UNITED STATES—This was the video game as a child I wanted more than any other video game that I could ever recall. I was in the midst of middle school, I had always been a fan of the franchise so much to the point that I sent a letter to the creator of the franchise with ideas I had for villains hoping to see things come to fruition. It didn’t happen, but I got a nifty postcard from the company and after weeks of trying to figure out how I would be able to purchase the video game my older sister bought the game as a gift. I’m talking about “Mega Man X3.”

This game was expensive. When I first wanted to purchase the game, it was $72 (I remember it like yesterday, but for reasons I cannot understand my mother would not allow me to do it). She thought it was foolish to spend so much money on a video game even though it was my own money I saved. She forbid it and I was livid over it. I was bummed, and some way my sister learned about it and she stepped in. My mother was still peeved that she was willing to spend so much money on a video game, but my sister noted it was her money and it was a gift.

The excitement of having that game in my console in my hands was everything. This third installment in the franchise continued to showcase improvements in the mechanics. Our fearless hero now had an X-buster that was wicked to the core, with such an upgrade it took out enemies quicker than you can imagine. On top of that, his dash evolved. You can shoot up or jump and dash to the left or right. Yeah, such tactics were not available in “Mega Man X” or “Mega Man X2.”

In addition, the gameplay was just so much fun and I think this entry has some of the best bosses of the bunch. Sigma is still the big bad people, but Reploids have created Maverick Hunters who appear mid-way throughout the game to give X and Zero (yes you have the option of playing the game as either character). They aren’t terribly difficult; just watch the pattern because it never changes for either of the three. Beyond those bosses which you will ultimately battle again once the eight bosses have defeated, you have to defeat those bosses first and obtain those upgrades to have an easier shot at victory.

I mean we have Toxic Seahorse, Volt Catfish, Crush Crawfish, Blizzard Buffalo, Tunnel Rhino, Neon Tiger, Gravity Beetle and Blast Hornet. Once you beat one with the X-buster you can use that weapon as a starting point for the weakness to others and it soon becomes a domino effect. I would argue to start with Tunnel Rhino or Neon Tiger and move from there.

This installment also has upgrades to unique machinery that helps X thru his journey rather its flying, in the water or on the ground the upgrades are neat tools to have. I also appreciate the game structure where it’s not as obvious to find your heart tanks, energy tanks, armor upgrades and other power-ups. “Mega Man X3” made the game a bit more challenging for gamers and as a gamer I appreciate a challenge that offers that edge of difficulty.

An added extra is the music which I absolutely adored, especially when you reached the end of the stage to battle the big boss. It is so ominous, but exhilarating at the same time and the pacing for this game was a bit robust. If you love “Mega Man X” and the character as a whole, trust me you’ll enjoy “Mega Man X3” just as much.

Written By Davy Jones