Rare Video Game Review: Mega Man 7

January 8, 2010 at 12:02 am Leave a comment

The mission statement of this blog is to watch free You Tube and Hulu movies, trying to find the hidden treasures in those piles of trash or to find the movies only bad movie fans could enjoy. To be honest, I’ve gotten a little worn down but I do plan on getting back into the swing of that soon. In the meantime, I have had a lot of other pans on the stove.

While on Christmas break, I was with some friends and beat Mega Man 9, which was an awesome game. What they did was make a new 8-bit Mega Man, in the spirit of all the old games. And it was so much fun, particularly for a big Mega Man fan like me. I grew up with all the old 8-bit games and think of them all fondly. For some reason though, I didn’t follow Mega Man into the 16-bit SNES era. There was only one regular Mega Man game on SNES. For some reason Capcom focused on the Mega Man X series, which is good but doesn’t hold the same place in my heart.  Anyway, my friend had looked up some Mega Man fan sites while I was playing the game. It seemed that everyones least favorite Mega Man was Mega Man 7 on SNES. I couldn’t remember the first thing about that game. So when I got back home, I decided to invest a little bit of time into playing it. I have the Mega Man Anniversary Collection on PS2, which is a great collection. It has Mega Man’s 1-8 all on one disk, although with some extras I don’t care about.

The game isn’t the worst ever or anything like that. It is really disappointing as a Mega Man entry. For starters, the controls are really stiff compared to the 8-bit games. It could be because I was playing it on PS2 but none of the other Mega Man games gave me that kind of problem. The levels are pretty forgettable, which is unforgivable for a Mega Man game. The only level I really remember well is Shade Man’s and that is because its a spooky Dracula’s castle sort of thing. I also remember Turbo Man’s stage for it’s laughable design and just plain idiocy. Wily’s Castle isn’t that bad. If anything, its too easy. The most difficult part seems to be Wily’s last form and Treble and Bass.

Where this game gets really stupid is with the Robot Masters. The Robot Masters are each of the mini-bosses you have to face, beat, take their weapon, then when you beat them all move on the Wily’s castle. This is seven games in, so it’s understandable that they would be less inspired than earlier games. But I was not prepared for the depths they would sink to. The idea in the earlier games was all the Robot Masters were created to perform functions that humans were unwilling or unable to do. So they all had a job and a purpose before Wily programmed them for evil. I really question the purpose of some of these Robot Masters. Shade Man is a vampire robot. Can anyone explain to me what purpose a vampire robot would have? All I can figure is they wanted involuntary blood donors so they made Shade Man to go out and attack people, drinking their blood. Turbo Man, who is a horrible transformers knock off.  He is a robot that turns into a car. What realistic purpose would that have? Why wouldn’t you just build cars? Oh and they gave him sunglasses, so you know he’s cool. Umm…. no he’s not. You shoot him with Shade Man’s Noise Crush, he turns into a car and charges you. You easily jump over him then do it again. So not only does he look like a complete dork, has a dreadful stage, but he is also easier to beat than the Detroit Lions. His weapon, The Surge Wheel, is completely worthless. You get a fire shield that surrounds Mega Man as long as you hold down the button. Like most shields in Mega Man games, it blocks nothing. Then you throw it across the room. It does about as much damage as the Mega Buster so it’s not worth using. Burst Man is weak against it but it’s easer to just use the Mega Buster. Burst Man has a bubble weapon that carries Mega Man into a ceiling of spikes. With the Mega Buster you easily shoot your way out and that’s that. With Surge Wheel, your as good as impaled.

Another ripped off Robot Master is Slash Man. He is pretty much just Wolverine from the X-Men.  His weapon is the Slash Claw. It’s effective against Spring Man but other than that, its range is too short to really be useful. I don’t remember his stage all that well.  Why Marvel didn’t sue the pants off Capcom for Slash Man is beyond me. And why Slash Man wasn’t laughed out of the creative meeting is also a mystery. “Hey Ted, let’s make a Robot Master that is Wolverine from the X-Men!” Talk about no imagination. While they were at it they should have just based all the Robot Masters on X-Men. That might have been a better idea. I’d love to have laser eyes, teleportation, telepathy, and magnetism for Mega Man weapons.

The other Robot Masters are just meh. Spring Man, Junk Man, Freeze Man, Cloud Man, and Burst Man are all ok. Freeze Man leaves me wondering how many more words based on ice they can use for Robot Masters. By the time you get the Freeze Man your kind of at the bottom of the cold barrel. But of course, what would a Mega Man game be without an ice level. Or a water level. That is where Burst Man comes in. He shoots bubbles. But we already had a Bubble Man in part 2, so what do we call him. Um, burst? Sure, why not. Cloud Man is probably my favorite. The only problem I have with him is that if you have Burst Man’s Danger Wrap, he is really easy to beat.

Oh yes, the weapon names. Burst Man’s Danger Wrap. I know they wanted to called it bubble wrap. Why didn’t they just do it. Danger Wrap? What is so dangerous about it. You put a guy in a bubble and he blows up. And it is one of the few weapons that is actually useful.  A lot of the stage enemies that are usually impossible to beat, like the disks that move quickly on the ground unless you shoot them then they are just stunned for a few seconds. Those can usually never be killed. This time, Bubble Wrap is all you need. Then there the Freeze Man’s Freeze Cracker. It is not a frozen Ritz with Peanut butter. It is just a freeze beam that if it hits a wall goes in six directions. Where did they get cracker from that? Noise Crush, Wild Coil, Surge Wheel, Junk Shield. These are some odd names. The Junk Shield is true to its name, it’s junk. It doesn’t block anything. At best, you can use it to run blindly into some enemies and kill them, exactly once before it wares off. Wild Coil bounces off either side of Mega Man and usually skips over enemies.  Really, all you need in this game is the usual Rush items and the Super Adaptor, which gives Mega Man a jet pack and a heat seeking fist when you charge up the Mega Buster.  You can get through most of this game with the Mega Buster and jet pack though.

One of the most insidious things this game does is some of the enemies have a flame weapon. Not unusual except what it does is sets Mega Man on fire and slowly drains his energy. Wily does this in his last form and it messes you up. Worse, what Wily shoots is heat seeking and nearly impossible to avoid. The only advice I have for Wily’s last form is to use the Freeze Cracker to hit him when he appears on the top of the screen and don’t get set on fire. Oh, and bring a lot of energy tanks with you.  Wily also has a weapon that freezes Mega Man in a block of ice. It completely messes up your timing but thankfully doesn’t hurt as much as being set ablaze.

The ending is hardly worth the effort. Spoiler Alert. As usually, Dr. Wily is on his hands and knees begging for mercy. Either we get some bad Japanese translation or Mega Man turned into a red neck. Mega Man charges up his Mega Buster and says “I gonna do something I should have done a long time ago.” Wily is shocked as am I. What got into Mega Man that suddenly he wants to murder Dr. Wily with a blast to the face at point blank range? This is strange for Nintendo, who also demanded squeaky cleanness from all it’s video game characters. This is really out of character for him. Wily then says “But robots can’t harm humans.” Mega Man’s answer “I am much more than a robot.” Fortunately, an earthquake hits and a beam falls on Dr. Wily, pinning him to the floor. Mega Man just stands there like a moron. It’s as good a time as any to kill Wily if thats Mega Man’s plan. No, he just stands there. Then Bass’s dog Treble shows up to protect Wily, barks at Mega Man whom then backs off. They teleport Wily out of the building, leaving it open for another sequel. Then we get the perfectly disappointing ending to a disappointing game. The credits roll against black. In every other Mega Man game, you get splash screens with the Robot Masters or Mega Man playing around with Roll, Rush or Auto. But in this game the Robot Masters don’t get to take a bow. In fact, we get no resolution at all. Just a “Thanks for Playing” from our good friends at Capcom.

Mega Man deserved so much better than this. Almost every other 8-bit legend got a great game for the 16-bit SNES. Mega Man ended up getting lost in the shuffle. He was given exactly one half-hearted game then not seen or heard from until the Playstation’s Mega Man 8 and the Virtual Consoul’s Mega Man 9. This game just about killed the franchise, which is really sad. Mega Man did live on in Mega Man X, Mega Man Legends, and Mega Man Battle Network series. But there was nothing like the original Mega Man series. I’m glad they have brought it back. It’s just too bad they abandoned him for so many years.


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