Mega Man 3 (Nintendo Entertainment System)

  • Gameplay
  • Story
  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • Entertainment

Also available on Genesis, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Android, and Windows

Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 01/24/2019 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Practice makes perfect, and by 1990, Capcom had released their third Mega Man game.  Following true to the old adage, it builds upon the foundation of the two previous games and surpasses both.  The North American box part is similarly the best of the first three games; it looks weird, but at least this time it looks like an evil ventriloquist doll Mega Man rather than a middle age superhero well past his prime running around with a laser pistol.
Mega Man 3, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of the 8-bit Mega Man games.  As Mega Man 2 did with the original game, Mega Man 3 capitalizes on what made the second game exceptional and made it better.  Levels are exceptionally well designed, the boss weaknesses and resistances are excellently balanced, levels are generally tough but fair, and the inclusion of the slide and Rush (best doggo robo-boi) make Mega Man 3 a truly spectacular game that stands out not only among Mega Man games but among NES games in general.
In terms of performance, the 8-bit Mega Man games generally have a bit of an issue with slowdown, and while Mega Man 3 is no exception, it seemed less severe and less of an impact on gameplay in this game than in the previous two.  Couple that with the fact that the visuals are bright and detailed – especially with the robot masters – and it’s clear that Capcom’s team had really gotten comfortable with the NES and how to program for it by this point.  As is usually the case with the Mega Man series, the music is exceptional and maintains the high musical standards set by the previous two entries in the series.
If you played Mega Man 2 and were impressed (and let’s be honest, if you weren’t, there’s something wrong with you), then you’ll be blown away by Mega Man 3.  As Mega Man 2 did with Mega Man, Mega Man 3 takes everything that was great about Mega Man 2 and makes it even better.  This definitely does stand out as one of the premier action platformers on the Nintendo Entertainment System and highlights just why Capcom was a juggernaut of game design back before the post-Resident Evil 4 days when they abruptly forgot how to make games.  As was the case with Mega Man and Mega Man 2, this game is readily available on just about every console under the sun in one collection or another, so there’s no excuse to miss out on this game.  It’s not perfect – the slowdown does still get annoying, and it’s not totally devoid of the occasional difficulty spike and cheap kill – but it’s truly fantastic in spite of those occasional flaws.

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