What’s new in Cave Story+ on the Switch?

Cave Story has found its way to yet another platform. Nintendo Switch owners can follow Quote and, if they meet the right conditions, Curly as they attempt to save the Mimiga and stop the doctor and his minions in Cave Story+. While cooperative multiplayer is going to be added later this summer, potential players might be wondering what different and new things they can enjoy while waiting for that co-op update.

Some of the most noticeable changes are ones that have to do with the way the game looks and sounds. Cave Story+ has updated the graphics yet again. While the original designs aren’t available, everything has been refined. There’s more detailed shading, the water effects are fantastic and the character portraits are actually animated. After fighting a certain rabid Mimiga, it and another that came to save it both remain after the battle, which is a sad, yet nice, touch.

It may sound different. There are four options you can choose from when playing Cave Story+. There’s original, remastered, Organya, and Famitracks. Famitracks is new to this version of the game. You also get a copy of the soundtrack when you buy a physical copy, which will come in very handy if you enjoy listening to the new variation while playing the game.

But these changes are ones that changes how Cave Story+ looks and sounds. With a game we have seen most often, the most exciting alterations are the ones that alter the way in which we play. The biggest changes are the ones that save people time and make the game work better. There were a number of frustrating and tedious elements in Cave Story, and this update resolves them.

You’ll start noticing these differences right away. When you reach Chako’s house, in the Bushlands, she’ll mention you need Jellyfish Juice to put out the fire in fireplaces. However, she also notes that this time, you can carry two Jellyfish Juices at once. Since you’ll eventually end up needing three jars of Jellyfish Juice in the Bushlands, one for her fireplace, one for Santa’s and another for the bomb recipe, being able to carry two at once is rather helpful. The dogs are also easier to find in the Sand Zone, with one being ahead of the Omega save point and Quote able to carry a whopping five dogs on his back at one time.

Getting the best ending is a little easier in Cave Story+ too. Part of the process is avoiding Booster in the Labyrinth, to ensure you get the Booster 2.0, rather than 0.8. If you do accidentally speak to him there, you can decline the Booster 0.8 and find your way back up. Also, when continuing that quest, you get the Iron Bond from Curly right away. You don’t need to speak to her again after giving her the Ma Pignon mushroom.

There are even a few features you may not notice unless you really start experimenting and looking for them. In terms of controls, it is now possible to hold ZL or ZR to strafe, letting you face one direction to shoot while moving Quote or Curly backwards. This is handy for more than a few boss fights. There is also a new Challenge when you head to the main menu. It is called the Sand Pit Challenge and opens up after you get the Fireball from Santa. It joins the Boss Attack, Machine Gun, Nemesis, Sanctuary Time Attack and Wind Fortress Challenges. Unfortunately, the “fourth” ending that was suggested prior to launch seems to be missing in action and might possibly be referring to the altered ending people can get when carrying the Mimiga Mask.

Cave Story+ is an iconic game, which means it is so easy to spot these additions when they appear. While one of the biggest inclusions isn’t quite there yet, the improved graphics, new Famitracks soundtrack option, efficiency updates, control adjustment and new Challenge bring a number of extras for people to enjoy while they wait. Whether these updates are enough to make it worth it will be up to each person, but they are worth considering when contemplating the purchase.

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