Mega Man 3: The Robots are Revolting (PC) Review

The Short

Pros

– Has the sad, sad honor of be the first Mega Man game I ever played

– Stages are actually sort of non-linear, which is totally different from all other Mega Man games

– Has a stage where you spend most of the time swimming, which is also kind of unique

– Actually isn’t the worst thing ever if you’ve never played another Mega Man game

Cons

– Is pretty much the worst thing ever

– Graphics for robot masters ripped from other Mega Man games

– No music. At all.

– Looks awful in general.

– Sound effects are the usual “3 1/4 floppy DOS” fare. Read: Quant, but awful.

– Controls are abismal

– Seriously, I can’t believe this is how I was introduced to Mega Man

This is NOT the Mega Man 3 you’re looking for.

The Long

Let’s get something absolutely straight right off the bat: This is NOT a review of the NES version of Mega Man 3. That game is awesome. So before you go writing hate-mail in my direction, look at the picture above and realize you can’t stick floppy discs in an NES. Ok, you can, but they won’t do anything but rattle around.

Taken a deep breath? Let’s dive into this.

Shark AND Wave man? Two water themed enemies?

So way back when I was a lad my parents only let me own a computer, because they hated video games. Fair enough, normal stuff I’d imagine. But as a young lad who only had a Windows 3.1 computer, I heard from all my NES owning friends about how awesome this “Mega Man” guy was. After some digging at a local video game store with a friend I discovered that, amazingly, there was a Mega Man game on the PC! (actually there was two, but I never found that one, thank goodness)

Keep in mind this was in the era of Commander Keen and that batch of DOS games, so I was starved for just about anything since I’d exhausted every Keen game known to man. So we got the game, fired it up, and looky what we were playin!

Oh sweet mother of mercy.

That’s right, fat-faced, ugly Mega Man 3 on your COMPUTER! Incredible! Starring Robot Masters totally ripped off from the NES Robot Masters of previous games! No, seriously, look!

It’s like they didn’t even try.

So…what is Mega Man 3: The Robots are Revolting (seriously, that’s the subtitle, though it only shows up on the back of the box) all about? What makes it tick? If you are a hardcore Mega Man fan who didn’t know this game existed, do you have to boot it up to experience the full range of the Mega Man spectrum?

Well I sure hope you don’t, because this game is freaking awful. And, though I hate to admit it, really, really endearing for me.

If it looks like that boss isn’t animated, it’s because it isn’t. Seriously.

Ok, so first things first: this game is garbage. There are so many differences between it an actual Mega Man games it’s almost impossible to cover them all, but what the heck: let’s try.

First off, obviously this game looks like a DOS game rather than an NES game. It isn’t that awful, to be honest, but fat-faced Mega Man is a little weird and not at all awesome like the original sprite.

Next, the sound design in this game is straight up DOS to the max. Seriously, it sounds so DOS I can’t help but love it. The grainy sound effects, the weird reverb, the sounds that probably came from the computer instead of your speakers…it’s bananas! I love/hate it! Also there’s no music, but hey, since when has kickass music been a Mega Man staple? NEVER, OF COURSE.

They put Torch Man in a sewer, and his boss room is in water. No, seriously.

Next is the actual gameplay itself. Aside from the controls, which are stupendously clunky, this game doesn’t play like any Mega Man game ever made before or since. It actually plays more like the old DOS platformers, like Commander Keen. You have one massive, somewhat open-ended level that you have to traverse. There are no linking screens or linear pathways or bits of perfectly crafted level design. In fact, most of your obstacles are in the environment. Fire, oil drips, goo drips, etc.

Enemies, another unique staple of the Mega Man-verse, are simple as well. Regular ones usually just walk around doing nothing (again, reminding me of Commander Keen) hoping you’ll bump into them. A few shoot randomly in directions, but that’s it. Every single Robot Master except Bit Man has the exact same attack pattern, where they jump, fire their weapon, and land on the other side of the screen. Bit Man charges in the middle of his, because he’s an overachiever. So there is no such thing as enemy AI in the game, whatsoever.

Enemies are also harder and take more hits, and have no strategy for taking down other than mashing shoot. I’d say more on that, but I pretty much covered it, so PICTURE TIME.

Based on his expression, Mega Man’s making an oil stream in his pants.

Weirdly enough, I kind of like the change in pace. I mean, it’s awful and the levels are horribly designed, but having bigger ones that are all interconnected gives a different sense of scale. You never really went back in Mega Man on the NES, but in this one you’ll see areas far off and work your way towards them. That’s…sort of cool, I guess, if not like Mega Man at all.

You can also SWIM, and there are whole stages devoted to this. Which, again, never really happens much in Mega Man games, at least on the NES.

But he can’t shoot through walls, which I’m pretty sure is important. I don’t know why I bothered mentioning this, but I figured it should be noted because I noticed it.

If he’s a robot, wouldn’t water be bad for him AW SCREW IT.

Is there anything here that’s Mega Man-esque? Well…a little bit. You still get powers from your enemies in the form of their super-lame weapons, though it makes the other Robot Masters a total cakewalk. Each one goes down in exactly four shots from their weakness’s weapon, so once you figure the order out the bosses (who, remember, have no real attack pattern) are stupid easy.

You also get Energy Tanks which you can use (crazy, I know) and…uh…he’s blue? You cna pick the order you are fighting the enemies in and after you beat them all you fight Dr. Wiley’s stage, and you re-battle all the Masters (though with your power-ups they are all stupid easy…again) but…uh…yeah this game isn’t really like Mega Man at all.

Oh, and all the enemies are just made up crap, nothing from the original games. Sorry, I know I said I’d so stuff that made this like the other games, but I ran out.

Thought that sprinting, legged fish man might be my favorite enemy in any game ever.  Just…LOOK AT HIM!

What’s really weird is this game is actually…hard. Enemies, as mentioned before, take a lot of hits and hardly ever drop any power-ups or health items. Because the jumping is so clunky and the shooting so poor it’s easy to get overwhelmed or make stupid mistakes (especially since some levels require some crazy jumps or you’ll fall and have to do the whole level over). Dr. Wiley’s stage is also absurdly long with very difficult enemies and no health to be seen. So I guess they got the “difficulty” thing right, if in the most asinine way possible.

Like Shredder, Dr. Wiley rises from the goo.

This was my first Mega Man game. And so, when I watch the extremely limited number of videos of it on YouTube, I still get that funny nostalgia feeling. Back in the days when DOS was the best we could do, when games were simple and in 256 colors (or less) and highly pixelated. Back when you could hear the floppy disc drive grunt and groan, and when floppy discs were actually floppy. When you’d have to type “dir” to find install files on discs in DOS, and remember drive names and commands to run programs. And when “Shut Down Windows” took you to a DOS prompt, where you’d have to hard-power down rather than have the system know to do it automatically.

You know, back when computers sucked.

Shark Man knows whats up. Shark…berg man? No.

The point is, despite whatever idiotic nostalgia I might have for this hunk of crap, it still is just that: absolute garbage. Even when compared to other archaic platformers of its time, Mega Man 3: The Robots Are Revolting is…(wait for the easy joke)…REVOLTING.

Point being it sucks and you shouldn’t play it. Or you should, if you can find it and get it to run, because it’s just so amusing. Also it was made by two brothers and that’s it so that’s actually kind of awesome.

No, it isn’t, this game’s garbage. Childhood, like with Loopz before it, you again are nothing but empty memories and lies.

One out of five stars.

And that one star was solely for nostalgia, I can assure you.

Author: Nathan Major

Spirit Shark: Hammerhead. Retro game collector, true ginger, and SNES fanatic. Goal in life is to become Karnov from the NES game Karnov.

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