Cave Story 3D

If you download games onto your Wii and DSi, chances are good that you've played or at least heard of Cave Story, the retro inspired platform adventure from Daisuke Amaya, AKA Pixel. This charming adventure released to critical acclaim and achieved a cult following, making it one of WiiWare/DSiWare's greatest titles.

Now the game's on its way to 3DS, but this is more than a simple port. Cave Story 3D is a re-imaging of the smash hit 2D offering, complete with 3D characters and environments. That said, the basic foundation remains intact, so while the title received a visual boost, it retains the thoroughly enjoyable gameplay.

The plot revolves around Quote, a young boy with amnesia who can't figure out how he wound up in a mysterious cave. Turns out, he's on a strange island populated by a rabbit like race of critters called Mimigas. After doing a bit of digging, Quote uncovers a sinister plot hatched by an enemy known as the Doctor, and he sets off to make things right.

Pixel was inspired by classic franchises like Metroid and Castlevania. As such, Cave Story plays similar to those beloved series, as you explore one huge environment, gathering a variety of items and weapons along the way.

Although this new version makes use of the 3DS' processing muscle, it still plays like the WiiWare and DSi game. As such, it's more of a 2.5D game than say, for example, Super Mario 64.

That said, the 3D effects add plenty of depth to the experience, making the cavern, bridges and other structures stand out, while the developers have gone to great lengths to spruce up the artwork, particularly with the shimmering water, plants and lighting effects.

In addition, the game features a map, located on the 3DS' bottom screen, as well as a new area to explore, though at this point, we're not sure what you'll discover. Finally, with NIS America publishing Cave Story 3D, you should expect to see references to the company's Prinny PSP series.

Whether or not the game will have enough new content remains to be seen, but for hardcore fans, Cave Story 3D should offer a new and exciting way to experience one of their favorites. Expect to see it in stores August 9.