Game Review: Mega Man III
| ||Mega Man III || |
Released: November 1990
Game Type: Action
Product Number: NES-XU-USA
Rarity: C (Uncommon)
|Box Scan |
In many gaming series, the third entry is usually the best one, such as Super Mario Bros, Metriod, Zelda and Castlevania. The Mega Man series is no different with hsi third chapter in the saga. By 1990, Mega Man had become an established icon in the videogame world after two successful games, so Capcom decided why not continue the series with a thrid entry? At the time it seemed Mega Man II couldn't be topped with a sequel but Capcom somehow managed to take the game further and the result is perhaps the best Mega Man game in the series.
In this third chapter, the demented Dr. Wily has apparently given up his evil ways and is offering to help Dr. Light construct a gigantic peace-keeping robot known as Gamma. However to finish the robot they need energy crystals from eight mining worlds, which are under attack by robots gone berserk. So naturally Mega Man heads out on a new mission to tame the wild robots and secure the crystals, unaware that Dr. Wily has his own plans for the peace-keeping robot.
This entry in the series is a far larger game than any of the other NES Mega Man carts, with over 18 stages of standard shoot-em-up action. Here Mega Man must go up against a new group of eight robots in any order, which include the likes of Magnet Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Gemini Man, Snake Man, and Needle Man. Once he picks a stage Mega Man must battle his way through a gauntlet of mechanical menaces before the showdown with the Robot Master at the end, and as usual he gets that boss' special weapon for his own use if he emerges victoruis. Much like the second game, Mega Man III debuts more new concepts that became standard to the series. Mega Man has his usual arm cannon to blast foes but can now slide along the ground to avoid projectiles and get through tight pasages. This game also introduces Mega Man's trusty pal Rush the Robodog, who can help him by becoming a springboard, a jet sled, and a submarine as needed. Mega Man only has the Rush Coil at the beginning of the game and must defeat Shadow Man and Needle Man to get the other two adapters. In addition MM3 also introduces us to Mega Man's long-lost brother Protoman, who jumps in and challenges Mega Man in certain areas. After you defeat the eight Robot Masters, there's an interesting twist: you must now re-enter four of the stages and do battle with Doc Robot, who can take on the form of the boss robots from Mega Man II, and you have to fight two bosses in each level. If you can make it through that you can finally enter the final fortress to face down Wily.
The graphics in MM3 are superb. Most of the characters are well drawn and have some good details to them. The animation is very smooth, though slowdown and breakup does occur when there's too much going on. Also most of the stages look great with their own distinct look and theme that matches the boss, from Snake Man's reptile decor to Spark Man's machinery, and there's even some great background effects in many of the levels. In addition the music is also first-rate. The background music is fun to listen to and fits the mood of each stage, especially the Top Man theme and the last Dr. Wily theme. The sound effects are nothing noteworty but are still good.
Just like the other Mega Man titles, the controls work well. It's easy to pull off Mega Man's various moves with no problem, especially the new slide, and there's virtually no lag time. Selecting which special weapon to use still requires you to access the subscreen, and you still have your options spread across two pages, but at least this time you get icons identifying each weapon so there's no confusion as to what you're equipping.
The solid run 'n gun action that's pervalent through the series really gets refined in Mega Man III. The new features (such as the slide and Rush) are welcome additions to the already-solid Mega Man engine, which still provides plenty of addicting action, plus the different levels provide some good variety with their different obstacles. This game also features a good difficulty level that gives you a fair challenge without being too frustrating. Many of the stages have bosses and obstacles that require strategy to overcome instead of just gunning them down. There are still a couple of scenes that my try your patience and some levels require you to travel a long distance just to reach the restart point, plus the ability to stockpile E Tanks may take away from the challenge at times, but overall you still get a good workout in this cart.
Just like most other franchises, the third time is definetly a charm for Mega Man as this is easily one of the best games in the series. Capcom really went all out here with excellent graphics, great sounds, and top-notch gameplay. While some may argue that MM2 or MM5 are the best versions, and they both are great games, but Mega Man III still emerges as the top Mega Man title for the NES.
- Review posted on November 7, 2008