Level Select Thursdays: Mega Man X3
It’s now time to move onto the next game in the Mega Man X franchise, and oh boy I’m not even going to lie folks this is possibly the most negative I will be about a video game. Mega Man X did such a great job of pushing the Mega Man name forward and X2 added to it’s greatness. X3 is a great example of a series taking five steps backwards. Since this game had so many ports, due to not owning a Super Nintendo I played this off the Mega Man X collection, so I played the PC version. I’ll get into specifics, but let’s start this game!
If you read my review of Mega Man X2, then you know the biggest complaint I had for the game was that it was way to easy. It seems back in the day this was a complaint as well and the developers listened. The difficulty spike in Mega Man X3 is outright absurd, and you’ll notice it from the intro stage. I’m not kidding when I say this, but you will die within two shots from a standard enemy, not a mini boss or a boss, but a normal set of enemies can kill you in two shots.
Therefore it makes trekking through the first half of the game without any heart tanks or armor upgrades such a chore. The game doesn’t become “easy” until you find those upgrades (more on that bullshit later). I’ll dive more into the stages, but the stages are not what makes the game hard, terrible enemy placement and the damage intake is what does. Don’t be surprised if you loose enthusiasm to play this game early.
So what about the story? Well continuing the more emphasis of story from X2, the plot revolves around Dr.Doppler causing havoc with 8 Mavericks leading to Zero and X to take out the evil weather radar. I know if you play an X game the player isn’t playing the game for the story, but this story exist in a vacuum. Ignore any plot points for this game.
Before diving into what’s different about X this time around there is a new character can play as in this game. For the first time players can select Zero! Finally, every single kid was practically begging to play as Zero since X1 and even this is ruined in X3. Sure playing as Zero is awesome as he can fully charge up to use his beam saber and even hold that charge to use when the player wants. However, you can’t pick up items or earn armor pieces or even fight bosses with Zero making playing as Zero completely pointless. Plus if you die with Zero then you can’t use him for the remainder of the game.
Even X3 fucked up playing as Zero. That’s how you know this game just reeks of awfulness.
So what about X himself? Well once again X does what he’s done with the previous game and it’s up to his armor pieces to spice up his game play. The only positive aspect of this set of armor upgrades is that the air dash makes it’s return and that’s about this. This set of armor upgrades is the worst in the series. The buster upgrade for some reason splits your spreads your beam wider instead of a stronger charged shot. Which doesn’t hit a damn thing forcing players to not want to charge the buster all the way.
The helmet upgrade goes back to useless status as it’s only purpose is to show you hidden secrets in any given stage. While in theory that’s not a bad idea, you better be able to sketch it out because it’s gone the second you press a button. Even from a design aspect (something I haven’t brought up before) is an eyesore, the armor pieces don’t have a cohesive design.
The stages themselves are sadly unimpressive, I personally couldn’t find anything that made one stage standout from the next. Which leads to the music itself as with the stages there is not one track on this version that I can remember. Either I became numb while playing with this or the music is that uninspiring. At least with SNES version and it’s overuse of shredding guitar, I could remember the music more.
That leaves us with the bosses and remember how easy the bosses were in X2 due to the stun lock? Well it’s back with a vengeance and when you combine that with the boss strategies being the dumbest yet, well you have a recipe for some boring boss battles. Making the bullshit you have to trek through unrewarding, thus making playing the game not fun.
The only boss that can and will give you trouble is Sigma himself and oh boy this incarnation is the hardest one yet. His first form is simply a way to use your energy tanks and his second form has the tiniest hit box in the history of gaming leading to absolute frustration. Plus if you do beat him, you have to wall climb while a lava pit rises beneath you and if you die, you have to restart the fight all over again.
Mega Man X3’s biggest sin is the horrible structure of the game. If you want to get all the armor upgrades, heart tanks, sub tanks, the new ride armors, and chip upgrades be prepared to back track….a lot. This can and will make any player want to stop playing and good luck finding most of them because these secrets have to be the most hidden yet.
Don’t feel bad if you need to use a strategy guide to find them, you’ll have yourself make the Jackie Chan face when you the proper way to gain access to a secret.
I apologize for this “review” of X3, but I had such a horrible time with this game especially after playing X1 and 2 prior to this. Skip this game and go straight to X4 which what I will be doing next week. Until then have a great week everybody and go buy Mario Kart 8!
Mega Man X3 earns a 2/10