Here we have the last game in the Mega Man X series released for the Super NES. As usual, Capcom worked their magic on this sequel and released it in 1996. Versions of the game for the Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, and PC soon followed, as well as an illegal sub-par pirate version for the Sega Genesis.

The game opens several months following the events of Mega Man X2. Mega Man X and Zero are partners again and are continuing to fight the Maverick horde. However, things are afoot. More and more Reploids are going Maverick. Things take a turn for the worst when Dr. Doppler, a brilliant Reploid scientist, turns Maverick and releases a computer virus that turns infected Reploids into Mavericks!

The game plays nearly identical to Mega Man X2 and brings back the wire frame minibosses. Energy Capsules, Heart Tanks, and the other usual Mega Man X items return as well. The main difference in the game is that for the first time players can choose to play as Zero. The seemingly eternal sidekick can be brought in to replace X, but the catch is that he can only play 1/3 of a level, he cannot fight bosses, and he's only available once per level. Oh yes, and if his energy runs out you loose him for the rest of the game (and see a slightly different ending to the game). Zero's weapon is the beam sabre, a lightsaberish kind of device that can whack down baddies in one blow. Mega Man X3 also introduced multiple mechs. In the past X games our hero could ride in punching, walking mechs and take out the baddies. This time X can acquire four kinds of rides: normal (the punching mech), Hawk (which can hover), Frog (for underwater travel), and Kangaroo (for jumping).

The last new innovation are the pink powerup capsules. As in the past there are four blue powerup capsules that provide the basic powerups of dash, blast, etc. The new pink capsules are super enhancements that add an additional level of power to the blue capsule associated with it. For example. the pink wepaon capsule gives X an even more powerful blaster. Note that Zero cannot use any capsule at all and that X can only use one of the pink capsules (unless you can find the secret hidden gold capsule...)

Every Mega Man game has bosses, and this one is no exception. This time around X goes up against:

  • Toxic Seahorse
  • Tunnel Rhino
  • Volt Catfish
  • Crush Crawfish
  • Neon Tiger
  • Gravity Beetle
  • Blast Hornet
  • Blizzard Buffalo
After defeating two of the Mavericks, Dr. Doppler will send two other bosses after you: Bit and Byte. Defeat them now or defeat them later, but you will after to dispatch them eventually. Plus, if all of that isn't enough, an enemy from the past is lurking in the shadows and looking for revenge. After defeating all the Maverick bosses X and Zero locate Dr. Doppler's fortress and the real battle begins. Could Sigma be waiting in the wings for his own chance at revenge?

It should be noted that the Super NES version is quite rare these days and as such any copies you do find for sale could cost as much as $80. Apparently a limited number of cartridges were produced because Capcom felt the system was on its way out and instead concentrated on producing units for the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation.

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