One of the quintessential series on the NES – Mega Man! Now which one is the best? Part 2 or part 3? Or maybe you are a rogue and think its part 4,5, or 6? My brother told me his favourite last week – Mega Man 3 – so I figured I would review it and revisit this awesome classic.
Mega Man 3 – like all the classic Mega Man games is a 2D platform action game where you take control of the man himself – Mega Man – and blast though 8 levels with your mega buster, gaining new abilities along the way to pulverize the games’ bosses (if you know the correct order)! The showdown ends at Willy’s castle and his ultimate destruction…or at least yearly vacation until his return in part 4.
Nothing much has changed since Mega Man 2 in terms of this formula save a few minor details. First – your assist abilities (that help you reach high places – see image above) now come personified as a cute and lovable robotic dog rush! I loved this addition at it gives his moves some much needed personality. Second – you now have a slide move to get out of (or through) tight spaces. This addition is great for bosses and adds another ability for Mega Man to use, but does not add a whole lot to the game. Things worked perfectly fine in part 2 without it!
In terms of level design – each level is superbly crafted with its own unique looks and feel. I never would have though a level could be based just on snakes – or tops – but they pull it off! My favourite is Gemini Man’s level as you start out in space fighting interesting floating eye enemies and penguins and then head below the surface to track down the boss! Many levels also have awesome mini bosses, my favourite being killer kitty (seen below). The bosses themselves are also fun albeit somewhat on the easy side to defeat – even when just using the mega buster. The one exception is Shadow Man. If you have the proper weapon power though, each boss falls with ease.
Controls are also just as tight as ever – making sure the Mega Man can make those difficult jumps like the infamous disappearing platforms (see above). Each death is your own fault in Mega Man 3. Graphically, the game is quite further along compared to Mega Man 2 – there are more textured backgrounds and the colour pallets selected look just fantastic. I was especially impressed with Shadow Man’s level with the lava and blue backgrounds. However, there was quite a bit of flicker and some slowdown in graphic heavy areas which actually effected gameplay to a small degree. Similarly to Mega Man 2, the music is absolutely timeless (although no quite as good).
Overall, Mega Man 3 is an awesome entry into the series. It’s a lot of fun, looks and sounds great, and adds a few things to the series as a whole – my favourite being Rush! Having said that, I still don’t think it beats Mega Man 2 as the best Mega Man game – but thats just personal preference! The game also looses a little bit of marks for slowdown and bad flicker which I found a bit worse than in part 2. Overall, I give this game a 8/10.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10