Mega Man 3

MEGA MAN 3
Developer: Capcom
 

Mega Man 3 isn’t without its problems, but none of its issues are so bad that it would make the whole experience stale. The game is beautiful and it tries new things with its weaponry, although they are admittedly lacking. Decent Robot Masters accompanied with their colorful and fun stages really makes you come back to it several times. The game is great fun for the first 12 stages at least. Well, for the most part.
 
The game does suffer from enormous lag and controller inputs that are not optimized. The menu system is awful and combine all of the previously mentioned problems with the designs of the Doc Robots, it really does get infuriating at times. Still, I can’t but recommend this title as it is still a respectable piece of work. Mega Man 3 was made ‘Nintendo Hard’ on purpose, but what the developers forgot was what made Mega Man great in the first place: Learning AI patterns and becoming better as you play. There is no such thing with these Doc Robots.

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Omar
Omar

From the very start of the game you’re left with a static colossal image of The text “Mega Man 3” Displaying a radiating palette of greens flanked by a sharp red to bring it out, alluding to what nuances the nes was capable graphically with its 256 colors and recalling that the mega sprite himself continues to be that exclusive hero on the nes who is an iconic diverse menagerie of hues yet to be topped by any other video game protagonists at that time. Cue to the Title screen music which to this day always lures me in. This sets the mood, that your in for something special yet serious. A minimal yet more sophisticated intro approach then the last two entries.

Megaman 3 really opens up the genre introducing a slide mechanic and megaman’s canine pal rush who helps the blue bomber jump and surf his way in the mines of some disgruntled probably underpayed robot masters. These options opened up more ways to run and gun a stage as this time you can also shoot your mega buster while using and summoning your platforming items.

All of a sudden it makes more sense symbolically to have the red in megaman’s title typography as you now have a rival clad in your polar opposite- red, who always keeps you in check acting as a mid boss throughout the stages and keeping the adrenaline going. In addition to setting trends for 16 bit echidnas everywhere.

After the initial 8 robot master stages you now have what I call the mid-dungeon series which would be a four set stage interlude to the fortress levels and this staple would continue to go on in variations throughout the rest of the nes era games. This offered a novel idea which really allowed the developers to expand on the theme of each game as well as add more stages to the game.

For the casual gamer this game provides a balance of difficulty. You can get upto 9 etanks which don’t disappear after continuing and an overly attached dog when in jet mode to get you through platform perils. But you have weapons which are tough to make good use of and stages which challenge you in keeping your health high and not falling into pits by missing jumps.

Megaman 3 however takes on different a different shade of red and blue if you intend to perfect it or speed run it to a degree. You’ll find that the boss battles in the mid dungeon stages which are possibly a throwback to the style of the capsuleless rematch boss cluster of megaman 1’s wily stages, the so called doc robots splatter you with their near unavoidable hits. Careful kids this apparently is what a dissertation in pain looks like! Likewise certain moves such as top spin can glitch up and sprite flickering can be irritating when moving across the stage or fighting a boss.

Originally intended to be the final of the series as the rockman 3 titled indicated, hehe nice troll capcom. It overall enhances the series with an upgraded moveset and extension, the debut of protoman, a more concrete story driven theme and the mid dungeon phenomena. All while still incorporating the standards of the last two games with moving music like the title screen, good enemies that are worked around the stage like homing joe, and memorable levels like snake man. It leaves the viewer with a bittersweet ending concluding the trilogy that started the blue bombers place in 8 bit gaming. It is an end but also a start of good things to come and like flypaper many of the additions actually stick this time on towards the next trilogy.

Game Rating
8,0
Bidoof Princess
Bidoof Princess

Mega Man III takes everything that made the first game as good as it was and improves it. By no means is it a perfect game, but control, level design, presentation and weapons are all significant step up from what came before it.

This is the first game in the series to receive a significant enhancement in how Mega Man controls, that is, in the form of the slide. I love this addition to Mega Man’s move-set as not only does it make Mega Man a much more versatile character, but it’s incredibly satisfying to execute properly. To me, it also feels like Mega Man’s jump is slightly better, the jump height being a lot more flexible.

This is also the first game where I feel like the majority of weapons are incredibly useful. Magnet Blade and Gemini Laser are two of my favourite weapons in the series, while Search Snake and Shadow Blade feel like MM2 weapons that the designers actually thought through and balanced. I also really like Needle Cannon and Hard Knuckle, which do come in use, but the first is simply an upgraded buster while the latter is more situational in use than the first four I mentioned, but still very useful and satisfying to use. I also do like the Top Spin, but purely as a joke power as it can barely kill an enemy without hurting you. Spark Shock on the other hand is just bad for how you can’t kill anything with it, nor can you switch to any other weapon to do so. I also really like Rush, because he essentially turns the mundane items from MM2 into a character, plus Rush Jet and Coil constantly find use. Marine, on the other hand, is useful in about two stages, and even then, it barely is.

The levels feel like a natural step up from Mega Man 2’s. Each introduces new mechanics and enemies, but the devs clearly thought through their ideas to make them actually fun to play. Each level also tends to vary up its level gimmicks fairly often, like in Gemini Man’s stage, which has three prominent sections: the Pole section, the Penpen section and the water section. This makes the stages much more interesting to play as they constantly throw new ideas at you. The stages aren’t perfect though, as I find some, like Gemini Man’s stage are a tad too long, while others like Needle Man feel on the short side. Some really interesting gimmicks like the tops in Top Man’s stage are also dropped before anything interesting can be done to them. Forced Rush Jet usage with no grinding spots also becomes a problem in later levels, particularly in Doc-Needle. These issues, however, are few and far between as the level design is solid across the board. I’m not the biggest fan of the Wily levels, though. They’re not terrible, but they’re mostly very short and very easy. Regardless, I find that the levels are all designed around use of the weapons, as I constantly found myself switching between the game’s 6 good weapons, and once every 3 or 4 stages, even Spark Shock.

The bosses are mostly pretty good as well. Some are a tad on the easy side, like Snake Man, and some on the hard side, like Shadow and Hard Man (I have no idea how to dodge the Hard Knuckles). They’re all solid bosses though, my favourite being Magnet Man. The Wily Bosses are all also great. Kamegoro Maker’s a bit easy, but the Yellow Devil, Holographic Mega Mans and Final Wily all offer great challenges, particularly Yellow Devil. I’m not a fan of the Doc Robots, though. None of them feel like their MM2 counterparts, and somehow for worse. Wood Man, Heat Man, and Quick Man are 3 of the hardest hit, having patterns and attacks that don’t seem to work at al like the original. I don’t like most of the original MM2 masters, but Doc Robot’s massive hitbox and forcing you to learn a new weakness table was never and will never be fun.

The graphics are again beautiful. Each stage is incredibly colourful, and in terms of aesthetics, this game has some of my favourite menus. Everything is simply a pleasure to look at. The music, on the other hand, might just be my favourite part of the game. Aside from Shadow Man’s theme, every song is one of my favourite pieces on the NES, no hyperbole.

Mega Man III is one of my favourite NES Mega Man games. It’s certainly not perfect, but the sheer amount of fun I have playing it is almost unmatched. I just finished playing it for the 4th or 5th time a few days ago, and I already want to play it all again. In my opinion, this is where Mega Man went from a series of ambitious 8-bit platformers, to one of the greatest names in the genre.

Game Rating
8,6
Brent Critic
Brent Critic

After the critical and commercial success of Mega Man 2. Capcom started making a sequel around 1989. The game was in development hell and Keiji felt the game was rushed to the Christmas market of 1990 due to some differences in the team. Despite the development hell, Mega Man 3 was released and was well received commercially and critically but at the time, many felt it wasn’t as good as Mega Man 2. Years later in a time where people view Mega Man 2 as overrated, more people consider Mega Man 3 to be the best in the series. I’m a guy that usually looks forward to number 3’s in video game trilogies since they’re mostly the best of the three games. Mario 3, Wonder boy 3, Castlevania 3, Sonic 3, Crash 3, Spyro 3 and etc. There’s a lot of them. So after two flawed but fun games, how does Mega Man 3 compare? Once again, let’s start with the good.

The graphics are beautiful for a NES game, there’s great use of colour, excellent attention to detail and more variety in the stages you play. I loved Mega Man 2’s soundtrack and Mega Man 3’s soundtrack is even better. There’s more instrumental variety than before and the compositions are all catchy, memorable and never get old. Also, unlike the first two games, Mega Man 3’s music was optimized for the PAL format. It does play slightly faster than the NTSC version but it sounds just about right and the music is even better as a result.

Let’s talk about the gameplay and man is this a huge improvement (kind of). The Robot Master stages are easily some of the best in the series. Pretty much all of them are well designed with much improved enemy placement, more challenging hazards and diverse gimmicks that set them apart. They’re all memorable in their own right. Even better with Rush and the slide. Rush is a robot dog that can transform. He can help you jump a lot higher with the Rush Coil, you can fly with him thanks to the Rush Jet and you can use Rush Marine to travel underwater without having to jump. The slide was a fantastic addition to the series as it can help you avoid enemy patterns much easier and even helps you traverse faster. It’s responsive, fast and makes the gameplay more agile.

Another improvement is the weapons balancing. Much better than Mega Man 2 although not quite on par with Mega Man 1. The Shadow Blade is the Metal Blade done right thanks to only shooting in five directions, shoot only one at a time and has a shorter range, much better. The Magnet Missile is an awesome homing attack that provides decent damage. The Needle Cannon, while somewhat redundant, shoots really fast and has good power, the Hard Knuckle is pretty strong and destroys certain walls and the Search Snakes travel on the ground and do some pretty good damage.

However, Mega Man 3 does have some annoying flaws. While five weapons are pretty good, the other three leave some things to be desired. The Spark Shock is a terrible weapon because when you paralyze enemies with it, you can’t pause the game to switch weapons. Well that sucks. The Top Spin is somewhat buggy and has a mediocre hit box although it can be fun once you get used to it. Lastly, the Gemini Laser bounces off walls and you can only shoot one at a time. That’s three bad weapons compared to five good weapons.

Another issue is that the game has a lot of lag. I’m serious, the game slows down a lot when there’s multiple sprites on the screen. Even the Gemini Laser alone can make the game lag, I’m not kidding. The sprite flickering is just as problematic as the first two games. These aren’t deal breakers but they do interrupt the flow of the game occasionally.

Probably the biggest issue with the game is the doc robot stages. With the exception of one stage, they aren’t bad but they’re do exist just to extend game time. It doesn’t help that the doc robots themselves hit way too hard and it’s annoying to have to memorize a new weakness chain just to be able to beat them. The checkpoints weren’t well thought out and it sucks to have to start at the beginning of the stage just because you lost to the doc robot. One of the stages requires you to use the Rush Jet and if you get all the energy supplies, lose a life and don’t have enough energy for your Rush Jet, then you have to get a game over to start it all over again. What atrocious game design that is.

The wily castle stages are better than in Mega Man 2 in terms of design but they’re pretty easy and offer very little challenge. Most of the bosses in the wily castle stages are very easy to kill and Rush Jet completely ruins one of the fights against Dr. Wily. The Robot Masters were pretty fun thanks to decent strategies and the Yellow Devil is better than in Mega Man 1 so it’s disappointing that the bosses become too easy afterwards. Then again, the doc robots were tedious and annoying so it’s nice to have a break from the tedium and frustration. Proto Man in the few times you fight him is a complete joke as all he does is jump and shoot. That’s it. I like that the game has a stronger focus on story than the previous games but Proto Man being too easy does make me question if he really is in support of Dr. WIly. Maybe since he is the brother of Mega Man so it makes sense. Also, beating the final boss with the Top Spin is hilarious yet disappointing.

To conclude, in spite of some issues. Mega Man 3 fixes plenty of what was wrong with the first two games even though it adds its own. Better weapons (kind of), better designed stages and more enjoyable wily castle stages makes this title worth a play through. My only major issue is the doc robot stages are annoying and just come off as padding. Even with that said. Mega Man 3 is my favourite Mega Man game………. If it wasn’t for the next game I’ll take a look at soon enough. I’ll be reviewing Mega Man 4 next.

Thanks for reading.

Game Rating
7,5
Poncho
Poncho

Mega Man 3 certainly improves things on several levels; you can move faster through the stages (thanks to the slide), the music is pretty goddamn good and the first 8 stages are pretty well designed. The Robot Masters themselves are a little more challenging overall this time around (Needle Man and Shadow Man being the obvious hard bosses here), but it’s still fun to fight them, and the weapons do end up being useful in the stages.

However, this fun experience is almost ruined by two factors: the awful button inputs (no slide or shot when I want either mechanic to work) and the stages after the Robot Masters.

The Doc Robots are a bad idea, and a bad idea that doesn’t work. Does anyone need the MM2 Robot Masters in MM3? As good as they (overall) are, it’s just a rubbish excuse to make the game longer and make up for the Wily Stages (I’ll get to those in a moment).

Doc Wood and Doc Quick are the two contenders for the absolute most difficult (and worst) bosses in all of the classic Mega Man series. Gigantic hitboxes (though this is the case for all the DRs), attacks that are way too challenging to avoid, and fights that generally leave a bad taste in your mouth. Another issue with these levels is that I find them rather lazily made and boring. It’s just Shadow, Needle, Gemini and Spark stages with a few differences, and not that much difficulty besides the bosses themselves. And at the end of all this nonsense, we don’t fight them again. Considering how unfair some of them are, that’s seems good, but it just makes the whole ordeal seem like a huge time-waster. I hate it when games do that.

Then the Wily stages. What can I say? Even more rubbish than MM2’s stages. At least some stages from the previous game had a little challenge, and bosses that were a bit of a threat. The only things to be careful for in the last 6 stages are the terrible checkpoint in Stage 2 and the boss rematch. Wily himself is a joke, dying in one Top Spin shot.

So, all-in-all, some decent weapons (Shadow Blade, Top Spin [yes, I like it], Magnet Missile), good RM stages and good music manage to redeem Mega Man 3, but the rushed job of the rest of the game drops the score considerably. Sorry to those who like it; looking back, this game is pretty flawed.

Game Rating
5,8
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