Review: Mega Man 3 (Game Boy)

In this review, we once again do some robot blasting with Mega Man 3 as released on the Game Boy. We find out if this action game is an improvement over the previous game.

This game was released in 1992 and is a sequel to the previous gameboy release, Mega Man 2 which was surprisingly bad considering how great the NES version was.

The story is pretty standard for this franchise: Dr. Wiley is using master robots to take over the world. It’s up to Mega Man to save the world.

Like Mega Man 2, this game takes elements from the NES versions of Mega Man 3, and Mega Man 4 and mashes them into one game.

You start the game with a choice of four robot masters from Mega Man 3. You can approach them at any order, but you must take down all four to unlock Dr. Wiley’s castle. When you reach Dr. Wiley’s castle, you go through a short stage complete with a boss. You then hit a teleporter and… get booted back to the stage select screen? This time, you have to choose between four new robot masters that made appearances in Mega Man 4. Again, you can approach it in any order, but you must beat all four to unlock the Dr. Wiley stage a second time. Complete the Dr. Wiley stage and defeat Dr. Wiley to beat the game.

I thought the inclusion of the first Dr. Wiley stage was strange and out of place. I thought I might meet the four remaining robot masters in the same way I met them in the last Game Boy release. I think that stage should have been scrapped altogether. It felt like a waste of time.

As you acquire robot master weapons, you have the opportunity to explore possible weaknesses. It works really well in the first four robot masters, but things get a little strange with the last four. Some seemingly have no weaknesses and some weapons seem to be ineffective against all of them. I couldn’t find a boss that was weak against the skull shield for instance.

One thing I did like was the fact that there was a whole new robot master in the Dr. Wiley stage. You even get a weapon from that boss too.

There are many standard elements in this game. You get Rush equipment for defeating certain robot masters. Certain walls get destroyed with specific weapons. You can collect free lives, health cells, and weapon cells. You can even pick up energy containers that you can use to refill your energy if you don’t want to waste a free life. Unfortunately, you get a maximum capacity of four energy tanks, so use them with this limitation in mind. Finally, your buster weapon can be charged up in this game. This allows for larger and more damaging bursts of energy. In this game, if you take damage while fully charged up, you don’t lose your charge.

One thing about this game that is always something to consider is the difficulty. Some Mega Man games are ridiculously difficult. Other games are about right. This game was a bit on the difficult side. Tricky jumps aside, this game is challenging, but tolerable.

Generally speaking, I thought this game was one of those games with strengths and weaknesses. The level layout wise nicely done considering the limited screen space. The strategies are a bit wonky with the seeming insistence of mashing up two games into one. The gaming experience, as a result, was a bit strange at times.

Graphically speaking, this game was quite well done. The sprites were brought into the Game Boy environment quite successfully. The environments were surprisingly detailed. So, I would say that this was an area this game excelled in.

The music was also vastly improved over the previous game. The previous game seemed to be a mish-mash of hi-hats and noise. In this game, there was actually some very audible music that was brought over from the NES games. In fact, it was quite well imported this time around. The sound effects also worked quite well.

Overall, I still can’t get over the whole concept of combining two different games into one. A lot had to be removed and the cutting is more severe because there are two games worth of content being compressed into one game. As a result, the strategies start getting thrown out the window and and sense of familiarity is also zapped. The difficulty was a bit hard, but not unbearably so. If you’re very experienced with Mega Man games, then this game will prove to be challenging. The graphics were great and the audio was a huge improvement over the previous entry in the handheld. I would say, if you want to get into Mega Man, there are better games out there in the series. This just seems to be little more than a Frankenstein extension to already existing games. It was a decent play, but not the greatest.

Overall

Furthest point in game: Beat the game.

General gameplay: 16/25
Replay value: 6/10
Graphics: 8/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 68%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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