With the success of Mega Man 2, Capcom was eager to make another game in this now critically acclaimed franchise. Mega Man 3, released in 1990 for the NES, is considered to be just as good, if not superior to Mega Man 2 by many people. That’s a bold claim for the follow up to Mega Man 2, so let’s see how the game holds up today.
Mega Man 3 is very similar to the previous installments, but that’s by no means a bad thing. Like Mega Man 1 and 2, the main goal of the game is to run and gun your way through all of the stages, defeating all of the Robot Masters and Dr. Wily once again. The eight new robot masters in this game are Snake Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Gemini Man, Needle Man, Hard Man, Spark Man, and Magnet Man. As always, Mega Man defeats them, obtains their ability, and uses it to defeat other Robot Masters and enemies. Along with these new robot masters, the eight masters from Mega Man 2 return via Doc Robot, and Proto Man makes his debut. Doc Robot is a robot doctor that Mega Man must fight after defeating all eight of the new Robot Masters. Once these masters have been defeated, Doc Robot takes over four of the already completed stages and Mega Man has to fight him twice in each stage. Each time Mega Man faces off with Doc Robot, Doc Robot takes on the form of one of the Mega Man 2 robot masters. Once Doc Robot has been completely defeated, Mega Man can take on Dr. Wily. Proto Man, known as Break Man in this game, is a masked villain that Mega Man periodically fights. Proto Man’s backstory is talked about more in future installments, but for now, Mega Man realizes that Proto Man is the prototype of himself, and isn’t a bad guy after all. The gameplay in Mega Man 3 is almost the exact same from 1 and 2, but is noticeably more difficult than in 2. The Doc Robot stages are very tough and can cause many deaths if you’re not careful. The new robot masters can also be tough to take on, and the stages to get to them are the most difficult yet. Challenge never hurts the quality of the game, though, and I welcome it. Along with all of these new assets, this game marks the debut of Rush, Mega Man’s companion robot dog. Rush can use Rush Coil, Rush Jet, and Rush Marine. Rush Coil acts as a trampoline, Rush Jet acts as a a hoverboard, and Rush Marine lets Mega Man use Rush like a submarine under water. The controls of Mega Man 3 are the exact same as Mega Man 2, with the exception of the newly added slide function. The slide is executed when holding down on the D-Pad and pressing the jump button. The slide let’s Mega Man slide under tight spaces and move quickly through stages, a very welcome addition. The gameplay and controls of Mega Man 3 have held up very well, as I can’t find anything inherently wrong with them.
The music and graphics of Mega Man 3 are great, there’s no other way to put it. The graphics have all the detail of Mega Man 2 and more, and the music for the Mega Man series is constantly amazing throughout. In comparison to Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3 on paper is a much better game. That being said, I still personally find Mega Man 2 to be more enjoyable, and though Mega Man 3 is indeed a fantastic game, it’s actually one of my least favorite games in the series. Hear me out, I think Mega Man 3 is a perfectly fine game, but something about it is just offputting to me. The Robot Masters don’t really interest me, Doc Robot’s stages are repetitive, and what Mega Man 3 does well, 2 just does better. If Mega Man 3 is your favorite, I don’t blame you, but the game just isn’t for me.
Before I wrap this article up, I’d like to briefly discuss Mega Man: The Wily Wars. The Wily Wars was a Sega Genesis game, containing the first three Mega Man games remastered in 16 bit graphics. These remasters are fun to play, but they have a few issues. The framerate is incredibly unstable, and there are times where the slowdown makes the game incredibly easy. The hitboxes are also a bit strange, making me get hit sometimes when I clearly dodge attacks. After beating all three Mega Man games on this collection, Wily Tower is unlocked. Wily Tower is a very unique gameplay mode, where you get to pick eight robot master weapons from the first three games and three slots are given to you for Rush abilities or items. Mega Man is tasked to face three new robot bosses, and then take on Wily Tower. These are seven Mega Man stages that are only in the Wily Wars, and they’re in my opinion the reason to play this collection of games. The Wily Wars is an interesting collection of games, but isn’t perfect.
Mega Man 3 is a classic, and deserves to be praised. While the game isn’t for me, I can see the qualities of it, and respect the game. Mega Man 3 has aged well.
Holy crap!!!! Mega Man 11 was announced on December 4th! Though the game won’t be releasing for about a year, I promise to make that review the epilogue of this Megathon.