Greg Hunter

Great Games You Can Play For Free: Cave Story

In Games on August 17, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Cave Story is really the perfect game to inagurate GGYCPFF with. Considered by some to be the greatest freeware game of all time, it’s ridiculously fun, it’s accessible, and, most importantly, it’s %100 FREE*.

cavestory

And so it begins...

Before I dig into the game itself, a brief historical aside: Cave Story is a very important game. Released in 2004, the game is the product of five years of work by a single developer, Daisuke Amaya. (In a move that partially explains why games and their developers don’t get their due in pop culture, Amaya published the game under the art-name “Pixel”.) To an industry long-dominated by big game studios and development teams, Cave Story was a breath of fresh air, both a return to game development’s basement  roots, and a testament to the possibilities of independent game production. It wasn’t a smash, and it certainly didn’t make Amaya any money*, but it was an undisputed classic, nonetheless, and it paved the way for the success of games like Johnathan Blow’s Braid, a solo project that was released (and roundly praised) last year for the Xbox 360.

It’s difficult to overestimate how fun and rewarding playing this game is. Like puppies and Pixar’s Up, Cave Story is irresistible to anyone with a soul. The story is slight, but compelling: you, a mysterious red-capped fellow, fall into a cave, and have to fight your way out, and in doing so work your way into the stories of the robots, humans, and mimigas (mysterious-but-friendly anthropomorphic dogs) you meet along the way. The simple plot, though, belies some very smart game storytelling. You have several important decisions to make over the course of the game, and these decisions determine the ending you get (there are bad endings). May of your friends die; others show rather unsightly true colors. Even the smaller details of the game sparkle with cartoony poignancy, like a weapon that, when fully upgraded, unleashes a power-attack in the form of its former (dead) owner.

Tom's bpm while fighting this boss: 1,000,000

Tom's bpm while fighting this boss: 1,000,000

Of course, none of this would really matter much if playing the game didn’t feel so right. Every part of the game–the platforming, the weapon-balancing, the absolutely mind-blowing boss battles–plays so perfectly that it’s almost impossible to get frustrated. Some games dodge frustration by being easy; Cave Story–never punishing, but never cake, either–does it by being fair. If you die in Cave Story it’s your fault; if you learn from your mistakes, you will, inevitably,  succeed. I’m not sure I can give a game a better recommendation than that.

Now that you all want to play Cave Story, I’ll do my best to make it easy for you:

-First, download the game, and extract it into a folder on your desktop. (Mac users download this file.)

-Next, download the English translation patch, and extract it into the same folder. (Again, Mac users, you need a different file.)

-Now, run the translation patch on the folder containing the Cave Story files.

-Play the game.

Enjoy!

*For Wii owners, a version of Cave Story is supposed to be released this year, with revamped graphics and sound. Tellingly, this new version will allow players to play the game with the original graphics and sound. Remember: not all remasters are definitive.

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  1. I believe that N Game was the inaugural Games YOU can Play For Free.

    FYI.

  2. Like you would have made a feature out of it. Jerk.

  3. […] Read the original post: Games YOU Can Play For Free: Cave Story « THE GUTTER […]

  4. […] See the original post:  Games YOU Can Play For FREE: Cave Story « THE GUTTER […]

  5. […] Cave Story is really the perfect game to inagurate GYCPFF (heh) with. Considered by some to be the greatest freeware game of all time, it’s (ridiculously) fun, it’s accessible, and, most importantly, it’s %100 FREE* View post: Games YOU Can Play For FREE: Cave Story « THE GUTTER […]

  6. […] Read the original here:  Games YOU Can Play For FREE: Cave Story « THE GUTTER […]

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  10. […] Games YOU Can Play For FREE: Cave Story « THE GUTTER By Tom Games YOU Can Play For FREE: Cave Story. In Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 at 6:56 PM. Cave Story is really the perfect game to inagurate GYCPFF (heh) with. Considered by some to be the greatest freeware game of all time, … THE GUTTER – https://thegutterblog.wordpress.com/ […]

  11. […] Read the original here: Games YOU Can Play For FREE: Cave Story « THE GUTTER […]

  12. I featured last night, and she was free too.

  13. […] This post was Twitted by DigitalStoryNEd […]

  14. This game is AMAZING I loved playing through it.

  15. Hi thanks for this tipp. do you have any newsletter where i can add rocco.sifredi@gmx.net? because this would be automatic postet to my blog and you get for free a backlink…
    Thanks for an answer
    Rocco

    If you have any Questions dont hesitate to contact me

  16. The redone artwork makes it look 1000 times better. Just glad they are giving it a chance and putting it out for WiiWare.

    • I have to say, the artwork does look pretty good–the spirit of the old look is still there. I’m a bit of a purist, but mostly, I just wanted to make a joke about “Han Shot First.” 🙂

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