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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cave Story Appreciation Week! Part 3!

The PC has been home to almost any genre of game you can imagine. Sure, FPS and RTS are the bread and butter of the PC. They simply just control better with a mouse and keyboard. One genre the console's have always had on the PC were the platformers. Games like Mario and Sonic they all benefit from using a controller. Through out the years we've seen some platforming games on the PC and well they always come and go without much fuss. Using a keyboard to control these type of games almost always feels awkward. You can buy any number of PC control pads to use for these type of games but really how many PC gamers really have one. I bought my first one earlier this year and it was to play Street Fighter 4.

So we've seen the always on life support platforming genre on the PC but lately it's had a resurgence, sprung back from the dead. Most of these games are coming from the indie developers. Games like La-Mulana, Treasure Hunter Man, Knytt and Cave Story. These games not only use the keyboard to control them they use it extremely well. Some of them let you use a control pad to play them but they work as well with the keyboard. I was really cautious about trying these games out because all I could think of were the hard to play platformers from the past struggling to even make the easiest jumps.

As stated above I finally decided to try Cave Story and within the first 20-30 minutes I was completely turned around on the idea of using a keyboard to play a platformer. Cave Story has the simplest keyboard setup for this type of game. Jump and shoot are next to each other and all the other option such as map and inventory are right there too. Your hand never needs to move far from the action keys to do something else. After playing Cave Story almost all the way through I decided to try my USB controller to play the game a bit. I was shocked to find I was confused using the controller for this game. I thought the controller would help me get through a part I was having an especially hard time with but no it didn't. I played the game with a controller for about 10 minutes before I gave up and went back to the keyboard. It's just another testament to exactly how well done Cave Story is. Everything about it is great right down to the perfect platforming controls. Controls I think were designed and balanced with the use of a keyboard in mind.

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