Review: Mega Man 3

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Onward to the next installment of the Mega Man series, and what might be the most popular. At first glance, Mega Man 3 might seem like just more of the same. Which is partially true, the base storyline and game design is identical to its previous counterparts. However, in this game we’re slowly introduced to a little more of the lore behind the Mega Man universe.

At several points during the game, Mega Man encounters a strange robot, “Break Man”, who oddly enough is equipped with an arm cannon much like Mega Man’s. In the game’s conclusion, this same character appears and rescues Mega Man from certain doom. It is revealed in the end credits that “Break Man” may actually be Proto Man. The prototype version of Mega Man. Ooh… mysterious.

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In this game, we are also introduced to Mega Man’s robot canine companion, Rush. As Mega Man progresses through the game, Rush can be upgraded with parts that Mega Man finds. This allows Rush to transform into various objects that can be used by Mega Man. This is also the title where Mega Man learns his signature ground-slide move.

Aside from these additions, the game plays very much like the first two installments in the series.

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Difficulty: Difficult  – The difficulty here is about on par with Mega Man 2. Again, Not easy, but not impossible. Might be a little frustrating for young kids.

Story: For most of the background story, you will have to turn to the original manual. There are some details scattered through the game and at the end, concerning Proto Man. But for the most part, it’s a recycle of the previous two entries

Originality: At this point, a pattern is starting to develop in the series. Three games with virtually identical gameplay. While one might argue “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, sooner or later the formula is bound to get stale.

Soundtrack: Catchy in places, but not as good as Mega Man 2. Overall, a good soundtrack though. Many of the tunes are iconic pieces in the annals of 8-bit music.

Fun: At face value, Mega Man 3 is an enjoyable title. If you like Mega Man, you’ll love the game. If you’re looking for something new, you may not find this title all that enjoyable. However, for those new the series, this is a nice starting point.

Graphics: The graphics here are on par with Mega Man 2. No noticeable improvements. Standard 8-bit goodness here.

Playcontrol: Same as the previous games. No glaring problems, but still a touchy platformer. Plays best on the original NES controller, IMO. But no real issues with modern hardware.

Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 – Overall, a solid game. MM3 is another fan favorite. It is iconic for introducing both Rush and Proto Man into the mix. But it lacks some of the magic that Mega Man 2 had in my opinion.

Currently available on: Wii Virtual Console,  Playstation Network, eShop

Other Reviews In This Series:

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MMX – MMX2 – MMX3 – MMX4 – MMX5 – MMX6 – MMX7 – MMX8 – MMXtreme – MMXtreme2 – Comman Mission

Zero – Zero2 – Zero3 – Zero 4 – ZX

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