Mega Man X3

Mega Man X3
2.5
Game Name: Mega Man X3
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Publisher(s): Virgin Interactive
Developer(s): Capcom
Genre(s): Action-Platform
Release Date: 26th April 1996
Serial Number: T-7029H-50
Region: PAL

Mega Man X3 ScreenshotFor those of you unfamiliar with the Mega Man X series: what you’re looking at is an Action Platformer with RPG elements which borrows from the platform shooting Mega Man series.

Much like The Story of Thor 2 and Magic Knight Rayearth, level ups are found rather than won in combat.

After completing an intro dungeon, you face 8 dungeons which may be completed in any order.
At first this part of the game is extremely hard, but as you acquire level ups to your HP, Defense, Sub-Tank supply, etc., you’ll find it easier and easier to defeat the bosses. Moreover, upon completing a dungeon your character will acquire a new spell (“weapon” in the game’s terminology).

Mega Man X3 ScreenshotEach boss of these 8 dungeons has an elemental weakness to a different spell, so in many cases you can walk all over them if you have that spell.

By the time you complete all 8 dungeons, the game will feel ridiculously easy… But then you’ll face a final sequence of dungeons which will challenge you even if you’ve found every level up.

The X series formula is distinctive and brilliant, but sadly, X3 is not an inspired demonstration of it.

Leveling up is fun, and the progression from hard to easy to hard again works, but ultimately the game is really hurt by the fact that nearly every dungeon has at least one major annoyance.

There’s the miniboss in Tunnel Rhino’s dungeon which to defeat you jump and shoot, climb a wall, and repeat over and over in an unbearably repetitive experience. There’s the shots in Blizzard Buffalo’s dungeon which freeze you until an enemy strikes you – so if you get hit where no enemies can reach, you’re stuck and have to reset the game. There’s the pointless ceiling rays in Volt Catfish’s dungeon which make you sit and wait a full 7 seconds. And so on.

Mega Man X3 ScreenshotThis is not to say that the game doesn’t have its share of genuinely outstanding moments. The three-form final boss is a monumental challenge that will take you a long time to overcome. Many of the spells are cool and interesting, and the music to the Crush Crawfish dungeon and the final boss’s second form are both brilliant.

Having Zero as a playable character is a nice touch, even if you aren’t allowed to use him much. Ultimately, however, X3 is much like X2: a straightforward sequel with too many moments where the game is more frustrating than fun.

As condemning as that sounds, Mega Man X3 is a decent game – for the Super Nintendo, the console on which it originally appeared.

Mega Man X3 Screen Shot

Unfortunately, the Saturn port makes no improvements save the addition of some ho-hum FMVs.
There’s an intro FMV, a mid-game FMV, and each of the 8 selectable dungeons is introduced by an FMV.
None are of much interest, and only serve to add some ridiculous load times.

Unbelievably, in porting the game to the Saturn (and Playstation) Capcom failed to even make the game full screen!
Yes, you still have to look at those silly borders on the left and right throughout the game.

In conclusion, Mega Man X3 is a subpar port of a so-so entry in the series. If you must get this game at all, get the Super Nintendo version so you won’t have to sit through load times. If you’re just looking for a Mega Man X game for the Saturn, get X4 before you even consider this one.

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Mega Man X3, 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings