As you kill enemies, they explode into experience points (or hearts or ammo), which will upgrade your current gun as you collect them, turning a wimpy pea shooter into something more deadly. This is an addicting hook for sure, and leveling down is like the worst thing in life.
Currently, our hero is on a mission to get some jellyfish goo for…somebody. Names are a little hard to remember in this game except for Sue. Don’t know why that is.
And now for some Achievements from Steam, many of which are basically freebies:
Pea Shooter: Obtained the Polar Star!
Don’t Get Lost: Obtained the Map System!
Wanna Fight?: Defeated Balrog!
A Gift from Santa: Obtained the Fireball!
I have to wonder if I’ll beat Cave Story+ first on my laptop or my 3DS, and whether or not I’ll beat it more than once. Seems like there’s multiple endings, and I do like multiple endings. Either way, it’s fun and easy to pick up, especially if you are somewhat familiar with Mega Man and/or Metroidvania romps; you just gotta pay attention as there are one-hit kill creatures and spikes all over the place, making every jump and maneuver essential for surviving.