Every week Cyril Lachel comes down from his giant castle in the hills to provide the final word on all of the classic downloadable games and retro compilations. This is the Retro Round-Up, your official guide to the best (and worst) in classic gaming for the Nintendo Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Join us as we shed some light on what games are worth your five or ten dollars, and what games you should avoid at all costs. For more information about these games (and retro gaming in general) we invite you to check out Defunct Games
. It's yet another week where there's only one Virtual Console game. And worse yet, nothing came out for the Xbox Live Arcade. I don't mean nothing in the sense of no retro games, I mean no games came out this week. The closest we got to an Xbox Live Arcade release this week was a $2 Street Fighter-inspired pinball game in Pinball FX. So instead of talking about that we're going to focus on the one good thing that happened this week, and that is Mega Man 3. Is this a Mega Man game worth picking up? Find out now when you read another short episode of This Week in Defunct Games!
Mega Man 3
What Is It?
Released in 1990, Mega Man 3 is the last really good 8-bit sequel in this long-running franchise (no, I don't count Mega Man 9, because despite its look it is not actually 8-bit). While it looks and feels a lot like Mega Man 2 (which I wholeheartedly endorsed several weeks ago), this second sequel actually introduces some of the most memorable enhancements to the Mega Man franchise, such as Rush the robot dog and the slide attack. Mega Man purists poo-poo these additions (especially the robot dog), but as far as I'm concerned these changes make Mega Man 3 stand apart from the previous two games. I'm not going to go as far as to say it's better than Mega Man 2, but it has a different vibe that is refreshing. Mega Man 3 is also the last Mega Man game released on the NES to have cool bosses, including Shadow Man, Spark Man, Gemini Man, Needle Man, Magnet Man and Hard Man. Throw in a lengthy adventure that has you going through more than a dozen levels and you have a solid adventure that is well worth your time and money. Mega Man 3 may not be the world's best Mega Man game, but it's a damn fine platformer that you definitely need to check out.
Does It Still Hold Up?
It holds up about as well as all of the other Mega Man games, which is to say that it still has the same quirks (no ducking?) and cliches (how many times do I have to fight that boss?). The good news is the action is fast and the graphics are good. One of the best things about this second Mega Man sequel is the music, which is simply amazing. All in all Mega Man 3 is a solid game that definitely holds up.
Is It Worth The Money?
So this is the part of the show where I have to add a small caveat to my ringing endorsement. If you look around you will be able to find the Mega Man Collection for the GameCube, which features all of the numbered Mega Man games (minus Mega Man 9, of course). Although it's getting harder to find new GameCube games, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find the complete collection for $10 or $15 used. However, when it comes right down to it there are only two Mega Man games you really must own, Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3. Buying both of these on the Virtual Console will cost you no more than $10, which is the same amount you'll likely spend on the full set. The choice is up to you, but if you're looking for a great 2D action game then you can't do much better than Mega Man 3.
This Week in GameTap
Still not satisfied with what you're getting on the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade? Then maybe you should head on over to GameTap
! With more than 100 free games currently available, GameTap is one of the best places to play classic games! And every week they are adding brand new titles to the service, including old school games for the Genesis, Neo Geo, Commodore 64 and much, much more. Won't you join us as we take a look at what's going on this week over at GameTap!
Oh come on, you already know what I'm going to say. I'm going to sit here for a couple of paragraphs and tell you that I hate American McGee's Grimm, which features a brand new episode today. And then I'm going to tell you how the newest episode, King Midus, is free for the first 24 hours. And then I'll probably go into this big diatribe about how painful this franchise is and how I wish GameTap would give me something else to talk about. But that's not what I'm going to do. Instead I'm going to tell you that King Midus is free for the first 24 hours and is the newest episode of American McGee's Grimm. Oh crap, I did exactly what I said I wasn't going to do. Well, let's just move on ...
The other game uploaded this week is Space Hack, which is yet another one of those recent PC games I haven't heard of (or played). I see that the reviews weren't real kind when it came out in 2005, calling it a broken Diablo clone. I'm a huge fan of Diablo, but I hate it when things are broken (see: my constant complaints about American McGee's Grimm). If you're a GameTap subscriber and like Diablo games, maybe you can jump into Space Hack and tell me what you think. Everybody else will be too busy playing Fallout ... which is STILL free to play (no matter who you are)!