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Kirby's Virtual Console Man 3

by Neal Ronaghan - February 20, 2009, 2:22 am
Total comments: 8

We've got a little bit of Kirby and little bit of Mega Man in this week's Virtual Console Recommendations.

Super Nintendo games still came out in 1997? Yes, they did, and our own Michael "TYP" Cole has something to say about one of them, Kirby's Dream Land 3, which came out for the Virtual Console recently.

Our other game this week is Mega Man 3, a classic in its own right. Zachary Miller, who penned the site's review of Mega Man 9, has some words to say about the Blue Bomber.

As per usual, drop a line in talkback if you want us to recommend something. We'll do our best to keep on recommending games that you might care about in these tough economic times.

Kirby's Dream Land 3

SystemVirtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost800 Points
ControllersWii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
ReleasedOct 27, 1997

Released near the end of 1997, Kirby's Dream Land 3 was the last Nintendo-published Super Nintendo game and, as such, a lesser-known entry in the Kirby platforming series. The game is a direct sequel to Kirby's Dream Land 2 for the Game Boy, and it resembles both Kirby's Adventure (NES) and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64) in design.

As a very late SNES title, Kirby's Dream Land 3 boasts an impressive pastel-and-crayon look with detailed, animated sprites. Players familiar with Kirby Super Star or the recent GBA and DS releases that borrow its assets will appreciate this vibrant world, while others will enjoy precursors to Kirby 64 such as the menus and baddies found in this title. Each stage has a creature that must be cheered up to to receive a Heart Star. These missions must be completed to reach the final boss, and they often make use of a specific copy ability or an aspect of the stage's design.

Like the visuals, the controls are notably distinct from Kirby Super Star. Kirby is far less agile, controlling in a fashion more similar to his NES title, and power-up variety comes in the form of six animal buddies Kirby can ride. Each animal handles differently and modifies Kirby's current power in some form. While the premise is enjoyable, many of the power-animal combinations result in ineffective, sometimes even handicapping attacks that are useless outside of a token mission. It's also worth noting that, like so many SNES releases, the GameCube controller's button layout renders this game unplayable without a Classic Controller.

Even with its flaws, Kirby fans will enjoy this overlooked romp. Its cooperative two-player option certainly improves its longevity, and the SNES cartridge's relative obscurity makes this VC release a good value.

Recommended for Fans

- Michael Cole

Mega Man 3

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost500 Points
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
ReleasedNov 1990

While I consider this game's predecessor to be the greatest entry in the franchise, many gamers point to Mega Man 3 as the series' brightest highlight. And indeed, it delivers on many fronts. Mega Man himself has been blessed with ability to slide (finally), the level design is better overall, Proto Man makes some brief appearances, and the music is, like Mega Man 2, some of the best ever composed for a video game. Snake Man, Top Man, and Needle Man are some of the more interesting villains in the Mega-universe, and Top Man’s acquired power must be seen to be believed! Finally, the vehicular mods found in Mega Man 2 finally evolve into Rush the robotic dog in this game.

However, Mega Man 3 does have some weaker points. Wily’s Castle is undoubtedly easier this time around, and players do not go directly from the eight Robot Masters to Wily’s fortress. Rather, they must first navigate four reworked levels which reuse specific tile sets. The bosses of these stages, Doc Robots, employ boss tactics from Mega Man 2. It all feels a bit recycled and unnecessary. Still, Mega Man 3 is absolutely wonderful as far as Mega Man games go, and is certainly the second-best game in the original series.

Recommended for Everyone

- Zachary Miller

Special thanks to the Video Game Museum for the screenshots


vuduFebruary 20, 2009

Until last week I would have cited Mega Man III as my personal favorite.  It was the first one I played as a kid, so it has a special place in my heart.  However, I just so happen to download the title last week and I have to say that I wasn't nearly as impressed with it as I was when I was a kid.

Besides the weak Dr. Wily stages (which Zach already mentioned) my biggest gripe with the game is the illogical boss weaknesses.  I was playing purely from memory and while I had stored away a few boss weaknesses (Hard Knuckle against Top Man and Snake Search against Gemini Man) everything else was purely trial and error.  I had to come back and fight Hard Man something like five times before I finally beat him because I couldn't figure out the right weapon (also, I didn't want to use any E Tanks for the entire game).

If you don't already know the ideal boss order you're going to have to replay the stages quite a few times unless you get really lucky.  Then again, maybe that's for the best--it's a short game.  I beat it in probably 2 hours.  Still a great game, and I fully support the Recommended for Everyone rating.

Sounds like Kirby 3 isn't for me.  I didn't even like Super Star (Deluxe) all that much.

The debate over MM2 vs. MM3 is a toss-up for me.  I always enjoyed MM2 more as a kid, but that may be because I never owned it.  MM3 is definitely the longer game, and I think its soundtrack is clearly superior.  However, MM2 is more iconic and feels more original, and it has my favorite level of any Mega Man game (that of Bubble Man).

GoldenPhoenixFebruary 20, 2009

I replayed MM3 again and it still is an amazing game. It is funny how the impression criticizes one of the coolest (and unique) things a game has doen, by bringing in older bosses along with redesigning previous levels for a different experience.

Mop it upFebruary 20, 2009

Quote from: vudu

I had to come back and fight Hard Man something like five times before I finally beat him because I couldn't figure out the right weapon

That's because his greatest weakness is his own weapon, the Hard Knuckle.

If I remember rightly, Mega Man's creator (don't know his name, some unpronounceable jumble of letters I'm sure) expressed that Mega Man 3 was his least favourite because it was a bit rushed due to time constraints. Is it possibly ironic that Mega Man 3 is considered one of the best in the series while the following Mega Man, Mega Man 4, is considered one of the worst?

The boss weakness loop did get messed up in this game though, as there's no order in which you can play through them and always have the best weapon to use. Other than that though, the game doesn't feel rushed; it still has some of the best level designs, music, and weapons in the series. It's also the only one to have known cheat codes, which I wonder if they're still present in this VC release...

Dream Land 3 feels much  more like Kirby 64 than Super Star. KSS is kind of an anomaly in the design and controls for the series, one reason why people tend to praise it so much. Kirby 64 has more interesting power combinations than this game, though.

vuduFebruary 21, 2009

Quote from: Mop_it_up

That's because his greatest weakness is his own weapon, the Hard Knuckle.

Really?  I had no idea.  I always use Magnet Missile.

Quote from: vudu

Quote from: Mop_it_up

That's because his greatest weakness is his own weapon, the Hard Knuckle.

Really?  I had no idea.  I always use Magnet Missile.

That's his secondary weakness.  The bosses usually have tiers of vulnerability to the other weapons.  Some will do almost no damage (it's possible to do less than the Mega Buster in some games), others will do twice as much or four times as much damage as the Buster, and some will kill the boss in 1-5 hits.  There are multiple examples of bosses who are super-vulnerable to their own weapons, which is good to know for the boss rush before Wily.

Mop it upFebruary 21, 2009

I know that, but his own weapon is still his greatest weakness as that's the most effective way of taking him down. Now obviously you won't have his weapon the first time you face him, but it is still his greatest weakness.

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