The first good Mega Man game for Game Boy.
I call these, informally, the “Mega Man Land” games, following a tradition set by Super Mario Land and Donkey Kong Land—basically the handheld versions of a console series. Even though I had all the Mega Man Land games as a lad (except MMV), I have very hazy memories of all of them. I remember hating the original game, really liking the second one, and not really having strong feelings about MMIV and V. As is so often the case, my memories betrayed me—it turns out Mega Man Land 2 is something of an embarrassment, and Mega Man Land 3 is a “real” Mega Man game. I’ll talk about Mega Man Land 2 in a later review (bottom line: don’t play it) but here are my feelings on Mega Man Land 3.
This game takes three Robot Masters from Mega Man 3 (NES) and three Robot Masters from Mega Man 4 (NES), along with their respective stages, and essentially asks you to replay them. Now sure, the level design is inherently different given the platform, but all the familiar elements are there, including the shockingly detailed backgrounds, and you’ll be doing the same things. Dive Man’s stage forces you to contend with raising and lowering water levels replete with spike blocks. Gemini Man’s stage has those vaguely disturbing tadpole things. Every once and awhile, you’ll come across Flip-Top Eddie, who will dole out items you probably don’t need at that very moment.
For the most part, Mega Man veterans will find this game easy but probably enjoyable. The challenge often comes from jumps that require you to be unusually accurate and the newest member of the Mega Man Killer brigade, Punk, who is actually kind of a pain to beat. The enjoyment comes from witnessing how impressive this game is for a Game Boy game, especially after Mega Man Land 2 poisoned the waters.