To those who say that they will ignore the events of the games of the Mega Man X series past X5, because that is where Inafune had originally wanted it to end… don’t.

That’s all I’m going to say, other than it seems I was right, Inafune wasn’t going to let the continuation of the X series contradict his story in the next series.

I’ve played through the Euro version of Z3 that was given to me by a friend(let’s hear it for the internet and friends in far-off lands), and it was a fun, satisfying experience, and the first MMZ game I didn’t give in to the urge to cheat on. It seems to be far more balanced than the past two games(especially the first), perhaps even erring in favor of the player.

And the translation is excellent as well… some folks at the Mega Man Network translated the intro and opening stage from Rockman Zero 3, as well as the end, and I have to say, it was really, really damn close. It’s been said that Japanese cannot be perfectly translated, as intent can be interpreted a number of ways, but from what I can tell, it seems Capcom was on the right page here. In fact, it’s perhaps closer to the Japanese one than Mega Man X1 was to Rockman X1.

And I don’t recall any overuse of the term “retired,” either… if any.

One thing I will address, though. Many have faulted Capcom USA for toning down the language in the Mega Man games, going from “damn” to “darn” and “curses,” thanks to the legions of soccer moms who apparently were appalled to find such language in their kids’ games, returning games like X4 to Capcom before dropping off their kids at the playground where they probably hear far worse things.

However, the above-mentioned translations bring forth an interesting touch… “heck” was added in a line in the English version where it was not in the Japanese one. Makes me wonder if “damn” and “curses” were somehow added as well. Let us not forget that the “Wily at gunpoint” part of MM7 wasn’t in Rm7, either.

Incidently, “Hellbat” got to keep his name, while a few others were changed(Cerberian, a Cerberus, was changed to Kelverian. Trying to stop Capcom USA from making that same mistake).

As for the story, don’t let anyone spoil it for you… it’s really one of those things it’s best to play through and discover for yourself. I, unfortunately, had no such luxury, and the best parts of the game were spoiled for me prematurely. As a result, I’ve finally had it with the source of the spoiling of my enjoyment of these games, and have drastically reduced my role in regards to it. No more.

It disgusts me that people can’t keep developments to themselves until after the game’s been out awhile. And I don’t consider anything I’m saying here spoilers, this is pretty basic stuff you’re likely to find in the manual or on the back of the box of some games, though I know of some manuals that tend to spoil stuff…(X6, anyone? Resurrected Hunter my ass…)

Now that I’ve beaten it, there’s still more fun to be had, and I don’t just mean the Hard Mode that’s been opened up, either. The replay value in this game is pretty good; there are numerous data discs in the game that you collect, some holding Cyber-elves, some holding Energy Crystals, and others parts that allow you to customize Zero in a way that’s pretty damned nifty. But some of my favorite ones are the data files… not unlike my idea for MML3(which may just mean something like that could happen after all) that was borrowed from Metroid Prime, there are bits of data you can collect that detail story and character info of the series, many of the latter with sprites and animation. It’s a really neat feature, one I hope we’ll see more of.

There’s also more, such as mini-games you can unlock featuring Zero and the Four Guardians(or at least the three living ones).

Since I currently lack the neccessary set-up for gamelinking(that being two GBAs, a link cable, and a copy of BN4; I love my Game Boy Player, but unfortunately Nintendo made it useless for this), I need to find some Gameshark or Codebreaker codes that will allow me to unlock the features that come with that, without locking up the game. And the eReader stuff Capcom has probably seen fit NOT to give codes or some other way to unlock… after all, that’s way more work than translation, and removing the blood from a game of war is already plenty of work… it pissed me off about Bass’s chip in BN1, too. Anyway, eReader stuff includes unlocking the Minigames, as well as odd shit around the Resistance base, like graffiti and a return of the “Legends Cat Scenario.” Not sure what all else they do, though.

This is the one Zero game of the series where I feel compelled to keep playing after completion, and I think that says a lot. Capcom seems to hit pretty good marks when they release a third game, usually something that’s fundamentally better than the second game in the series, where they perfect a lot of stuff, yet won’t surpass it in the annals of video game history. Other games that fit this mold are Mega Man 3, Street Fighter 3, and Mega Man X3. I think some consider games like Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Resident Evil 3 in there as well, not entirely sure.

Let’s just say it reminds me a bit of MM3, though.

Next year, I think it’d be sort of neat if Capcom were to make a GameCube release of the MMZ Trilogy, with some nice 3-D graphics, but retaining 2-D gameplay, and incorporate some of the 3rd game’s elements into the first two(such as extra lives in 1, and less insane crystal amounts for the Cyber-elves), as well as the originals. I’d buy it.

PS2 might be good, too, but SCEA are dicks, so I’m torn. But I prefer multiplatform to exclusive whenever possible(MM=possible, Mario=not possible, for reference), and the PS2 controller would probably be better suited for it as well.

Anyway, in closing, I highly recommend MMZ3, especially if you feel that the X games have been lacking, or that the first two Z games were too difficult. This is oldschool, and probably as good as it gets.

LBD “Nytetrayn”