Cave Story Versions Tier List

Jun 26, 2020 at 9:07 PM
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In my personal opinion:

S: TI-84, Switch
A: CS+ (Steam), 3DS Port, Original
B: CS3D
C: CS+ (WiiWare)
D: DsiWare
F:

What do you think? I could go into more detail for my picks but...lol, I'm kinda too lazy.
 
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Jun 26, 2020 at 10:24 PM
Princess Link
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Isn't the TI-84 version not only unofficial, but also its own original game?

Anyway, here's my thoughts on the ports:

Top tier: Vanilla port, Cave Story DSiWare port
They both provide the most optimal way of playing Cave Story as it is. No bullshit, no speedrun pandering, no lies like Curly Story, just Monika Cave Story.

Second tier: Cave Story 3D
This game only ranks below the above two, mainly because of the loading screens happening every room transition. It may be one of the earliest games made for the 3DS, and it was even built off the actual game, but it's clearly made for filler.

Third tier: Cave Story+, Cave Story eShop port
Cave Story+ is severely broken on both the Mac and Steam ports, and Nicalis' only solution to fixing them all is only available on the Switch. While there is substantial evidence of the Switch port possibly going to be ported onto PS4, Xbox, or even PC, this just sounds like a bad PR move.
Cave Story eShop is literally the same thing as CS+, but without the 2x res graphics or the soundtrack options. It functions exactly the same, but the 3D effect makes the game a bit more nauseating to watch. It's only slightly better than CS+ as it has had game-breaking bugs and minor issues patched by Nicalis.

Never played:
Cave Story Switch port - I've been told that it's actually the best of them all, I just need to try it for myself sometime.
Cave Story Wii port - If I'm able to run Dolphin on my computer, then I will give that a try. I would've preferred to play it on the hardware itself, but considering Nintendo dropped support on WiiWare, there is no other way to play it other than with an emulator.
 
Jun 26, 2020 at 11:16 PM
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The Ti-84 bit was a joke; I honestly thought it was funny that its teeeeeeeechnically a playable Cave Story game. I haven't played all of these myself (namely the switch port...I think it's actually only the switch port.) In my opinion, the extra stuff is nice, and adds a bit to the replay value (like hard mode, challenges, etc.) while still retaining the actual game. I do remember CS+ having issues, but I didn't remember it being broken as a game. It'd be nice to hear what broke it honestly.

As a port? DSiWare is pretty good. It does exactly what you say it does, but I personally liked the extras as I said earlier. That's why it was in D Tier; it's just the original with the Nicalis translation and pretty much nothing else. I don't remember it having extras, but I could be wrong. I played CS+ on the Wii and from what I remember it was, just a worse version of CS+ on Steam. eShop port I always liked, and since I never played with the 3D effect (which does look like shit on it), never really had that issue. It was pretty solid IMO.
 
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Jun 26, 2020 at 11:38 PM
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The only extras the DSiWare port has is the Jukebox and the Sacred Grounds time attack mode (which is still pretty redundant when you can just load a save file at the Prefab House).
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 12:57 AM
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i'll just be ranking the ports (minus dsi since i'm yet to play it) since i have no real opinions about freeware

1. CS+ steam - this is the first version i played (once i got it to actually launch) and i have a lot of nostalgia for it, despite its issues

2. CS+ switch - i would've put this at first place but the animated portraits and the fact they're flipped based on the direction the character's facing (it looks so WEIRD) annoy me - however, most of the QoL changes are very welcome, as are the fixed holiday graphics and jukebox

3. wiiware - i played the original, shitty version through dolphin and it was godawful, but from what i've heard the fixed version was a decent port

4. CS3D - also played through emulation and it had a lot of potential - the areas for the most part are really nice, but its issues (namely the fact the models are animated poorly and there's no teleport animation) are too much to ignore, it's just not really fun to play and i'd imagine it looks worse on a small 3DS screen. i'd love to see a proper quality remake on the switch, but i don't think that's gonna happen please prove me wrong nicalis

5. 3DS eshop - i played this on original hardware and while it's a decent port, i guess, there are some graphical bugs (curly's halloween sprites, holy shit) that really should've been caught, it's weird that you're stuck with downscaled CS+ portraits and no option to change to original, there's only one soundtrack which kinda sucks and i hate the controls with a burning passion, especially in the later areas and challenges like wind fortress where you have to precisely boost/charge spur (similar complaint with switch but you can remap controllers now so i've found a better setup)
it is, however, the only version of cave story to have difficulty select for curly mode, which nobody seems to acknowledge including nicalis - it's strange it wasn't put in the switch port, i wonder if they forgot?
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 9:51 AM
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Listing them from my favorite to least favorite:

1. Switch - Buying it in a case gives you key chains and such, which is nice, and overall has the most content, its not 30$ worth, but still my favorite, and isn't that far off. Multiplayer is kinda weird, but its ok.
The music selection is the largest and I like all of them but Remastered, which is my least favorite. There is no control binding, but you can flip the shoot and jump buttons which is good enough for me. Also you can moonwalk.

2. Cave Story Wiiware - the nostalgia helps it, but I love this port the death, my old tiny little hands could hold the remote. The graphics make me happy, happy Quote doesn't have a mouth.
Its not, or should I say, wasn't the best deal at the time, it was CS+ Steam Edition, but I played this to death, and loved it.

3. CS+ Steam - I uh, am mad about this to say the least. I think I made it clear I thought this one was a disappointment since the lack of updates and a bug that was fixed 7 years (I believe) after its release showed just how little they will update this game, and honestly its just 2 more challenges and remastered stuff that in my opinion made it worse.

4. Just ports - Its just ports

--- CS3D - Never played it, I watched Aar play it though, looked, uh, bad, but since I haven't played it, its just "---" rank.
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 1:42 PM
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If anybody asked me what version they should play I'd point them to the freeware version.
From what I heard the switch version might as well be the 'definite' version to play, but is notably the priciest.

If Nicalis somehow (they cant) made the freeware version cease to exist then then I would recommend the eshop version, I still like how the 3ds feels compared to most controllers, its cheaper than (most?) other available versions (Barring sales) and it has most cool features from the steam version barring the graphics and music I'm not really into anyway.
There's a couple visual bugs like a tileset issue in the nemesis challenge and background objects feeling displaced with 3D on but other than that it's a pretty fine version to me.

Big screen? Wiiware were it still available although the price kinda sucked just a little bit, it was still cheaper than what the switch had anyway. I liked the soundtrack over all the other nonoriginal versions and I have the european version anyway so I can't really complain about the issues from the us version.
Just make sure you have anything other than the wiimote(it supported the other two controllers, didn't it?)

I only really think the steam or switch versions are worth it if you really care about the features unique to those enough to justify their respective prices.
But my way of looking at game prices is a bit weird so :/
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 9:10 PM
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i think original is S tier
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 12:14 AM
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I only really think the steam or switch versions are worth it if you really care about the features unique to those enough to justify their respective prices.
But my way of looking at game prices is a bit weird so :/
the way I look at prices are: 1$ = 1 hour
I got around 55 hours for the Switch version
100+ for the Wii
and 23 for Steam
very worth
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 2:27 AM
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What are these game breaking bugs with CS+ on Steam? I've never encountered them. Hwhaaa?

I'm not kidding, either, I know nothing about this
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 8:24 AM
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the way I look at prices are: 1$ = 1 hour
I got around 55 hours for the Switch version
100+ for the Wii
and 23 for Steam
very worth
Oh yeah the 1:1 expectation is a really good one and I have it too.
But for a game I've already played enough and enough I doubt I'll get more than a single playthrough out of it before I lose interest so the worth isn't really there for me.

I'm also realizing I forgot about the 3Ds non-eshop version.
It exists.
But has it even been released in Europe though.
 
Jun 28, 2020 at 5:23 PM
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S tier: Cave Story + (Switch) Cave Story (DSi Ware.), Cave Story (3DS eShop)
A tier: Cave Story (free ware), Cave Story + (PC)
B tier: Cave Story 3D
C tier: Cave Story (Wii Ware patched)
D tier: Cave Story (Wii Ware unpatched)
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 2:27 PM
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What are these game breaking bugs with CS+ on Steam? I've never encountered them. Hwhaaa?

I'm not kidding, either, I know nothing about this
Game Breaking:
1) Leaderboards crash the game
2) bk0/bkBlack.bmp in the New Graphics setting makes the background flash a bunch.
3) Not all Achievements work when your language is set to Japanese.
4) Cave Story+ being Cave Story+
Others:
1) Wind Fortress has some broken doors
2) Boss Attack has some broken scripts
3) Boss Attack's camera can get really broken at certain points (due to the scripts)
thats all i can really think of.
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 3:09 PM
Shark bully
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Calling the Switch version the same thing as the Steam version was a mistake.
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 4:28 PM
Princess Link
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Game Breaking:
1) Leaderboards crash the game
2) bk0/bkBlack.bmp in the New Graphics setting makes the background flash a bunch.
3) Not all Achievements work when your language is set to Japanese.
4) Cave Story+ being Cave Story+
Others:
1) Wind Fortress has some broken doors
2) Boss Attack has some broken scripts
3) Boss Attack's camera can get really broken at certain points (due to the scripts)
thats all i can really think of.
Some achievements also don't work when you're playing it in English. There's also the case where the Mac Port will not work, but I'd need further confirmation from a Mac user.
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 4:34 PM
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Some achievements also don't work when you're playing it in English. There's also the case where the Mac Port will not work, but I'd need further confirmation from a Mac user.
Huh, really? Didnt know that.
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 9:40 PM
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There's also the case where the Mac Port will not work, but I'd need further confirmation from a Mac user.
The App Store version of CS+ doesn't work by itself. Technically Apple broke it by changing the way relative paths work, but Nicalis hasn't fixed it yet, and I doubt they ever will. There's a fix here, but the Mac version doesn't have the Machine Gun Challenge, updated seasonal themes, or replay support like the Steam version, so don't bother.

Since I'm posting though, I guess I'll list my rankings of the ports. I'm ranking them based on their quality alone, so I'm not going to bash X port for being "just Y port but with more features", since that would make X port objectively better.

1. Switch. Never played it, but it has the most challenges, soundtracks, and quality of life changes. 16:9 aspect ratio, OG and New graphics, strafing, and probably some other stuff I'm missing.
2. Steam. Second highest on challenges, has three soundtracks, OG and New graphics, updated seasonal themes, and replay support. Can be modded more easily than other ports due to being on PC, and access to Profile.dat means infinite save files.
3. eShop. Four challenges (five in the Korean version), 5:3 aspect ratio, nice 3D graphics, and Curly Story Easy and Hard modes. No New graphics or soundtrack, but I think the gameplay additions put it above WiiWare. Also, the 290 Counter keeps moving while in the pause menu, which is utter BS.
4. App Store. It's WiiWare but with Wind Fortress, no lag on New soundtrack, better sound and graphical quality, and extra options. Like Steam, can be modded due to being on a PC, but Steam makes a better base due to more features.
5. WiiWare. Two challenges, OG and New graphics and soundtracks. Long pauses with New soundtrack and poor sound quality set it back. Also, Time Attack plays the item fanfare every time you choose a weapon.
6. Freeware. It's not 40 bucks like CS3D, 50fps instead of 30, and is the easiest to mod (barring CSE2).
7. CS3D. The 3D graphics were something new, there are new areas (although I thought the extensions to already long areas were unnecessary), and it had a fun glitch to use. Only challenge is Time Attack, "Classic Mode" isn't even classic and shares saves with Story Mode, the controls were flipped for no reason (though you can just use X and Y instead), the game is capped at 30fps, and only one soundtrack is available.
8. DSiWare. Only challenge is Time Attack (given, it's the best version of it), and the screen is crunched to the DSi's resolution.

But we all know CSE2 is the best, since it's basically freeware but without limits, and has the potential to be the ultimate Cave Story build.
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 9:59 PM
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DSiWare. Only challenge is Time Attack (given, it's the best version of it), and the screen is crunched to the DSi's resolution.
DSiWare is so good because it's the closest to freeware cave story we have. I myself loved it; I even beat hard mode on it!!!!!
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 10:48 PM
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DSiWare is so good because it's the closest to freeware cave story we have. I myself loved it; I even beat hard mode on it!!!!!
But you can achieve the same thing with OG Graphics and Soundtrack on Switch, Steam, eShop, Mac, and WiiWare, though...
 
Jun 29, 2020 at 10:50 PM
Princess Link
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But we all know CSE2 is the best, since it's basically freeware but without limits, and has the potential to be the ultimate Cave Story build.
Ah, CSE2. I'd be more into it if it's more accessible for everyone, and it should really be advertised more, ngl.
 
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