Mega Man 3 – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date (NA): November 1990
Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by FrozenMallet
I am just going to get this out the way now. I love this game. I know, that just screams journalistic integrity, doesn’t it? I don’t care. I loved this game as a kid and when I play it today I still love it. If you have read my review of the previous two Mega Man games then you already know I am a fan of the Blue Bomber, but this is the first one that just blew me away. And it all starts with the moment you pick the game up.
The supreme lameness of the box art that existed for the first two games was gone. While the first two showed illustrations of what looked like Buck Rogers wearing blue spandex firing a pistol, Mega Man 3 showed Mega Man in a way that more closely represented the character on screen. They even depicted him with his trademark arm cannon. I know this is such a small part of the game experience, but when you hold the cartridge in your hand and you’re about to put it in your NES, the visual is what sets the mood. With the previous two games, the artwork was something the gamer had to ignore or justify with thoughts like “Well the artwork may suck, but at least the game is good.” There was none of that this time around. From the moment you look down at your hand and see the grey cartridge, you get pumped to play some Mega Man 3.
So the plot at this point is after the events of Mega Man 2, Dr. Wiley has reformed. He has seen the error of his ways and has reunited with his former partner, Dr. Light. Eight more robots are made. This time its Spark Man, Snake Man, Needle Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Gemini Man, Magnet Man, and Shadow Man. Once again the robots revolt and Dr. Light sends Mega Man in to take care of business. Turns out after the blue bomber defeats all the robot masters, Dr. Wiley reveals himself as the mastermind behind the robot revolt and retreats to his new fortress. This was a shocking twist I know, but let’s do our best to recover and move on.
Mega Man 3 added some innovations this time around. Most notably is the addition of Mega Man’s companion, Rush the dog. Rush takes the place of the three items Mega Man accrued after defeating certain robot masters in Mega Man 2. This time, instead of simple platform,s Rush will provide either a spring on his back, a submarine, or a flying jet. While the Rush Jet can be used anywhere to either get to hard to reach places or avoid tricky spots, the Rush Marine is very situational – about as specialized as a GI Joe vehicle. Off the top of my head the only spot I can think of using it was in Gemini Man’s stage.
Mega Man now has a slide as well. By pressing down and the A button, he will perform a short slide that can help him get through tight spots or dodge hazards. I think I would find myself using this one more often if the slide could also be used as an attack as well; unfortunately, this is not the case and if you hit any enemies while sliding, Mega Man will take damage.
Finally, my favorite addition is how after defeating the eight robot masters in any order the player wishes (my order is Magnet Man, Hard Man, Top Man, Shadow Man, Spark Man, Snake Man, Gemini Man, then Needle Man, but that’s just me), four of the stages are opened again (Shadow, Spark, Needle, and Gemini). This time, the stages have been reworked to be more challenging, and each one sports two robot masters from Mega Man 2 – one as a mid-level boss and the other at the end. The only thing missing from this is Mega Man’s ability to take the weapons from these robot masters after they are defeated. But alas, that would give him 16 weapons to take to Dr. Wiley’s castle, and that’s probably getting greedy.
So this is a Mega Man game. You know what you’re getting- great controls, imaginative enemies, and great music. This time, the game challenge is more appropriate. Mega Man 2 was just too easy. While the stage layout and enemies are no more difficult, the defeated enemies leave far less health and weapon replenishments. This forces the player to play more cautiously, knowing that the game is more stingy with the health. The weapon replenishments mean that the player just can’t take their favorite robot master’s weapon and play through the entire game with it (Metal Blade anyone?). The only thing I would say that took a step backwards this time is the music, but even that is minuscule and probably debatable. Mega Man 3 improved on just about everything that Mega Man 2 brought to the table.
Lastly, I am going to touch on two things I found confusing when playing this game in 1990. The first is how during the game’s ending, Roll is shown after a roll call of Dr. Light’s robots, starting with the six from the original Mega Man and finishing with the most recent, then Roll the housekeeping robot is shown. Who the hell is that? Well unknown to me at the time, Roll is Mega Man’s partner in Japan where he is known as Rock Man. Get it… Rock and Roll?… Yeah, I wasn’t amused either.
The other thing is that Proto Man (AKA Break Man) is revealed at the end as Mega Man’s brother. If you are going to call robots siblings, wouldn’t all of Dr. Light’s creations be thought of as Mega Man’s brothers? What makes Proto Man so special? Is there a special robot Dr. Light is using to create his sons, Mega Man and Proto Man? How and what is he doing to that robot? Should we feel sorry for that mother robot? Maybe this was Capcom’s way of revealing that Dr. Light is just a dirty old man.
Share This Post