CAVE STORY+ / Studio Pixel / PC
 
 
OK, first important thing to note: Cave Story was originally released back in 2004 as freeware, and it hasn't lost that status. Cave Story+ is just a polished and spiffed-up re-release for the digital distribution services and the Wii marketplace, so that creator "Pixel" Amaya can finally get some yen in his pocket for his labor of gaming love.
 


So the question here is ... if you can download and play the game for free in an absolutely legal manner, and you don't care about the fortunes of some random Japanese programmer, should you plonk down $12 for Cave Story+? And the answer is ... only if you're really well off and have $12 sitting around to burn, or you're already among the hardcore fans of the game. Or you only have a Wii and/or are allergic to playing games on the PC for some reason. I'd say a gamepad is pretty much mandatory too, so if you don't already have an Xbox 360 pad or some sort of USB gamepad for the PC, and wouldn't use one for anything else, the Wii version is going to be more affordable than $20+ for a decent quality pad, I guess.
 


If you've never played Cave Story before at all, the experience in this version really is negligibly different from that of just playing the freeware original. The graphics have been retouched a bit, but the game honestly looks almost no different than it did originally. Similarly, the music has been revamped, and does sound nicer, but not really much different. The "bonus content" is relatively minor stuff limited to established fans of the game - there's a few bonus challenges/levels, and you can unlock the ability to play as a second character.
 
 
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