Review by Sour
"How does it compare to Mega Man 2?"
Mega Man 2 met with an overwhelming success, and Capcom decided to keep the ball rolling and create the next in a long series of Mega Man games. Mega Man 3 had a lot to live up to because it's predecessor was such a hit. How does it stand up against Mega Man 2? Is it better? Is it worse? Or is it more of the same? We'll answer that here and talk about how this Mega Man title contributed to the franchise.
Story: 10/10: After the events of Mega Man 2, Dr. Albert Wily has seemingly become a good guy again. He works with Dr. Light on a new robot to help the world, codenamed "Gamma". Robot Masters responsible for the mining and production of materials to power Gamma have gone mad and stolen the power crystals. Mega Man once again must don his helmet and mega buster to bring down the diabolical robots. Along the way, he meets a new face that challenges him to a series of battles and calls himself "Break Man". All is also not right with Wily, who steals Gamma out from under Dr. Light's nose and re-programs him just like he did with the six Robot Masters in the first Mega Man. Mega Man has a new companion on his side that Dr. Light built for him by the name of Rush, a mechanical dog that would prove useful not only in this journey, but in many to come as well. The one who calls himself "Break Man" does have a secret history about him, but you'll have to play the game and beat it to find out just who he really is.
Gameplay: 10/10: The Mega Man series is largely known for being a side scrolling shoot-em-up franchise. Upon starting up the game, you'll have the option to choose which stage you want to go to first, with mugshots of the eight Robot Masters. The Mega Man franchise is unique in that you get to choose whatever sequence you desire because of the stage select screen. At the end of each level, you will encounter a Robot Master, the boss for that stage. Once a Robot Master is defeated, Mega Man acquires their special power. You can then switch to that weapon any time in the pause menu. Also, each Robot Master has a specific weakness to another Robot Master's weapon. Your first time through, it's a fun game of trial and error. You can always just do a buster-only game though if you're looking for an extra challenge. Introduced in Mega Man 2, the energy tanks make their return, allowing you to completely refill your health whenever you have one or more in stock. This game allows you to hold way more than Mega Man 2, going into the double digits if you find them all and never use one. Mega Man's life count also exceeds 9 in this game, the only Mega Man game to do so. It's a good thing too, because after facing the game's Robot Masters, you'll get a blast from the past as you have to fight all of the Mega Man 2 bosses again, and this time they're bigger, faster, and stronger. Upon defeating these suped up versions of the Mega Man 2 Robot Masters, you'll have to face Break Man one last time and finally make your way into Wily's new fortress. This makes Mega Man 3 one of the longest games in the classic series history. Also note, that this game is littered with instant death traps, just like previous titles. Bottomless pits are abound, as well as spikes. Like in every Mega Man game, spikes will destroy you in one hit, as will pools of lava. To counterbalance the dangers this game offers, you'll get the ability to use Rush, Mega Man's new partner in justice. Rush is a dog that has the ability to turn into a jet and an be maneuvered in any direction. This ability would be forever nerfed in future titles, allowing the Rush Jet to simply go straight forward and move only up or down. Rush also can turn into a submarine for Mega Man to utilize when he's below water, and a spring comes out of Rush's back with the Rush Coil ability, allowing Mega Man to reach new heights.
Sound: 10/10: Mega Man 3, like any other Mega Man, has exceptional music that is unique to the title. Man fans argue over which soundtrack is better between the second installment in the series and this one. This game certainly does deliver though and the music is no exception, despite whether one thinks it's better than Mega Man 2 or not. The music was composed by a person known in the credits as Bun Bun. He would go on to thankfully contribute his abilities to future titles in the franchise. Mega Man 3 is one of a few to have a really memorable soundtrack and there's good reason for it. Snake Man's theme is unforgettable, and, despite the shortness of the Wily stages, those levels have fantastic music as well.
Graphics: 10/10: At the time, this was pretty much the best you got. This game also doesn't seem to suffer the lag that Mega Man 2 does, though many enemies can be glitched off the screen, similar to the air blowers in Air Man's stage in Mega Man 2. The graphics rivaled most first-party Nintendo titles at the time, and were in high-res. Of course now it's not your fancy HD graphics on a modern console but it still looks good nonetheless. In fact, Capcom to this day still creates new installments in the franchise with these sorts of graphics, they just look a bit more polished since they are no longer glitchy NES games. The 8-bit series was so successful, that they decided to keep the series going that way, and it looks much better than the over-sized sprites in Mega Man 7 and the meshing environments in Mega Man 8.
Overall: 10/10: One of the best games in the classic series, Mega Man 3 delivers in every way possible. More bosses, more energy tanks, Rush, a great soundtrack, and much more. If you're a fan of the classic series and haven't played it yet, or still new to the series and haven't played it yet, go ahead and buy a copy off of e-bay or buy it for $5 on the Wii's virtual console if you have one. It's a great installment in the franchise and you've been missing out if you haven't played it yet.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/07/10
Game Release: Mega Man 3 (US, 11/30/90)
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