Retro Reviews, issue 2 – Mega Man 3

This week’s retro review is by Jake (AKA Naldrag/Ska Glampunk). He tackles a beloved classic from the NES era, so stick around to find out what he thinks! ~Brandon

So, the third installment of the Mega Man series, the basic story of it is Dr. Light and Dr. Wily are currently building a robot to maintain peace named Gamma and eight Robot Masters go haywire in key mining colonies and steal the power crystals required to power up Gamma, and it’s up to Mega Man to stop them.

Spoiler Alert: Dr. Wily was behind it all and eventually steals Gamma for his own evil purposes. Go figure!

The gameplay behind Mega Man 3 is expanded upon from the first two Mega Man games, once again you have eight Robot Masters to defeat, and the easiest way to defeat them is get a Robot Master’s respective weakness and use it to defeat them. New to the Mega Man series in this title is Mega Man’s ability to slide and the introduction of Mega Man’s canine Rush. You initially start out with Rush Coil but as you proceed through the game you get more abilities with Rush. Overall it improves upon from Mega Man 2 and for the most part makes it better.

The overall level design consists of elements introduced in the previous two games and some new ones which are overall fairly interesting and fun to mess with. Another addition to the level design is that a few levels contains sections where you meet up with the mysterious Proto Man, in these areas he’ll either clear the way for you or you’ll have to battle with him. Afterwards, he allows you to proceed through the level. The later levels in the game also require you to use the abilities you have obtained in the previous levels to get through them. However sometimes this will just screw you over because if you’re out of weapon energy and have no way of getting more and you just have to suicide and restart the stage from the beginning. Thankfully, getting a game over in this one doesn’t make you lose your E-Tanks like the previous game. Despite those issues, the levels in this game are fairly fun to play and generally well built.

Graphically, this game definitely improves upon its predecessor. I would honestly say this and its three sequels have some of the best graphics on the NES in general. Seriously, I don’t know how but Capcom sure knew how to work the NES to make it look pretty despite its limited hardware. Meanwhile, you’d see games from Nintendo themselves not look as good graphically aside from Kirby’s Adventure, but that’s literally the best looking game on the NES in general. So yeah, they’re good.

Musically, this also has one of the best soundtracks on the NES. Some of the tracks are also better than its predecessor’s and some aren’t, but they’re all pretty damn good. Of course, I think I’m honestly biased in this area because the Mega Man series in general has some of my favorite music… ever. But tell me after listening to at least one of the earlier Mega Man soundtracks that the music isn’t catchy.

Overall, this is one of the better games on the NES. I think anyone if they happen to have an NES and haven’t played this game yet should pick it up. Or, alternatively, you can get it on either the Wii’s Virtual Console or the PlayStation Network’s PS1 Classics with the Rockman Complete Works. I don’t care, some way, somehow you should play this game. Sure, some parts can get annoying but for the most part the game is good enough to overlook those small issues.

— Jake (Naldrag/Ska Glampunk)

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