Few games have had the ability to properly engage the Nintendo 3DS. This means that there is little reason to pick up the console. However, I believe that the execution of Cave Story 3D is strong enough that it should be seen as a deciding factor for whether an individual purchases the console.
Cave Story 3D is a side-scrolling shooter that will take players no time to learn, but a substantial amount of hours to master. What the game throws at you is little more than trifling at the early stages, but there is a steep incline in the difficulty with each subsequent level. However, at no point does it feel as if the game is being unfair – players will be able to tease out the strategy that is required to beat the level after a few plays on the level. The different tools that are available to players to solve the different challenges that Cave Story 3D throws at them makes this much more than a linear shooter. Rather, there are times during Cave Story 3D’s run that players will not immediately be able to figure out their next step.
The brief shifts into different genres of games make this game as fresh as they come; where other titles have looked to do this in the past, I feel that Cave Story 3D does it well. Rather than taking level design into an “each stage is a different gameplay style” mode, there seems to be a very natural and fluid approach taken by the game’s designer. What would normally be a fun shooter title in Cave Story 3D is a much more transformative experience with these additions present. I believe that if more games used the 3DS to this capability, sales would not be as soft.
Cave Story 3D (Nintendo 3DS) / 2011 NIS America / http://www.nisamerica.com