Mega Man 7 (SNES) Review

Mega Man 7

It’s been a good while since I finished my reviews of the original NES run of Mega Man games, and while I dipped my toe in Castlevania in the meantime (and will continue to do so!) I’ve fired up Mega Man 7 and continued my journey through the original line of Mega Man games, a line that now includes an 11th entry! So let’s have a look at the only 16-bit original Mega Man entry then, shall we?

Background:

Mega Man 7 5

What’s this?! I remembered to take a screenshot of the Robot Master screen?! Wow! It only took six previous tries…

Mega Man 7 was released on March 24th, 1995 in Japan, with a US release on September 1st and a European one November 20th, all the same year. The game was an oddity as it was released in the middle of the Mega Man X games, a series praised for reinvigorating the series, and therefore the game was harshly reviewed as being too old-fashioned at the time…

The Robot Masters in MM7 are, if nothing else, more detailed than previous entry thanks to the graphical upgrade, and you actually fight them in batches of four, rather than having your choice of all eight. The first four you can choose are Cloud Man (can fly and fire lightning), Freeze Man (it took seven entries to call someone “Freeze Man”?), Junk Man (throws junk, gives you the “Junk Shield”, which is just the old items revolving around you thing that appears every entry, seemingly) and Burst Man (uses bubbles, Bubble Man already having been taken in MM2). The next four are Spring Man (Springs around the place), Slash Man (jumps around and slashes you), Shade Man (looks like a vampire / bat, swoops down and grabs you. He gives you the “Noise Crush” which can fire bursts of sound that can echo off of walls) and Turbo Man (he can turn into a race car!).

Along with Dr. Wiley and his machines and a few sub bosses, there is also Bass and his dog Treble, who turn out to be on the side of Wiley, and a supped-up version of Crash Man, which was fun. You can also find and fight Proto Man, gaining his shield, if you go down a certain route.

Gameplay:

Mega Man 7 2

This is where things get a little weird…

The gameplay is still very much the same. Run to the right, blast your blaster, or charge it up for a bigger charge shot, and jump and platform all over the place. Every time you defeat a boss you gain a new sub-weapon, and each boss is weak to a certain sub-weapon, giving the fights a thin layer of strategy. There are several new power ups separate from the Robot Master rewards, including the usual robot dog Rush stuff (flying along the level and springing you up higher) and you can also get the ability for Rush to find key items and health/power up refills using “Rush Search”. Collecting the letters “R-U-S-H” gives you the Rush Adapter form from MM6, with the jetpack part being particularly useful.

There is a shop system as well, where you collect bolts during the level and use them to buy upgrades and refill items. I had no idea this was a thing until over half way through the game I decided to look up what bolts did… You access the shop by pressing Start on the Stage Select screen, you see, and nowhere is this indicated as a thing you can do! Well, it was probably in the instruction manual, I guess… There is also a hidden Versus Mode, accessable only via a specific password. It’s good for a laugh, I assume… I didn’t have a second player to try it out with…

Overall though, very traditional to the formula established in the previous six games. Eight stages, then some Wiley Castle stages, then re-fighting all eight bosses before the finale. Speaking of the final boss, I had heard that it was really difficult and that it’s why most people are down on the game, so imagine my surprise when I did it, I think, my sixth try? Under 10, anyway. Maybe playing all previous six entries and two GBA Castlevanias has just made me better at action platforming than I would have ever imagined? That would be a funny thought given how bad I was in my youth…

Graphics and Sound:

Mega Man 7 4

A preview of Jurassic World III (They’ve completely lost it!)

The graphics are a nice upgrade thanks to the SNES and its extra Bits. Chunky sprites, detailed stages… it’s got that nice 16-bit charm, though I have to say everything screams “Mega Man X” while you play. I’m only passingly familiar with the series, but the bosses especially make me think of that series instead.

Sound is a good upgrade as well, unless you really like 8-bit chiptunes, obviously. Some catchy songs (especially some of the Wiley Castle and final “Wiley Capsule” stages) and very SNES-y soundeffects. It’s a good time audibly, that’s for sure.

Story:

Mega Man 7 1

Damn, Mega Man using the logic part of his brain for once!

Wiley is in prison after the events of the previous game, but he’s soon broken out by some new allies and tries to take over the world using eight Robot Masters again. Mega Man travels around, defeats the Masters, then Wiley’s new allies Bass and Treble, then Wiley himself. I loved the final cutscene where Mega Man nearly just flat-out kills the evil Doctor because he’s fed up of his constant re-attempting to conquer the world, his “soul” is only saved when some roofing lands on Wiley instead…

Thoughts Now:

Mega Man 7 3

Argh, this was so frustrating! I just couldn’t get the spring jump timing right…

Mega Man 7 was a joy to play through (with the exception of parts of Spring Man’s stage!), so it’s a shame it’s the only 16-bit entry in the series. Obviously if I want more 16-bit Mega Man I could just jump across to the MMX series, but let’s at least finish the original series first before thinking about moving on to anything else!

4 Star Game New

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