I didn't really play a lot of mods when I first got into the community, but I think the concept of them was very cool to me (like, THIS
, especially). I think my reason for not playing too many mods was due to my setup at the time. I had an old XP computer that could probably run them just fine... but it was in my parent's room and I didn't have headphones, so it wasn't quite ideal for playing mods on my own. To this day I still haven't really played a whole
lot of mods, but I think I've played all of the essential ones, and certainly enough to get by.
My outlook on Cave Story mods has... oddly enough gotten more optimistic as time has gone by. I see how far the modding community has gotten, and I don't think there's any stop nearby. The amount of mods that get uploaded aren't anything crazy, but there is enough discussion related to modding to go on for a while. I feel like it's only a matter of time until some nut creates the ultimate be-all-end-all mod that tops even the most well-known mods like WTF and JN. Speaking of which, I still have ideas of such a mod myself all the time. As crazy as it sounds, I am still as excited as ever to mod, and I really do hope to wrap up all of my current modding projects and then move on to even more. The common argument of "well, why even bother modding, it's less fulfilling/rewarding and it'd be a better use of your time to make actual, original games" makes a lot of sense, I will not deny that. But let me bring up Rockman 4: Minus Infinity
, a hack of Mega Man 4 that defies expectations and creates an experience unlike anything you'd expect out of a ROMHack. It feels so great, so authentic, so fun
... and yet it's a hack of a game that was made years before I was even born. People have and still are making Mega Man fangames using their own engines, and yet none of them feel quite as superb as RM4MI. But how come? Playing this game and feeling the base game pushed to its limits is exciting. Having played the parent game, you already have a set of expectations coming into the hack, and seeing all of the crazy stuff it does with such constraints is inspiring to me. Stuff like that is what keeps me wanting to work on CS mods despite how useless it may seem. Is it impractical, unnecessary, and overall not an ideal way to make your own creation? Absolutely. But there is something magical playing something derivative of a base game that original games will never do for me. That's why mods like The Show, NoStoryJustCave, and Chocolate Sunday captured my imagination years ago, and why mods like openCS excite me for the future.
Anyway, I really can't remember the first mod I played. It's quite likely that it was either KSS or WTF. Certainly not bad mods to start on. My favorite mod? Well, I think it still has to be WTF Story for me. People like Dunc have definitely argued against it well, especially given that its level design is somewhat lackluster, but I feel it's a mod where there's a bit of style over substance going on. I can look past all of the flaws because of all the interesting mechanics and environments there are. Mods like JN bore me because, even though it may be objectively superior to WTF, it doesn't do anything new or exciting.