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Retro Game of the Day! Mega Man 3

Retro Game of the Day is a daily look back at some of the games we loved - and some that we didn't - during the formative years. Today's entry is Mega Man 3.
Retro Game of the Day! Mega Man 3
 

Mega Man 3 by Capcom, released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

 

And so, the eternal question is raised anew. Which is the best? Mega Man? Mega Man 2? Or, Mega Man 3? What is your opinion?

 

Another iteration in the endless beloved series, who many will argue (likely including series developer Capcom) remains rooted in its 8-Bit style, Mega Man 3 continues a strong tradition of choose-your-own-adventure platforming, blasting away at cartoony robot masters, defeating them and stealing their weaponry. Each level is headed up by a boss, often tough to kill unless you have the proper particular weapon (obtained by defeating another specific boss) in which case he is toast..

 

A charming series brimming with personality and character, the devs pulled out all the stops with each iteration of these games. Detailed, colorful graphics, bouncy and catchy music, challenging level designs - Mega Man games were among the flagship of NES platformer games, and this one was no exception.

 

However, criticism where criticism is due. Mega Man 1 was an anomaly, the second one was superior in nearly every way, so how does the third compare? To be honest, though I was thrilled to get my hands on this title when it launched, I did feel a little disappointed. A bigger and badder quest, new weapons, new moves, all of that was here. But compared to the rhythm set up by its predecessors, Mega Man 3 felt like it was kind of a step backwards. It looked, sounded and played great, but just... not as good as what had come before. Enough already - the series was starting to get a little tired. Characters like Top Man and Magnet Man couldn't hold a candle to guys like Quick Man or Air Man.

 

This was a shame, because many more Mega Man titles followed afterward, and the series - while still wonderful - started to feel steeped in formula and always more of the same. Always enjoyable, but never as groundbreaking as the first two (games which I would find myself more eager to go back and replay, rather than the newer iterations). Only when the series rebooted in 16-Bit with Mega Man X did things start to feel rejuvenated.

 

Perhaps I am too harsh in my criticism, as Mega Man 3 and its successors are still some of the better NES games by a longshot - but there's so many wonderful games for that system, that it only seems fair to rank them. Again, this is a series favorite for many fans. I enjoyed it as well, but the peak for me will always be MM2.

 

 
 

Look for Headcase Games' action-puzzler 180, coming soon for iPhone and iPod touch! Recalling gameplay elements of classic titles like Tetris Attack (setting up multiple chains and combos to clear) and Bust-a-Move (addictive, vertically-descending Match-3 action), we've added a distinctive gameplay twist where each piece has a front and back side. You can flip any piece on the playfield as you work your way to stratospheric scores! Look for a free demo on iTunes soon!

 

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