Mega Man Zero 3 (2004) reviews

Thought this was solid but it's kinda obvious they don't have many new ideas. Cyber-elves are revamped for some reason: satellite elves are a cool idea, even though it's pretty much all Animal elves, but "fusion" makes no sense as a term; e-crystals are so easy to get and there's a cyber elf you get to double drops pretty early that e-crystals still might as well not exist; the leveling system is confusing and unclear; permanent upgrades are also unclear; some elves are just straight better than others. Attaining EX skills is still kind of dumb and rankings are just padding, especially with the new armor parts and elemental types and especially because you can get a bunch of "A-rank" cyber elves very early. Secret disks are more padding. That computer stage in the second half where you have to find the four correct doors is more padding. Too much dialogue, especially before boss fights (at least it's skippable). I still can't imagine playing this on an actual GBA without the save assist points, doubly so if I had to sit through all that dumb dialogue every time. They changed the rod again and the new form is only used intermittently. Cyberspace feels pointless and isn't really addressed diagetically.

The level design is great, the armor parts system is the exact right kind of addition this game, weapon upgrade system is way improved (a) by removing the levelling system and (b) adding more cyber elves to upgrade weapons, the character upgrades finally feel meaningful (with an extra step for some reason), and other than the fire bug thing the bosses are fun. But yeah the changes they made seem superfluous and things that could have been changed still haven't. The "twist" reveal at the end is fine but doesn't necessarily add anything thematically. There's a solid game under here, but no more or less than MMZ2.