perjantai 20. elokuuta 2010

REVIEW - Mega Man 7 (1995)

Genre(s): Action / Platform
Released: 1995
Available on: SNES
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Players: 1

Just a couple of months before the release of Mega Man X3, Capcom surprisingly returned to the original Mega Man series and “graced” the SNES with its first and only original Mega Man installment. As predicted, the game flopped commercially and isn’t held in very high regard by anyone but the most hardcore followers of the franchise. Frankly? The world would’ve done fine without the game.

Blue Bummer

Six months after Mega Man finally managed to get Dr. Wily behind bars, four of the mad scientist’s creations come to life according to a emergency protocol of finding and rescuing their master. Mega Man forgets about his early retirement and sets out to eliminate the crazed weapons of mass destruction before they can reach and free his arch nemesis.

Mega Man’s vintage blue look is brought back, heavily updated. The moderately large sprites look decent, but the game is way too colourful. It looks like it was designed exclusively for kids. I don’t know what they were thinking with the game’s look and character design. Makoto Tomozawa and Yuko Takehara, both of whom worked on the music for Mega Man X, make a return but they clearly aren’t in their most creative mood. There are some magnificent tunes, but a lot of unmemorable, even downright crappy material.

There’s not much to say about this game but I predict it’s still going to be the longest Mega Man review thus far, we’ll see. First of all, it’s depressive. Really depressive. Why? Well, that should be quite obvious. Even though the look carried through the original series is graphically renewed and brought to the 16-bit, the game is still exactly the same. It’s the same old rule: if something has changed about it, it’s a change for the worse. The game borrows a lot of irrelevant stuff from Mega Man X, leaving the most useful elements such as the wall kick out.

Not ALL of the game looks like total shit...
The most important addition to the game is the store, familiar to those who have played Game Boy’s series. Screws are collected, just like any other items, and used as currency in the store. Now I have a confession to make: I didn’t read the manual. I didn’t find the store until I really got stuck in one of the stages. Then I started to think: ain’t there supposed to be some sort of store in the game? I had tried absolutely everything in my power to find it. Then it turned out that this store had indeed been there the whole time; you have to push the Select button in the Stage Select screen to get there. There is absolutely no notion of this in the game. Now, what was so hard about writing “Press Select to enter Store” on the screen? Well, at least I had collected a shitload of screws by that point. I bought all the energy tanks I could carry and carried on with the game, triumphantly – but felt depressed, because the store would’ve helped me out of some really shitty situations numerous times before. The game keeps a lot of info from the player, the store is just an example.

One of the items on sale is some sort of an item that allows you to leave a stage in midway, but only if you’ve already beaten that particular stage. What the fuck is the point to pay for something like that? Exiting an already beaten stage should be a free option all the time! It can’t be that hard to understand why!

The returning Rush still has the Coil ability, and it luckily works in the same way as it did before it went all shit in Mega Man 5. His only other ability is Search, which is used to find hidden, but standard articles such as screws and health items. Pretty useless, I’d say. Rush plaques are hidden in the first four stages of the game, and finding them all grants Mega Man a Super Adaptor, which allows him to use both of the special functions from Mega Man 6 – the jetpack and the iron fist. Believe me, you’ll find yourself pretty much forced to find the plaques, just like the Zero parts in Mega Man X2.

The level design and the bosses suck ass, period. There’s a lot of totally random stuff in one single stage, all of which can kill you quite easily. One horrid example is Turbo Man’s (LOL) stage. First, there’s a trap door. Falling through it won’t kill you, but forces you to take the long route; you drop ridiculously far from where you were. With so much going on all the time, you can safely expect to fall through the very same trap door several times. Even if you manage to avoid it, you still have the looming threat of falling on spikes that come straight after. Then there are unavoidable flames to... well, avoid, and a miniboss battle, in which, once again, you are given no notion of how to defeat ‘em and proceed. Even if you’re using the correct weapon, the enemy doesn’t seem to mind your shots at all. A very familiar problem returns – the ridiculous respawning rate of enemies, possibly worse than ever, but get this: it only seems to apply to certain situations. The wrong ones, usually. As a matter of fact, sometimes enemies don’t respawn at all. So is the game fucking with you? Probably.

God, the dialogue's stupid. And completely
Don’t be fooled by the game’s violently bad storyline. Yes, in the beginning Dr. Wily is in prison and there are only four Robot Masters to fight. You know how it all will go down. There are a few additional, quite short stages in the game which advance the storyline. One of these, that follows the destruction of the fourth and “final” Robot Master, brings in four additional bosses. Well, of course! Of course there are supposed to be eight of these bastards! Did you really think you would be done after dealing with four of them? From there on out, the game carries on exactly like any other Mega Man game, with that asshole Dr. Wily cooped up in his fortress, and I’m very sorry but it bores the shit out of me!

I have to be honest – as I’m writing this, I haven’t beaten the game but it’s not because it’s difficult or anything. Actually, it’s pretty easy. After all, at first you have only four stages to choose from. That kind of narrows things down; it’s very easy to get started. I haven’t beaten the game because it’s so damn boring, the same old game in new, fancy 16-bit packaging. Some would say Mega Man isn’t what it is without this same old formula, but I absolutely can’t stand it. Plus, I think it’s ugly and the bosses SUCK! Also, adding dialogue and emotional conversation between robots in a traditional Mega Man game is just fake. This isn’t Mega Man X. The original Mega Man has always been more or less Dr. Light’s cybernetic lapdog despite a few inner searches in the past, he’s no expert in humane communication. Yet, here he is, hanging out with his “sister” Roll, talking shit and making threats, and caring for others. There are a couple of whole new characters, of which Bass is actually quite cool, but his personality suffers from the bad dialogue as well.

At times, the game’s kinda difficult. The difficulty level takes a huge leap when you reach the final stages. However, thanks to the endless stock of energy tanks and the fact that all of the final stages now have their own passwords, the game is a piece of cake to any Mega Man veteran. Mega Man 7 is an immensely boring and disappointing Mega Man installment. I really thought Capcom would’ve bothered to put in just a little more effort. It’s really hard to find any point in the game’s release, especially in a time the X series thrived and it hadn’t been too long since the previous release in the original series. Recommendable to hardcores only, and only remotely.

Graphics : 6.9
Sound : 7.1
Playability : 6.0
Challenge : 7.2
Overall : 6.0


a.k.a. Mega Man VII, Rockman 7: A Destined Confrontation (JAP)

GameRankings: 70.77%

The last game in the series to be released exclusively on a Nintendo system.

The Japanese know Bass and his dog Treble as Forte and Gospel, respectively.

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