VC Weekly 305
Posted 07 Sep 2014 at 10:34 by Sam C Gittins
Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins
Fans of the normally blue-hued bomber fan breathe easy as it is a portable title from Capcom but it's one of the good ones I promise. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!
Available for download this week we have...
Mega Man III
Price: GB £3.49, EU €4.99
Publisher: Minakuchi Engineering
System: Game Boy
Third time is indeed the charm for this entry in the portable Mega Man series, especially after the first title was a mixed bag at best while the second was utterly woeful, thankfully Capcom seemed to finally see sense when it came to Mega Man III as while the now familiar format of having two sets of four robot masters plus a Wily stage remains the same everything else has had a lot of thought put into it, rest assured that this is definitely the portable Mega Man that starts to livew up to the legacy laid down by the originals. From the start you get to choose from either Gemini Man, Shadow Man, Snake Man, or Spark Man but choose carefully because as always there is a specific order to fight them in which will make your life easier, so you could either figure it out for yourself which for some is half of the fun or just search for the 'correct' order online or via Miiverse but surely I shan't be the 'snake' to tell you which one to start with.
It's actually very impressive to see just how portable friendly this entry has been made as in some cases certain elements of the original NES titles which this borrows from - Mega Man III & IV - are actually improved somewhat, be that just the simple visual shift that Snake Man's stage has had being that it's now in a forest which is a lot more detailed which is appreciated. Overall though this version has very decent level design plus most importanly everything is a lot less glitchy than both of its predecessor's even when comparing it to the NES titles as believe it or not but this portable entry has less slowdown than its console counterpart especially where the Gemini laser is concerned; naturally each of the battles with the Robot Masters have been infinitely improved too.
When it comes down to the second selection of stages which comprises of Dive Man, Drill Man, Dust Man plus Skull Man you get even more meganess for your money, these stages are no mean feat to take on as they have been redesigned to make them even more deviously difficult especially when it comes to trying to control Mega Man in an underwater environment, genuinely I offer you the best of luck in completing that absolute hell of a stage as it's brutal but full of the challenge that fans have grown to love and loathe equally. If most of the game doesn't finish you off before you get near the end then please look forward to having to fight a new boss which I won't spoil but all I will say is that you will have to be on your guard for it, definitely a test of your skills but you will be well rewarded if you can get past that point because the weapon that you get makes the pain more than worthwhile even if you don't get to use it for quite as long as you'd hope to.
For a Game Boy title it really is rather astonishing just how much detail has gone into each miniscule monochrome scene as often it feels as if there is more detail present here than there ever was in some parts of the NES games which are for the most-part masterpieces themselves, because this is a portable variant though sometimes the areas can feel cramped which is the only real nagative point about the way its presented but everything else including the top-notch animation has been restored. All of the recycled tracks are clearly the best ones here but then that's because they're already classics to begin with, unfortunately some of the newer tracks just fall completely flat but when you get to listen to so many of the original tracks reimagined for portable play it's still a small price to pay.
Ultimately I would have to say the Mega Man III is the first portable title in the series that I have genuinely enjoyed playing, it plays to all of the strengths that the series has, alters them for the small screen but then adds a few welcome twists of its own which make for a more complete gameplay experience, it can be a bit difficult at times but at least you can collect extra tanks to aid you plus you can always make use of those indespensible restore points which I must continually promote as they are a life-saver. If you're looking for a decent portable platformer to play on your 3DS then quite simply look no further as this is a genuine classic that just goes to show that if you want to augment a classic then this is most definitely how you do it in style as here we have yet another Mega Man game that we should be eternally greatful for.
Verdict : Mega Man in the palm of your hand doesn't get much better than this.
That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!