Mega Man X3

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Mega Man X3
Mega Man X3
North American SNES cover art
Developer(s) Capcom
Minakuchi Engineering
Publisher(s)
Producer(s) Tokuro Fujiwara
Artist(s) Keiji Inafune
Composer(s) SNES:
Kinuyo Yamashita
PS1/Saturn/Win:
Toshihiko Horiyama
Shusaku Uchiyama
Yoshino Aoki
Platform(s) Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Windows, mobile phones, Wii U Virtual Console
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action, platform
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution 16-megabit ROM cartridge, CD-ROM, download

Mega Man X3, known as Rockman X3 (ロックマンX3?) in Japan, is a video game developed by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game was originally released in Japan on December 1, 1995 and later in North American and PAL regions in 1996. It is the third game in the Mega Man X series and the last to appear on the SNES. Mega Man X3 takes place in a fictional future in which the world is populated by humans and intelligent robots called "Reploids". Like their human creators, some Reploids involve themselves in destructive crime and are labelled as "Mavericks". After twice defeating the Maverick leader Sigma, the heroes Mega Man X and Zero must battle a Reploid scientist named Dr. Doppler and his utopia of Maverick followers.

Mega Man X3 follows in the tradition of both the original Mega Man series and the Mega Man X series as a standard action-platform game. The player traverses a series of eight stages in any order while gaining various power-ups and taking the special weapon of each stage's end boss. Mega Man X3 is the first game in the series in which Zero is a playable character in addition to X. Like its predecessor, Mega Man X2, X3 features the "Cx4" chip to allow for some limited 3D vector graphics and transparency effects.

A 32-bit version of Mega Man X3 was released on the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Windows in various countries. This version was included on the North American Mega Man X Collection in 2006. The game was also ported to Japanese mobile phones in 2010. Critical reception for Mega Man X3 has been above average. However, the game, particularly the 32-bit version, has received miscellaneous criticism from reviewers for its lack of improvements to the series.

Capcom announced that Mega Man X3 would be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014.[7] It was released in North America on August 28, 2014[8] and in Japan on October 8, 2014.

Plot[edit]

The story of Mega Man X3 is set during the 22nd century (the year "21XX"), in which humans coexist with intelligent robots called "Reploids" (replicant androids). Due to their free will, some Reploids are prone to criminal activity and are said to go "Maverick". Dr. Cain, the inventor of the Reploids, establishes a military taskforce called the "Maverick Hunters" to prevent it.[4] Even after two successful efforts by the Hunters Mega Man X and Zero to stop a Maverick leader named Sigma from attempting to exterminate the human race, Maverick activity seems to continue.[4] However, the threat of the Mavericks is later neutralized thanks to the technology of the Reploid scientist Dr. Doppler, which prevents the Mavericks from going berserk.[4] The reformed Reploids form a utopia near their new mentor called "Dopple Town".[9] It seemed that all is well until the former Reploids suddenly revert and once again begin causing trouble, even going so far as to attack Hunter headquarters. Doppler is held accountable, and X and Zero are sent out to contain the new threat.[4][10]

Once the two heroes defeat Doppler and the forces that have sworn allegiance to him, the scientist comes to his senses and realizes all the damage that he has done. He explains that Sigma is alive as a computer virus, and that Doppler was corrupted in order to create a new body for Sigma.[11] X seeks out Sigma, and after an intense battle, the Sigma Virus in its pure form chases X in an attempt to infect and possess him.[12] Once X finds himself at a deadend, one of two things may happen. In the game's main ending, Zero takes Doppler's true antivirus software and uploads it onto his sabre offscreen. He rushes in to save X just in time and causes Sigma to explode, destroying the lab as they evacuate.[13] However, if Zero is injured during the game, Doppler instead uses his own body as the antivirus and sacrifices himself for the greater good.[14]

Gameplay[edit]

A charged-up Zero approaches an enemy in Toxic Seahorse's stage. Mega Man X3 is the first game in the series to feature Zero as a playable character.

Mega Man X3 adopts the gameplay of Mega Man X and Mega Man X2, an expansion of the gameplay model of the original Mega Man series. These action-platform games involve taking control of the protagonist X and completing a series of eight, selectable stages.[4] Each stage has a variety of obstacles, traps, and enemy robots to fight. The stage terminates in a Maverick boss fight; defeating this boss will add a new special weapon to the player's arsenal.[4][15][16] Each boss is particularly weak to one special weapon, so the player may complete the stages in an order that best exploits these weaknesses.[17] The player character X retains certain abilities from past games. Namely, he is able to run, jump, dash, cling to and scale most walls, and fire his chargeable "X-Buster" arm cannon and special weapons.[16] The player can further upgrade X's abilities by collecting armor parts (head, body, legs, and X-Buster) found within capsules in some levels.[15] Capsules containing special chips add new abilities as well. X is generally only able to benefit from one chip at a time, allowing the player to customize the character as needed.[18]

Like the two previous Mega Man X games, the player can locate power-ups such as "Heart Tanks" for extending the maximum life energy and "Sub-Tanks" for storing energy for later use.[16] Also returning are powerful "Ride Armor" vehicles that can be piloted in some of the stages.[15] Items hidden within certain levels can be collected which allow the player to summon vehicles at any time.[16] Mega Man X3 is the first game in the series which allows the player to play as X's ally Zero.[19][20] Zero can be called to take X's place during nearly any stage, but he cannot collect any of X's armor parts or power-ups, and cannot fight end-stage bosses.[15][16][17]

Development and release[edit]

Mega Man X3 was developed by Capcom. By the time production began, Keiji Inafune, a major contributor to the Mega Man franchise, had transitioned from his role as an artist to that of a director, producer, and writer.[1] Starting with Mega Man X2, Inafune wanted to advance the narrative using a computer virus as a plot device, something he considered a more interesting idea than a tangible villain.[21] Inafune's other duties included merchandising the game into toys and trading cards. Although the character designs and artwork were done at Capcom, Inafune recalled experiencing "psychological turmoil" over allowing "outsiders" to handle the game's development.[1] Inafune's only illustrative designs for the game were the characters X, Zero, and Vile. Inafune admitted being very "possessive" of Zero, which he had vested interest in since the character's creation for the first Mega Man X.[1] All of the designs for the game's other characters, bosses, and its minor enemies were divided among artists Hayato Kaji, Tatsuya Yoshikawa, Shinsuke Komaki, and Kazushi Itou.[1] Due to the pressures of the development timescale and various other factors, some of the level designs and the soundtrack production were outsourced to third-party developer Minakuchi Engineering, who had previously handled the line of Mega Man games on the Game Boy.[1]

Mega Man X3 is graphically similar to its two predecessors, and even utilizes the SNES Cx4 from Mega Man X2. This digital signal processor cartridge chip allows for basic 3D graphical effects such as rotation, enlarging, and shrinking of wireframe objects.[19][22][23] The North American and the European SNES version of Mega Man X3 are very rare due to they limited run and the fact that they were released during declining support of the console.[17][24] Despite higher-than-expected retail orders for their SNES products, Capcom had lowered its shipping of 16-bit titles during the fall 1995 release quarter due to supply and demand.[25][26] In more recent times, Mega Man X3 cartridges fetch very large sums of money on collector and auction websites such as eBay.[19][24][27] A port of Mega Man X3 was released on the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in Japan in 1996 and in Europe in 1997.[1][4] A Windows port of this 32-bit edition was released in Japan in 1997 and in North America in 1998.[1][5] The port versions feature additional animated full-motion video cutscenes, rearranged music tracks, and different sound effects than the original SNES version.[4][17][28][29] A port for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer was announced in Japan in 1996, but was not released.[30] The Japanese PlayStation version of Mega Man X3 was eventually re-released as part of the Sony "The Best for Family" line of budget titles.[31] The PlayStation version of Mega Man X3 was included in Mega Man X Collection, released for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube in North America in early 2006.[27][28] Finally, Mega Man X3 was released on EZweb-compatible mobile phones in Japan in 2010.[6]

The game's soundtrack was composed by freelancer Kinuyo Yamashita, who created all the music and converted it to data in her leisure.[32] Although the Minakuchi Engineering Staff is credited in the game's soundtrack album, Yamashita claimed that they were merely the company that requested she work for Capcom.[33] The Japanese 32-bit editions feature two J-pop vocal songs by Kotono Shibuya: the opening theme "One More Time" and the ending theme "I'm Believer".[34] Both the SNES and 32-bit versions of the musical score were included on the second disc of Capcom Music Generation: Rockman X1 ~ X6 soundtrack released by Suleputer in 2003.[35]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
AllGame SNES: 4/5 stars[36]
GameFan SNES: 87 of 100[37]
SAT: 71 of 100[29]
GamePro SNES: 4/5 stars[22]
Nintendo Power SNES: (3.43/5)[38]
Game Players SNES: 81 of 100[39]
Super Play SNES: 70%[23]
Saturn Power SAT: 23%[40]
Sega Saturn Magazine SAT: 66%[4]
Computer Games Magazine PC: 1/5 stars[41]

Press reception for Mega Man X3 has been above average. Reviewers praised the game's tried-and-true gameplay, graphics, control, and the option to play as Zero.[17][19][22][23][36][37] Mike Weigand of GamePro was generally pleased with the game, and, though he admitted it brought little new to the franchise, enjoyed the increased difficulty, tight controls, and new special effects. Weigand summarized, "It may be routine for experience players, but anyone who hasn't played a 16-bit game in the series will discover Mega magic."[22] GameFan reviewer Dave Halverson was equally impressed by the "speed, diversity, special FX, and power up's," calling it "a fitting 16-bit finale to a great series".[37] IGN similarly asserted Mega Man X3 as "a solid send-off for the 16-bit era", naming it the 67th-best SNES of all time on a 2011 list.[20]

Mega Man X3 has received some miscellaneous critique stemming from its similarity to past Mega Man games.[19] Super Play writer Jonathan Davies found the game far too similar to Mega Man X2, questioning whether or not "Capcom are cashing in on their loyal fans".[23] Likewise, 1UP.com writer Jeremy Parish thought that the game differed very little from past releases, complaining that it was "more of the same, but with a kitchen-sink design philosophy that made every single level feel like a sluggish, ill-designed mess."[42] GameSpot editors Christian Nutt and Justin Speer specifically felt the number of power-ups and bonuses overshadowed the gameplay, barely benefitting from the addition of Zero as a limited playable character.[17]

The port versions of the game suffered more negative criticism than their SNES counterpart. The level designs and overall gameplay were highly criticized by Computer Games Magazine contributor Nathan Smith, who reviewed the late Windows release of the game. "Packing more cliché console conventions than you can shake a gamepad at," Smith opined, "you'll need the patience of Job, the manual dexterity of a nine-year-old, and the intelligence of Forrest Gump to really enjoy this one."[41] Saturn Power denoted Mega Man X3 the worst Saturn title in the console's available game library.[40] Matt Yeo of Sega Saturn Magazine had fair comments about Mega Man X3 as an SNES game, but labeled the UK Saturn version "a bit of a travesty" due to its lack of innovation and a "dubious" quality of the anime cutscenes.[4] Halverson enjoyed the use of redbook audio in the 32-bit conversion despite not finding the music particularly memorable.[29] Both Yeo and Harvelson were dismayed by the use of letterbox borders in the Saturn version, which horizontally reduce the screen size.[4][29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mega Man X: Official Complete Works. Udon Entertainment. January 6, 2010. pp. 28–39. ISBN 978-1-897376-80-5. 
  2. ^ Nintendo staff. "Super NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ Total! staff (May 1996). "Mega Man X3". Total! (in German) (Future plc): pp. 36–7. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Yeo, Matt (April 1997). "Review: Mega Man X3". Sega Saturn Magazine (EMAP) (18): pp. 74–5. ISSN 1360-9424. 
  5. ^ a b Hulsey, Joe (October 5, 1998). "Capcom announces Mega Man X3". Computer Games Magazine. TheGlobe.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2002. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b GameSpot staff (July 1, 2010). "EZアプリ「バイオハザード Survival Door」&「ロックマンX3」配信開始!" [EZ applications "Biohazard: Survival Door" & "Rockman X3" released!]. GameSpot (in Japanese). CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 12, 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.capcom-unity.com/brelston/blog/2014/06/09/virtual-console-update-gba-titles-breath-of-fire-and-more. 
  8. ^ http://www.capcom-unity.com/brelston/blog/2014/07/31/mega-man-battle-network-now-on-wii-u-more-mm-games-all-august
  9. ^ Capcom (January 1996). Mega Man X3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom. "Narrator: In the year 21XX, all the Mavericks have been neutralized thanks to the efforts of a Reploid scientist named "Dr. Doppler". Using his Neuro Computer, he has been able to suppress any abnormal behavior in the Reploids and prevent them from going berserk. Many of the most advanced Reploids have gathered near their new mentor and founded "Dopple Town", a perfect Utopian community." 
  10. ^ Capcom (January 1996). Mega Man X3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom. "Narrator: The Mavericks who were supposed to have been neutralized by the Neuro Computer suddenly appeared and began to riot... At Maverick Hunter Headquarters, all the intelligence indicated that Dr. Doppler was the mastermind behind the invasion. Soon, the call went out to X and Zero destroy the invading Mavericks and bring Dr. Doppler to justice." 
  11. ^ Capcom (January 1996). Mega Man X3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom. "Doppler: Sigma's true form is that of a computer virus... I was corrupted by him and... I created a horrific new body for him..." 
  12. ^ Capcom (January 1996). Mega Man X3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom. "Sigma: N... No!! This can't be! I can't even defeat you with this magnificant body..?! There seems to be only one choice now... I'll possess you!!" 
  13. ^ Capcom (January 1996). Mega Man X3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom. "Zero: How do you like that, Sigma? I picked up an Anti-Sigma virus program from Doppler and used it on my Beam Sabre! Sorry about the delay, X. I thought the program might be the only thing that would work against Sigma." 
  14. ^ Capcom (January 1996). Mega Man X3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom. "Doppler: How do you feel now, Sigma? Did you like my special vaccine for the Sigma virus? X, I'm sorry to have given you so much trouble. I know I can never really atone for what I've done... But I will try to set things right by taking Sigma with me!!" 
  15. ^ a b c d Nintendo Power staff (February 1996). "Mega Man X3". Nintendo Power (Nintendo of America) (81): pp. 18–27. ISSN 1041-9551. 
  16. ^ a b c d e Capcom, ed. (January 1996). Mega Man X3 Instruction Booklet. Sunnyvale, CA: Capcom Entertainment, Inc. pp. 6–15. SNS-P-AR3E. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f Nutt, Christian and Speer, Justin. "The History of Mega Man". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly staff (November 1995). "Next Wave: Mega Man X3". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (76): pp. 92–3. ISSN 1058-918X. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Oxford, Nadia (May 17, 2007). "Mega Manniversary: Jumping the Shark Man". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  20. ^ a b George, Richard (2011). "Top 100 Super Nintendo (SNES) Video Games". IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ Mega Man X: Official Complete Works. Udon Entertainment. January 6, 2010. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-897376-80-5. 
  22. ^ a b c d Weigand, Mike (December 1995). "ProReview: Mega Man X3". GamePro (Infotainment World, Inc.) (77): p. 100. ISSN 1042-8658. 
  23. ^ a b c d Davies, Jonathan (April 1996). "Import Review: Mega Man X3". Super Play (Future plc) (42): pp. 42–5. ISSN 0966-6192. 
  24. ^ a b Elston, Brett (June 30, 2008). "The ultimate Mega Man retrospective". GamesRadar. Future plc accessdate=December 26, 2010. 
  25. ^ Mongelluzzo, Melinda and Kramer, Chris (September 5, 1995). "Capcom's Fall Line Up of Super Nintendo Products Exceed Sales Expectations; Game Leader Supports Viable 16-bit Market with Five Titles.". Capcom. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  26. ^ Greenstein, Jane (September 8, 1995). "Game publishers tighten supply to control market.". Video Business (Reed Business Information). Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  27. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (January 10, 2006). "Mega Man X Collection Review for GC". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Theobald, Phil (January 9, 2006). "Mega Man X Collection". GameSpy. IGN. Retrieved January 17, 2011. 
  29. ^ a b c d Halverson, Dave (July 1996). "Reviews: Rockman X3". GameFan (DieHard Gamers Club) 4 (7): pp. 13, 70–1. ISSN 1092-7212. 
  30. ^ 3DO staff (May–June 1996). "Express: Rockman X3". 3DO Magazine (in Japanese) (The 3DO Company): pp. 34–5. 
  31. ^ Sony staff. "ロックマンX3 PlayStation the Best for Family" [Rockman X3 PlayStation the Best for Family] (in Japanese). Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  32. ^ Sorlie, Audon (October 27, 2009). "Beautiful Music, Beautiful Lady: Kinuyo Yamashita Interview!". Original Sound Version. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  33. ^ Greening, Chris (February 2010). "Interview with Kinuyo Yamashita". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  34. ^ Shibuya, Kotono. "歌手としての渋谷さんの作品を御紹介。" [Introducing Ms. Shibuya's work as a singer.] (in Japanese). Phoenix Club. Archived from the original on July 11, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  35. ^ Suleputer staff. "カプコン ミュージック ジェネレーション ロックマンX1~6 オリジナル・サウンドトラック" [Capcom Music Generation: Rockman X1 ~ X6 Original Soundtrack] (in Japanese). Suleputer. Archived from the original on December 14, 2003. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  36. ^ a b Kanarick, Mark (1998). "Mega Man X3 - Review". Allgame. All Media Guide. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  37. ^ a b c Halverson, Dave (February 1996). "Reviews: Rockman X3". GameFan (DieHard Gamers Club) 4 (4): pp. 18, 96–7. ISSN 1092-7212. 
  38. ^ Nintendo Power staff (February 1996). "Now Playing: Mega Man X3". Nintendo Power (Nintendo of America) (81): pp. 93–7. ISSN 1041-9551. 
  39. ^ Game Players staff (January 1996). "Reviews: Mega Man X3". Game Players (Imagine Media) (60). ISSN 1091-1685. 
  40. ^ a b Saturn Power staff (January 1998). "Saturn Power Top 100". Saturn Power (Future plc) (9): p. 95. ISSN 0961-2718. 
  41. ^ a b Smith, Nathan (December 27, 1998). "Megaman X3 Review". Computer Games Magazine (Strategy Plus, Inc.). ISSN 1095-1385. Archived from the original on February 7, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  42. ^ Parish, Jeremy (May 10, 2007). "The Mega Man Series Roundup". 1UP.com. Ziff Davis. Retrieved April 10, 2011. 

External links[edit]