The “Get To Know” line of articles are built to get a better impression of what I love/hate, and why, through a more direct means. While my tastes have been quite unconventional to the “norm” we’ve seen, I feel as if it’d be beneficial to run a series of articles that go into what I adore, and deplore, about gaming, and why.
I alluded to a major project I was going to work on throughout 2018, but due to repeated illnesses, I was unable to produce a healthy enough queue to get it going. That project was going to be my top 100 games of all-time, in which I would go into a great bit of detail on each game, and why it has a position on said list.
With this miniseries I have going with Get To Know, it’s given me a renewed sense of urgency to try and some portion of this project revealed and shared with everyone. Instead of being overly ambitious, I’ll truncate the list to a top 25; that’s more than enough to show the kinds of games I adore the most, and the genres that they represent.
16 – Mega Man 3
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Platform: NES
- Genre: 2D platformer
- Release date: 9/28/90
- Rating: 9.2
What is Mega Man 3?
Following what many called the best Mega Man title, Mega Man 3 introduced a handful of additions to the franchise, such as Proto Man, sliding and Rush. The same familiar eight robot masters that have their own specific weaknesses come into play.
What warrants Mega Man 3‘s inclusion on this list?
Mega Man 3 was the first Mega Man game I ever played. Maybe that’s a primary reason why my love for Mega Man 3 is as strong as it is. Mega Man 2 is phenomenal in its own right, but everything felt just perfect with the third release. The music was bliss, the inclusion of Rush during certain points of the game felt meaningful, the robot masters were unique to the point where they didn’t adhere to the stereotypical mold of fire/ice/shield. That’s not to say the unorthodox boss masters are all stellar choices; they are more “outside-the-box” choices, and feel a lot more varied.
The powers gained were just as “outside-the-box” thinking, though creative for its time nonetheless. I was one of the fools who thought that Top Spin was a fun and inventive power. Overall though, I enjoyed using the powers gained in Mega Man 3 than any other Mega Man title. Lagging the game out with Gemini Beam was frustrating, though thankfully there were no other anomalies with the other powers.
I know I’ll be in the minority here as well, but Mega Man 3 had the best soundtrack of the franchise. They are not as memorable as Mega Man 2, but the quality of each composition was high quality. Magnet Man, Wily Castle boss theme, Gemini Man and Hard Man remain some of my all-time favorite tunes on the NES.
Then there’s the immaculate controls. Probably the only platformer to give Super Mario Bros. a run for its money when it comes to precision and fluidity, the Mega Man franchise as a whole (at least on the NES and 9 + 10). There’s the knockback that happens when the player gets hit, but it’s not as pronounced as say, Castlevania or Ghost ‘n Goblins. Even with the knockback, the controls are just a dream.
I can remember some weekend afternoons where I would use the cheat with the second controller to get super jumps and more or less invulnerability from pitfalls. I was shocked when I did this, leapt into the area in Gemini Man’s stage that Proto Man was supposed to appear in, then see how glitchy some things became later into the stage.
Mega Man 3 was, and remains, one of my all-time favorite platformer titles, whether it’s 2D or 3D. It takes conventions and ideas birthed from the first two installments, and expands upon them. After Mega Man 4, the franchise lost its luster, until Mega Man 10 came out, which became my second favorite Mega Man title. With the recent release of the Mega Man Legacy Collection on the Nintendo Switch, I’ve been obsessed with the blue bomber once again, and first game I bee-lined towards (and completed) was Mega Man 3.
Proto Man: the original badass, but what gives with the extended theme?
Before Knuckles came along, there was another red character that I thought was a total badass – Proto Man. His little theme that played whenever he’d pop down and appear was the coolest thing ever at that time. Then I beat the game, and the full version of the theme played, and sounded really, really sad. It didn’t turn him into a wuss in my eyes, but it was jarring going from that snippet of a theme, to that extended version.