Mega Man 3 by Salvatore Pane
Capcom's Keiji Inafune followed the unexpected success of Mega Man 2 with a "kitchen sink" sequel that included eight new robot masters, a canine companion, a mysterious new frenemy, and a melancholy tone that runs through the game from its soft opening notes. Mega Man 3 was the biggest, messiest, and most ambitious Mega Man game yet.
But why do we hunger for twitchy, difficult platformers like Mega Man 3 decades later when the developers, the franchise, and the Blue Bomber himself have all moved on? Investigating the development of the Mega Man series alongside the rise of video game emulation, the YouTube retrogaming scene, and the soaring price of NES carts, novelist Salvatore Pane takes a close and compelling look at the lost power-ups of our youth that we collect in our attempts to become complete again.
"[A] marvel [...] Pane has penned incisive criticism that enhances its 8-bit source material." - Entropy
"Such a thoughtful -- and poetic -- book on Mega Man 3." - Andrew Schartmann, author of Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros.
"The brilliant thing is Pane never takes a side; I wouldn’t say his work is straight up clinical, rather it eschews the drama and hyperbole and sticks to the facts." - Obtain Potion
"The historical account is genuinely interesting and heartfelt, and takes the time to make sure you know the names behind the game. The development of franchises as big as Mega Man are fascinating and don’t require a lot of embellishment to really grab you." - TechRaptor
"Pane does a great job of describing Mega Man 3 [...] Pane touches on the further development (and eventual decline) of the Mega Man franchise, the development of video game studies (and the challenges in preserving said games), and on the general rise of ‘retro’ gaming culture, and the subsequent rise in the price of NES game cartridges." - Dial H for Houston
More Reviews: Goodreads