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.
|System||Virtual Console - Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
|Released||Oct 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.
|System||Virtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System|
|Controllers||Wii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
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.
Special thanks to the Video Game Museum for the screenshots