Mega Man 3 (And Why All Others Are Inferior)
[#034] Mega Man 3 is the greatest Mega Man game ever created and I'm going to prove it here and now. Many of you favor Mega Man 2, and okay yeah it's a fantastic game with killer music, but MM3 is that and then some.
For starters, it introduces two very important characters in the MM Universe. Mega's canine companion, Rush, was perfect in MM3 and MM3 alone. In subsequent games, he was altered to automatically travel forward and then redesigned into a weird armor. The original Rush found in MM3 was freefloating in Rush Jet Mode, which was perfect for nabbing items and what have you. We also got FlipTop (or Eddie) in MM3 but whatever for him. Later games added the original Angry Bird (Beat) but screw him too.
The other important character? You're god damn right, it's Proto Man! Mysterious, bad ass, and annoying at the same time, you battle Proto Man in a few of the levels and you don't know why. At the end, he saves your ass from certain doom and it is then revealed that he is Mega Man's older brother! So then you realize he was training you the whole time! Oh and then the "full version" of the Proto Man (ending) song, it's just so good. More on the music later..
Let's not forget Gamma, the best-looking final boss of any of the NES MM games (yeah, better than the Bubble Lead hating green alien). True story: When I was younger, I thought Dr Light was saying "Wily ran off with Grandma!" That hussy!
What other Mega Man game includes cameos from eight previous Robot Masters? That's right, all of the Mega Man 2 bosses have been revived for four more levels (as we all know, they're "remix stages") before we even get to WiIy Castle!
Let's talk capabilities for a minute. It's not a Mega Man game unless you destroy a boss and jack his power. Then there were little gadgets (like Item 2 in MM2 which is really just Shitty Rush from MM4). But in MM3, the slide maneuver was added, which added slight puzzle elements (darkened section of Shadow Man) and became a way to evade in certain boss battles, like while fighting Hard Man. It was the perfect addition. It was still the original Mega Man formula, which was altered when the Mega Buster made it's first appearance in MM4. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Mega Buster, but it's a whole different dynamic when you compare MM1-MM3 to MM4-MM6. That might be why it was removed for the digital-only MM9.
Now then, the soundtrack. MM1 is classic, MM4 is hit or miss (mostly hit though), and we can all agree that MM2 has the most memorable/nostalgic tunes, but is it really the best. Well, no it's not. Spark Man and Gemini Man alone rival the best music from any NES title. But then Shadow Man, Snake Man, Needle Man, and Magnet Man are just incredible too. Or what about the Dr Wily boss battle music throughout the castle levels. Did you realize that the music in the last two levels before the showdown with Gamma is a haunting remix of said song? I love MM2 and MM3 music almost equally, but in this case I can pick a "favorite child"!
Stage design was stellar too. Bonus points for the section in Gemini Man where you just go on a killing spree with those little blue tadpole things.
Mega Man 3 has 8 Robot Master stages, 4 Remix Stages, a fight with "Break Man" (we didn't even get to that), and then Wily Castle. MM3 gives you the most bang for your buck, which is a good thing because I remember my dad shelling out $50 for it when it was first released. Thanks dad!
I would also like to note that the Tiger Electronics LCD version of Mega Man 3 is, out of a few hundred electronic games I own, my second favorite Tiger game (second to Double Dragon II: The Revenge).
I could go on and on and on about Mega Man 3 but I think I've nailed most if not all of my points.
Oh and this:
the best effin' intro song ever.