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Mega Man 7

Just as it took years for the Mega Man X series to get its start on the SNES, the continuation of the original series did not come until the tail end of the SNES lifespan in the US.  Mega Man 7 was released in 1995 and unlike before is the only game in the main series on the system.

Picking up directly were Mega Man 6 left off Dr. Wily has finally been captured and is hauled off to jail.  However, a backup in case something like this ever happened releases 4 new robots to break him out of jail to wreak havoc on the world once again.  While giving pursuit Mega Man comes across a new robot called Bass with his own dog named Treble who inform him they are also fighting Wily after a brief skirmish.  And here the game begins.

They wasted no time showing off here!  I don’t blame them one bit though.

You retain all of your primary abilities from the previous games.  You run, jump, slide, and blast your way through the levels to beat the boss and steal their weapon for future use.  One new item that drops this time around are bolts that can be cashed in Auto’s shop.  The items he sells are more for convenience but some of them really do come in handy.  The only major addition to the game this time around comes in the form of Rush search, which allows Rush to sniff around for items wherever you are.  There are a massive amount of hidden items in the game you would never find without Rush search, some in ingenious locations.  These secrets are very handy, such as Protoman’s shield which allows you to block projectiles.

If you can find the letters RUSH you gain access to a combination of the power armor and jet adapter from Mega Man 6.  The boss weapons all have secondary functions that allow you to interact with the backgrounds in some way.  The Thunder Bolt for example can power up generators that will activate lights and platforms that are otherwise static.  They didn’t shake up the basic formula too much, however they did muck with what I believe was the defining trait of the series: the robot masters.

Unlike every other installment in the series with the exception of Part 1, you only get to choose from 4 robot masters initially.  After those 4 are defeated you then get to fight the remaining quartet.  This was a huge step back of one of the fundamentals of the MM series.  Half the fun of the games is that you have a large pool of potential targets to take out in whatever order you so choose.  Knowing that if you got your ass handed to you on one stage there were 7 other choices was awesome.  With that cut in half right from the start the proper “order” to tackle the bosses is a lot more cut and dry.  With the effective number of possible ways to run through the game cut the game’s replay value also takes a hit as a result.  Speaking of bosses, they are not as inspired as in previous episodes.  Shade Man just comes across as a bit silly and Junk Man is very reminiscent of Dust Man.

You only start out with 4 bosses!  4!  Who the hell thought that was a good idea?  Some of the Robot Masters are a bit hokey like Shade Man.  I get what they were going for but the homage to Ghouls & Ghosts can only carry him so far.

One thing that doesn’t disappoint are the graphics.  Capcom is known for having some of the best artists in the industry and they really went to town here.  The sprites are larger, the colors more vibrant, and the animation is fantastic.  Equal attention is given to the enemies as well as Mega Man himself.  The SNES color palette is given a thorough work out to make the world come to life.  It isn’t far-fetched to say that many of us wondered what the original series would like in 16-bit after the stellar work done with the X series.  I’m happy to say they did not disappoint.

The graphics and animation definitely do not disappoint.  It’s nearly cartoon like at times.

Its funny when you think about it but this is one of the weaker installments in the franchise.  Even with the amazing graphics you still have to take into consideration that this is the 7th installment in the main series and nothing was added to spice up the formula.  It’s doubly disappointing considering this came mere months before Mega Man X3 and that series really livened up the traditional blueprint of the series.  In spite of all that it is still worth your time if you can find it cheap.

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