Why does everyone hate the NICALiS ports?

Are the ports complete garbage?

  • No, why would they be?

  • kinda...

  • A little bit.

  • yup

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Jan 15, 2018 at 9:34 PM
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Like, this forum seems to have a lot of hate for all of NICALiS's ports. Like, what's wrong with them? Pixel wanted the game to be 60fps, but couldn't due to limitations. Also, the translation isn't that bad. Most hate it because it's not what everyone is used to.

EDIT: Apparently it wasn't 50fps doe to limitations, but during the production of the wiiware port, pixel approved the change to 60, so my point (kinda) still stands.
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Jan 15, 2018 at 9:46 PM
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Pixel wanted the game to be 60fps, but couldn't due to limitations.
That is a huge misconception, Pixel did have the game in 60fps during production, even the beta version was shown in that framerate. No one knows why he put it in 50fps to begin with since it already ran well with 60.
Jan 15, 2018 at 9:49 PM
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That is a huge misconception, Pixel did have the game in 60fps during production, even the beta version was shown in that framerate. No one knows why he put it in 50fps to begin with since it already ran well with 60.
Ok I fixed it.
Jan 15, 2018 at 11:02 PM
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I think it was made pretty clear in Pixel's interview on Destructoid that he originally wanted to have the game be in 60 fps:
To the uninitiated, the PC versions of Cave Story run at 50 frames per second (fps). The Wii version runs at 60fps. Can you explain why the PC game is 50 frames per second (fps)? Was Cave Story designed for 60 fps or 50 fps?

No matter what environment (PC), if it runs well on 60fps, then I will always choose 60fps, without a doubt.

However, at that time, there were lots of PC setups that weren’t 60 fps. There were environments that could set the refresh rate through the program, but there were other environments where you couldn't. Most PC's were at a refresh rate slightly higher than 60fps. When that happens, with a one to two second cycle, the periodical scroll of the screen shook erratically and this affected the game experience--which I didn’t like.

In the end, I made it 50 fps because there were no environments at 50 fps. Regardless what environment it's run on there would be no adverse issues. It's very important that the movement or motion is consistent no matter what the environment.

At first I had contemplated that it was a refresh rate problem. The environment is restricted, but when I saw how smoothly the game scrolled on 60 fps I thought there couldn't be any other choice than 60 fps. There were several other people on the Internet who've had similar thoughts, but then I saw points like it’s more important to make a fun game than to fixate on the refresh rate. I remember at that time feeling like I finally reached a solution.
I'm not quite sure how TLinkan managed to misconstrue this statement into meaning "No one knows why he put it in 50fps to begin with since it already ran well with 60."

I personally don't like a lot of the NICALiS ports because of the two main reasons:
1) The NICALiS ports aren't as polished as the original Cave Story, giving it a ton of glitches
2) I really don't like the NICALiS English translation.

For the first point, this is a very objective one. I haven't played the Wiiware release much, but one of the things to note is that the "New" music was broken for a long time, making it sound just awful. Putting aside the bad translation, the main story mode for Cave Story+ wasn't bad, but all the challenges were riddled with glitches. For example, for the first humble bundle version of CS+, sanctuary time attack didn't work at all, and just brought you to this totally broken version of story mode. Wind Fortress had this annoying glitch where the timer wouldn't reset every run, but instead would resume the previous time, and made you have to restart the game to make the timer reset. At launch, the Steam version of CS+ was missing the remastered soundtrack entirely. If you played Curly mode during Christmas time, then Curly would turn into reindeer Quote whenever she fell down. In Boss Rush, when you finish certain bosses and go back to the main room, the camera is sometimes jerky because the scripters made the mistake of doing something like <FOM0001 instead of <FOM0016 like the normal game does, which is a TSC command that sets how quickly the camera follows the player. Anyone who's done much Cave Story modding knows that this is a very amateur scripting mistake to make.

Some of these glitches were fixed in later versions, but then they also implemented new features that had their own set of glitches. Later versions let you supposedly have recorded replays of you doing challenges, but that never really worked. Later versions were supposed to let you share your best times on leaderboards, but I'm pretty sure they never got that working either. Achievements on the steam version are broken that never got fixed. Curly Story on the Eshop version was very broken for a while. And let's not even talk about Cave Story 3D...

As for the point about the translation, this is a little bit subjective, but most people would agree that the NICALiS translation is dry and flat compared to the fan translation. For example, Booster's dying line "I pray for your victory" was changed to a much less meaningful "Best of... luck...". Or the description of the Iron Bond "Your tie to Curly Brace, the only warrior you would trust your back to. Surely you will meet again one day..." changed to "Your connection to Curly Brace, the only person you trust. You'll see each other again...". Another change that really baffled me was the difference in the way Booster talks when you talk to him if you have the Mimiga mask. His original response "I'm truly sorry for the chaos that has befallen your island. We humans must take the blame." was changed to "I'm sorry. We've ruined your island. We humans are evil." And of course let's not forget Balrog's catchy line "Huzzah" being changed to "Oh Yeah." As far as I'm aware, the NICALiS translation is more accurate and literal, but the fact that it's also so poorly written in terms of often not having believable conversational dialogue makes the gaming experience less enjoyable.

The original Cave Story wasn't perfect, but it was far more polished, and glitches were very hard to trigger and didn't greatly affect the gaming experience. One thing that I will grant to you is that the Cave Story fandom, like all fandoms, will one way or the other react negatively to things being changed about the original Cave Story. But in this case, NICALiS has genuinely done a sloppy job over the years of porting Cave Story to different platforms.
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Jan 16, 2018 at 1:02 AM
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Pretty much everyone's beef is that Nicalis rushed CSWii and CS+, and then neglected to update the Mac and Linux builds of CS+ (also that broken achievement on steam). Also the translation, while more accurate (AGTP fucked up in a few instances), wasn't written as well. Plus anything other than "Huzzah!" is apparently blasphemy, despite the fact that "Doryaa!" (a Japanese war cry) is Balrog's untranslatable catchphrase, making both technically wrong. There's also a bit of a "they changed it, now it sucks" mentality.

Effectively the Switch port fixed everything except the writing, as well as fixing some issues with the original game, but people started whinging about the price and kept playing the ports they all love to complain about.
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Jan 16, 2018 at 7:09 AM
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I've only bought the Wii and 3ds e-shops ports and while I don't have a major issue with these, the prices I see on the switch version are indeed a little high for what was originally a free game.

My biggest issue with the ports though is that at some point we don't really need yet another cave story port, considering it's often the same game again with some small additions here and there. The challenges weren't that bad of an addition and multiplayer is something everyone always wanted, but at some point they're kinda beating a dead horse here.
Challenges often are small things you race through and eventually multiplayer is still the main game except you're playing with a friend. At some point people just want to see new content instead of small levels or cool new features like MP.
Jan 16, 2018 at 11:48 AM
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Weird. I recall reading the Nicalis translation was less accurate. Stuff like Jenka now being Balrog's aunt, and the tidbit about the Gaudi originally being meant to protect the Core, only to forget about it, being omitted completely. Of course, if that's just AGTP basically inserting fanfiction, then Nicalis all the way I guess.
Jan 16, 2018 at 12:05 PM
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The auntie thing is a weird word choice they did where it's basically used as a term of familiarity rather than meaning they are literally related. But it's not really something an English person would say so it's not a very good localization.
I don't know about the gaudis
Jan 17, 2018 at 10:40 AM
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I used to address my parents' friends as "aunties" and "uncles" when I was younger...it was only when I started noticing that no one else did it that I eventually dropped it altogether.

But yeah, the bugs and translation definitely seem to be the two things that tip people off. I myself was kind of bothered by the NICALiS translation when looking at video playthroughs, but upon purchasing and playing the game myself, I realized I didn't actually find myself being bothered by it at all. And I definitely did prefer most parts of the Aeon Genesis over the official translation when comparing them side by side.

It is strange that when experiencing the actual game with its official translation for myself, it really wasn't that huge of a letdown as I expected it to be.