Mega Man 7 (SNES) review
"How often is it that you come across someone... or something, that at first, you like and think that it shows lots of promise? Then, it goes further and further up, and then you grow to like it all the more? And then, out of nowhere, it just drops to amazingly low levels and evolves into something that is just plain putrid? I know, it has happened to me several times before. Out of all of those "special" occasions, the one with my worst memories belongs within the Mega Man series. "
How often is it that you come across someone... or something, that at first, you like and think that it shows lots of promise? Then, it goes further and further up, and then you grow to like it all the more? And then, out of nowhere, it just drops to amazingly low levels and evolves into something that is just plain putrid? I know, it has happened to me several times before. Out of all of those "special" occasions, the one with my worst memories belongs within the Mega Man series.
Mega Man 7 continues in the line for the fantastic Mega Man NES series, although this time it got off of the good old NES for the first time. In this case, exactly, Mega Man 1 and 2 showed lots of promise, and then Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 5 brought me great love for the series. Mega Man 7 was where the series started to go downhill, and then ended horribly with Mega Man 8, but that's another review. In spite of that, Mega Man 7 still carried on in the steps of legendary gameplay that the NES Mega Mans left behind. That was non-linearity.
Instead of the mindless coin-collecting platform silliness of today's likes, the Mega Man series brought a screen with the faces of eight enemies on it. Would you dare to select, it would take you through a terror-filled level, and then ended in an exciting dogfight with a boss. Unfortunately, Mega Man 7 leaves that slightly and first brings you four bosses to fight. After those four bosses are defeated, four more would appear. A perfect thing for one to do, I might say! Spoil the classic non-linearity!
After Mega Man goes down in history as one who could defeat one of Dr. Wily's creations, with his first fight being only with his regular arm gun, Mega Man is then given the weapon of that poor robot who's system was torn to pieces. An example is Freeze Man's weapon, which enables Mega Man to fire an ice crystal which can freeze enemies and fire, as well as break into small pieces and hit any surrounding enemies.
Capcom DID, however, make up for the non-linearity by making each weapon quite useful. Good examples are that with the Scorch Wheel, you can burn down trees and find hidden paths behind them. See a very inactive elevator that'll take you to a particularly nice item above but needs to be powered first? That's where the Thunder Bolt comes in handy. Or are you just tired of the small spikey enemies on platforms in which you'll have to jump across, but risk getting pushed into the bottomless pit below? The Danger Wrap, which will wrap them in a bubble and blow them away, is there to help!
Mixing and matching with the robot masters is still something quite possible in Mega Man 7, although it's still not quite as enjoyable. It's still quite preferable to have the right weapon in a particular boss fight, and there's still some guessing to be done about what weapon damages which boss. It's common sense that scissors would cut up Spring Man, but what will bring the large Cloud Man down? That's definitely a little harder to figure out in your head, to say the least.
That's where it's time to pick a point where Mega Man 7 fails moreso than any of the NES titles. As you may have guessed by the names of Spring Man and Freeze Man, oh the creativity! For shame, Capcom! The unoriginality in Shade Man and Slash Man is just too much for my poor soul! The "man, my pants are falling off, I'm scared..." feeling of Burst Man and Turbo Man brings me to a world of pure shame! Some of the stages, though, are very nice, especially Shade Man's. There's a pitch black room around the end. You can't see a thing but your enemies and your own self, and there are spikes everywhere. Now THAT is at least a little intimidating. There are unlit candles around the place, so if you happen to have the Scorch Wheel, you can get them burning. You also, 100% guaranteed, have the Thunder Bolt, which can light the way temporarily.
Mega Man 7 has a feature added to the series -- that you can buy things from your friend Auto. Extra lives and E-Tanks can be purchased for 40 and 60 bolts respectively; some other useful doohickeys are also for sale, but for quite the price. Little things like parts for a Super Adaptor, a Hyperbolt that makes Auto's creations easier, an adaptor that allows Mega Man to jetboard in midair, and many other things can be found here. Hell, there's even an item that allows you to search under things for items! Are we straying from the series or what? I liked these features, but I feel that the Mega Man series should stay what it was on the NES forever. Not with this stuff!
The impression that most of the people would get from playing Mega Man 7 at first is, "Mega Man 6 remains at the bottom of the difficulty level, but what happened to the challenge from Mega Man 5, really?" Aside from the incredibly annoying Burst Man, there is almost no difficulty level in Mega Man 7 in the robot master section. With low health, you can get killed by a boss intentionally, and then restored at full health and ready to fight them. In that brief time lapse, you'll have already learned their patterns and everything they'll do. With the exception of possibly Slash Man, almost all of them can be beaten easily with the buster. Once it gets to Dr. Wily's castle, it gets you platform jumping with no light, with jumps you'll have to make at some unseen times in the course. And this is all over midair. I need say no more.
Adding to the overwhelming number of flaws that Mega Man 7 has, I can imagine a conversation going on at Capcom, going along these lines from a Capcom executive: "Alright, I know that the NES games did look fun enough for even a kid to play, but remember that seven year olds will be playing the game. We need to make it bright and colorful all the way!" This, unfortunately, didn't work. All of the stages are really bright and cheery; it's like a circus! This adds a very "kiddy" feeling to the game, it smacks a common teenager like myself very hard, right in the bad areas. After a while you grow used to it, but it takes practice. The boss designs are particularly "un-evil". Spring Man's name, for one, says it all!
Bringing in the worst music the whole series has ever seen, Mega Man 7 fails to capture any of the atmosphere in any place you go. Trying to impress, but failing miserably, the game will just give you boring, uninspired music. Sadly enough, all of the music seems very quiet, making it even more insomniac-inducing to listen to. Freeze Man's and Turbo Man's themes are very dull, Shade Man's would be good had it been louder, and Cloud Man and Spring Man present terribly childish music. Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3 had excellent Dr. Wily music that made you catch the feeling of the area. In this one... it's just "meh".
While some of the NES games, especially the third title, just addicted me and couldn't get me to stop playing (and made me want to replay them), Mega Man 7 turns me off and since I beat it I have no plans for playing it again. The Mega Man series has betrayed those it was true to, and it even goes down from this game! (Mega Man 8 is the worst game in which the Blue Bomber has ever had his name on). This is a perfect case of what was something that was promising and held to be quite true but was a defying backstabber. To get it on SNES, you would likely to have to pay a lot to get it used. If you _really_ wish to play it, it comes in the Mega Man Anniversary Collection on PS2 and GC. You'll get six much better games, to boot.
We can only hope the Blue Bomber tries to save himself, later...
Community review by gbness (November 29, 2004)
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