Continuing the marathon with just the main classic series, OK? So we have had the classic games of Mega Man 1 & 2…and Wily Wars…and some crappy business board game. So with the perfect formula of the sequel in mind, the development of the third game should have no issues. But unfortunately, it was near enough disastrous. So many time constraints, so many people who understood Mega Man left and replaced with new people who didn’t understand how the series worked and Keiji Inafune had to take more responsibilities and according to him, the game wasn’t completed to his taste. That doesn’t really sound promising, but this is Mega Man so I’ll have high hopes for it.
Mega Man 3, known as Rockman 3: Dr. Wily no Saigo!? (ロックマン3 Dr.ワイリーの最期!? “Rockman 3: The End of Dr. Wily!?”), developed and published by Capcom but was published by Nintendo in Europe and was released in 1990 in Japan and in the US. Europe got it in 1992.
So because Dr. Wily has been defeated twice, he decides to call it quits on world domination and teams up with Dr. Light to create a peace-keeping robot named Gamma…a giant…peace-keeping robot. They also create 8 robot masters to go to different planets to mine for power crystals. But they suddenly go haywire and are causing problems. So it’s up to Mega Man once again to sort it out. But to make matters even more stress-inducing, he also has to put up with another robot named Break Man for some reason.
We have yet another eight robot masters to fight including Magnet Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, Gemini Man, and Needle Man and defeating them once again gives you different weapons. Magnet Man’s Magic Missiles…I mean Magnet Missiles (Damn you SilvaGunner) can home on enemies and since they’re robots, it makes sense. Snake Man’s Search Snakes can be used on grounded enemies; just shoot some, let them drop and let them drive on the floor and pounce on the enemies. Top Man’s Top Gear…I mean Top Spin (Damn you also Jeremy Clarkson, I’ll give you a Nursery Rhyme or two) is pathetic, you can twirl around but it leaves you with damage too, it makes no sense, though it’s VERY useful for the final boss. Spark Man’s Spark Shock is OK, it’s a beam of electricity that can stun enemies and can do good against Magnet Man. Needle Man’s Needle Cannon lets you shoot needles in rapid fire…and that’s it. Hard Man’s Hard Knuckle is a remote controlled punch but it’s so slow, especially against robot masters. Gemini Man’s Gemini Laser lets you shoot a laser which can bounce off walls, and even though it can deal some decent damage against some robot masters, you have to wait for it to bounce off the walls and disappear before you can shoot again so you’re going to get hit by enemy fire in the mean time; heck, you can’t even pause once you use it.
New levels, new challenges to face and we’re introduced to a new partner of Mega Man, a robot dog named Rush. At first you can use him as Rush Coil to get to higher platforms, especially if you want to pick up a good item, but after defeating certain robot masters, you can pick up an additional two more abilities for Rush like Rush Marine, where you can travel underwater much better and Rush Jet, where you can fly around the level. Rush is an awesome addition to the series, he’s very helpful in almost every level. If you want to avoid some of the tough challenges, Rush will be there, though he also has an energy bar which drains as you use it so be cautious. And finally, Shadow Man’s Shadow Blade is like Metal Man’s Metal Blades from Mega Man 2 but a bit weaker. So I’m not a huge fan of these weapons this time round but they do the job when the odds are in your favour.
As for Mega Man himself, he plays the same but he now has a new feature, the slide manoeuvre, where he can use this to slide under enemy attacks or pass through low barriers. This is a fantastic feature, I mostly use it to travel faster at times and it’s very useful when it comes to boss strategies. Energy tanks once again come to save the day and now Mega Man can carry 9 instead of 4; and even if you die, you still keep what you currently have, a vast improvement of the second game.
The levels use Mega Man’s abilities to the fullest and I enjoy a lot of them. We now have mini-bosses. Some are great but others, like that giant cat, can be annoying. Other than that, they can be a bit short, but that’s fine with me, it’s a nice length, especially if you battle a robot master with the incorrect weapons.
One of the issues I have are the weapons. Sure they can be useful in bosses…well, very useful, but I barely used them during the level, not counting the Rush abilities; I can still go around with my normal blaster and take down most enemies. But you’re probably asking, “Well why not just use them in the game, then it makes the game more fun?” Well because I still have that fear of using a weapon and not having enough energy to use it on a robot master, it may seem silly, but when you’re playing this game properly, you don’t want to mess up, and that’s not a good thing in my books.
So, after you defeat all eight robot masters, it’s time for you to defeat Dr. Wily right? Wrong, you have to defeat 8 more robot masters known as the Doc Robots; from Mega Man 2 no less and because of that, you have to defeat them with your new weapons you got from this game, and it is difficult as hell. Can you see why I like the weapons in the second one? Well if you want to take the challenge, then good luck. Another issue I had was the technical issues. So we have sprite flickering and then there’s slowdown and it can near ruin the experience, it was so bad that I had to download a ROM and a patch that fixes the issues.
The graphics are the same, the level design is once again top notch and are once again timeless. The music is pretty good, there are some great tracks. The gameplay is similar to the other games but it still feels fresh thanks to the additional features. Though it’s just as hard as it can be, then again, it is Mega Man after all.
Overall, Mega Man 3 is an enjoyable game to play and another fine addition to the series, though I HATE the Doc Robots and I wasn’t a fan of the weapons, everything else was great. All the new features adds another layer of finesse to the game and is another fantastic experience like Mega Man 2. With great level design and great overall levels, good music and fun gameplay, Mega Man 3 is another true classic and hats off to the developers and give them praise and appreciation, it was a stressful game to develop after all.
You can get it on the Famicom/NES, Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive via Mega Man: The Wily Wars, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, Virtual Console for Wii U and 3DS and Mobile Phone.
As always, time to look at the western art covers for this game:
Well this was supposed to be a double bill review of Mega Man 3 & 4, but because I once again, wrote a lot for this game, that’s not going to happen. So…maybe next week it’s Mega Man 4 & 5? Yeah, two games in one review…well two reviews in one post.