Friday, September 02, 2011

Megaman 7

Better than the original NES games? Better find out?
Mega Man is a long standing series that started on the NES. 6 games were made before this one. But since his days on the NES, Mega Man games have made their way into the new generation, working their way in with various spin-offs, such as the Mega Man X series, Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Battle Network, and even Mega Man Zero, coming in various forms and in different gameplay aspects. Mega Man 7 is one of the last of the original series and was the only one released on the SNES. Despite all the fame that Mega Man 2 & 3 get, there are always good things where they lay hidden.

THE STORY: It has been six months since Dr. Wily was captured and finally imprisoned for his crimes, courtesy of the blue bomber we all know and love, Mega Man. Wily figured that he'd be captured eventually, and so he created four robot masters to automatically activate if they never got any word from him in six months. On cue, the robot masters activate and go to the city where the diabolical doctor is being held. Mega Man arrives on the scene, but he is too late when the robot masters rescue Dr. Wily and he flies off. Mega Man runs off to stop him, but is halted by a robot named Bass (pronounced "base", like the bass guitar). 

Bass and Mega Man do battle, and Bass is injured, and tells Mega Man that he and his robotic wolf companion Treble are out to defeat Dr. Wily as well. Later on, Bass becomes injured and Mega Man takes Bass back to Dr. Light for repairs. Much like in the previous titles, not everything is as it seems here. Mega Man must once again track down the wicked Dr. Wily and perhaps break the golden rule of robotics. Will he kill Dr. Wily? 

THE GRAPHICS: This is where the game really suffers, and goes so far as to affect the gameplay. The graphics look nice, but they didn't have to make everything so darned massive, which again, greatly hinders gameplay, possibly even causing some people to mess up on jumps because of the weird physics. The graphics look great but it sure was executed poorly. The environments, while well-detailed, often mesh together. It's something you'll have to play for yourself so you can see. This truly is a double-edged sword. 

THE SOUND: The music here once again definitely delivers, much as it did in past titles. The boss theme is extremely memorable and catchy. Some of the tunes feel fairly jazz-inspired as well, and some of them sounding fairly silly, like Cloud Man's theme, and Burst Man's. It's a really soundtrack, and the addition of the Ghosts 'N' Goblins song was a nice touch. The sound effects are great, vastly improved from it's NES predecessors, and Rush finally barks now! Bass gets a pretty wicked battle song when you fight him, as does the final battle with Wily. This soundtrack is definitely fantastic and worth a listen. 

THE GAMEPLAY: This is part of where the game suffer, because of the graphics, but before I talk about that, let's get to what makes this game good. Much like the Mega Man X series, the game starts off with an intro stage, which is pretty cool. It's an easy stage to help newcomers familiarize themselves with the gameplay before they get into the nitty-gritty. After beating the intro stage, you will gain access to four stages, each indicated by a robot master's mugshot. After beating those four stages, you will have a mid-stage so to speak, in the robot museum which is pretty cool, as you will see former robot masters sitting in tanks in the background. After beating that stage, you'll have access to the other four robot masters. Once all of them are defeated, you'll get to transverse Wily's latest fortress. 
The Wily stages are set stages that can't be specifically picked or chosen, you have to do them all right in a row. There are no passwords for starting part way through the fortress. Along the way, you'll pick up energy tanks and new abilities for Rush, such as Rush Search. Rush Search allows him to dig a hole in the ground and potentially find an item. Also new to this game is the shop. At the stage select screen, you can enter a shop and buy extra lives, energy tanks, and much more. The currency in this game are bolts which are dropped by enemies and hidden throughout levels. One of the stages even plays a Ghosts 'N' Ghouls song! So this game is packed full of cool extras. Now, how does the gameplay suffer, you ask? Well, like every Mega Man before it, it's a side-scrolling shoot-em-up, with a lot of platforming involved. Touching spikes will also kill you instantly. That is no different from any other Mega Man game. 
However, the game's graphics often cause things to mesh together way too often, sometimes even making it difficult to tell whether something is in the foreground or the background. In addition to this, everything is just so massive on the screen, including Mega Man. This often leads to a lot of unwelcome clunkiness, and makes it more difficult to dodge enemies and their attacks. Like every other Mega Man game, practice makes perfect, but this one still feels like a chore. 

OVERALL: It's not a bad entry to the series, it feels more like an experiment really. The screws and shop system became a permanent staple of the series, whereas the graphics were heavily improved when Mega Man 8 came out. Mega Man 8 isn't all that great by itself, but it plays better than Mega Man 7 in some respects. So they kept some good things from this game in the franchise, such as the shop system, and Bass and Treble. It's most certainly worth a play, just be ready to pull your hair out. You can find the cartridge at a used game store most likely, or you can get the game on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for the Gamecube and PS2. You're better off buying the latter so you can get all eight games, not to mention a few extras.



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