365//365: Day 009 – Mega Man 3 (NES)

01.09.2010

megaman3

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Unlike most Mega Man fans out there, I started the series playing Mega Man 3. Everyone clamors on about how great Mega Man 2 was, and how it’s the best game of the series. While no doubt Mega Man 2 is a masterpiece in its own right, Mega Man 3 should not be underestimated. One of the easier Mega Man titles, but with the introductions of Rush, sliding, and a mix of great action, very fair difficulty and some awesome music, Mega Man 3 set the watermark high for the series, and it has yet to be matched.

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Fundamentally, Mega Man 3 succeeds with flying colors. The controls are tight, with easy manipulation over the direction you jump and stopping your slides at the drop of a hat. You feel like you have control over every treacherous pit that lies ahead of you. That feeling of control is matched up with a difficulty that feels strikingly fair. Stage layouts are not overbearing whatsoever, with the only real spikes of difficulty appearing when you access the four remixed stages after you defeat the initial 8 Dr. Wily robots. These remixed stages have slight changes, with more pitfalls and a ton more instant death spikes laying around. Wily’s Castle is the easiest I have encountered in the series, as is the final fight its self. You will find challenges throughout the game, but you will not be pulling your hair out, like many Mega Man titles have me doing (especially Mega Man 9…awesome game but man that game is punishing).

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No Mega Man title is complete without an obscenely largeroadblock robot with huge eyes!

No Mega Man title is complete without an obscenely large roadblock robot with huge eyes!

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The characters and stages look fabulous as well. Each of the first 8 bosses have clean and diverse looks to them. The stages, while elementary, have their distinct looks as well. In general, it’s not a detailed game, but the combined aspects come together very well. The sound though…I know how awesome Mega Man 2′s music was, but this game has some really good tunes as well. Magnet Man has a very catchy tune, with Shadow Man and Gemini Man following suit. Sound effect wise, it’s mostly all stock, like a large portion of every Mega Man title after this. In terms of sound effects, the Mega Man series is very similar to the Super Mario Bros. series, where tons of sounds are reused through each game, with small tweaks to them after some time. If you listen to the sound you make entering or exiting a pipe in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, its basically the same thing you hear when you go down a pipe in Super Mario Bros. 3. With Mega Man, landing from a jump, shooting your weapon and deaths all carry over with little, or no difference throughout the series.

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There’s only a small handful of shortcomings in MM3. The names of some powers are pretty silly, as are the powers themselves. Top Spin is a goofy looking spinning attack that takes a ton of power to use, although it is moderately strong, regardless of how short the range is. You have a boss named Hard Man, whose power is a slow moving fist missile, as well as Snake Man, who’s a snake with legs that shots little snake projectiles that crawl along the ground and walls. I’d say after the second game, creativity and imagination began to decline, as it got much more tongue-in-cheek and pretty flimsy after  Mega Man 3 (Yamato Man? Centaur Man? Tengu Man? PLANT MAN? Hell, Mega Man 10 is going to have SHEEP MAN!)

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Three games in, and Capcom already hi the bottom of the barrell in terms of enemy names and weapon names.

Three games in, and Capcom already hit the bottom of the barrel in terms of enemy and weapon names.

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What you have with Mega Man 3 is a game in a legendary series, that’s fine- tuned, somewhat abridged, but extremely entertaining. If you have never played a Mega Man game for whatever reason, Mega Man 3 is a great way to ease yourself into the series before you move onto the other titles, which will definitely challenge your skill and patience.

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Rating: 9.1


Jason V.

I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief here at Chocolate Lemon. Over the last 15 years, I have been writing gaming articles here and there, including my time with GameSages, a then IGN affiliated video game code database that's now owned by IGN, as well as my near four year stay on this very site. I'm quite the gaming enthusiast, have a somewhat "old school" soul, and enjoy a wide variety of geeky shows, movies and so on. Follow me on Twitter @Jas0nVelez