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Up from (Super) Obscurity

As I mentioned last week, over the years my coverage of SNES games has included saying any ol' thing something about a game starting with every letter of the alphabet...except 3.
Last week I talked about my first game for the letter "I", and this week, it's...
Q*Bert 3, the SNES's only North American-released "Q" game
At first, I thought I was painted into a corner: what can you say about Q*Bert 3 that you couldn't say about the arcade classic, Q*Bert?
Yes, it's got nice and addictive arcade gameplay,
but more importantly and they've used the SNES's extra horsepower to give it both nifty graphics
AND take the basic premise to the next level.
But what could I say that's won't require research new and interesting? The answer hit me like a ton of laziness bricks:
Wait, was there a Q*Bert 2?
The NES had a port of Q*Bert. Gameboy had a port of Q*Bert...but, was there a Q*Bert 2 released for a Nintendo console in North America? I THINK NOT!
And that got me thinking: there are a lot of SNES games that have the number 3 (or Roman Numeral III) on their names, which can't accurately trace their North American-released Nintendo-linage through 1 and 2...and the more I thought, and the more I read, I knew I had hit on an easy article something!
Not only are there more "False 3-s" than "Solid, Actual 3-s", but there are so many different KINDS of False 3-s, I had to break them into categories. So sit back while I take you through a title-screen tour of...
The Super Nintendo's 'Q'-omedic Rule of Threes:
Movie Titles with "3" in them!
Let's start with a cop-out easy one: these are based on Movie Titles that contain the number 3, either because its the 3rd movie in the series (a series that did not have parts 1 & 2 on a Nintendo platform of the era), or whose title just had "3" in it anyway.
Spiffed-up Arcade Ports where the number "3" doesn't have a full lineage
As I mentioned, the NES and Gameboy have basically identical ports of Q*bert. But while Choplifter 2 appeared on the Gameboy, 8-bit Choplifter only received a Fanticom release in Japan.
Too Many Games, Not Enough Sequential Numbers:
While the state-side NES and Gameboy had several Gradius follow-up games (Life Force and Gradius: Nemesis), there wasn't specifically a Gradius 2. Similarly, the NES had Contra, Super C and Contra Force, while the Gameboy had several Contra games as well...but no Contra 2!
Sega Transplants:
The Super Nintendo saw two Sega franchises appear under Nintendo's banner, and they started them off with the number "III": R-Type III (The Third Lightning) and Ys III, aka, Wanderers from Ys
Wow, that's a lot of false-3s!
Yup, my minimal research has uncovered eight false "3-s" on the SNES in North America. It's quite impressive, considering I can only think of two categories that had LEGITIMATE 3-quels:
Legit 3-s that started pre-SNES, yet muddied the waters with many other games
So Kirby's Dreamland had a Part 1 and Part 2...on the Gameboy. Also, Kirby appeared on the NES in Kirby's Adventure, plus several (surprisingly enjoyable) mini-game cartridges on the Gameboy AND SNES, before his "flagship" game got its SNES sequel.
And yes, the NES had Final Fantasy, and North American SNES players received Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III; but if you know anything about the Final Fantasy series's Japanese vs. American sequel-numbering know why I'm getting a headache just thinking about where to send you for more information.
(and that's not even counting North America's Gameboy spinoffs, in the form of Final Fantasy Legend I and II)
But really, the most solid 3-peats of the SNES...
...had parts 1, 2 and 3 on the SNES.
Final Fight 3, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
Mega Man X3, and Mortal Kombat 3
But that's not to say that even THEY didn't muddy the waters a little...
...but of all the SNES ambiguous-lineage sequels, this one's my favorite!
(seeing as how we have the same last name!)
So, here's the final Fight count:
  1. Legitimate "3-s": 6, (but only two that started before the SNES)
  2. Bogus "3-s": 8
And you know what's the weirdest thing about North American SNES's short-changing the Number 3?
The flagship titles that could have legitimately been called "Part 3!"
— carlmarksguy, 2015-08-24
To be fair, Super Metroid DOES say "METROID 3" in the intro.
Ahh, you're absolutely right, I just watched the pre-title-screen sequence again. (I went by either the title screen or the text on top of the cartridge). It's funny, 'A Link to the Past' never calls itself Zelda III (...does it?)
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