After having 6 entries on the NES, in 1995, Mega Man made his classic series debut on the SNES. Mega Man X was technically the first SNES Mega Man game in 1993, but the X series and classic series are separate franchises. Mega Man 7 is an interesting game, as some people love it, considering it their favorite of the classic series, while others consider it the absolute low point of the series. Is this game a 16-bit Gem or should Mega Man 7 be left in the 90s?
The gameplay of Mega Man 7 follows the same formula that we all know, but is different in its own way. First off, this game doesn’t try to throw many curveballs. Dr. Wily is the main villain from the start, which is fine by me, since after three straight games being hijacked by Wily I wouldn’t believe it if he wasn’t the main villain in this one. Mega Man 7 has an intro stage, a series first. This intro stage introduces the plot and a new character: Bass. Bass is a robot created by Dr. Wily that becomes Mega Man’s rival. Bass mirrors Mega Man in many ways; he has a robot dog companion named Treble, and fights for what he personally believes is right. Mega Man 7 has a lot more dialogue in it than the NES Mega Man games, with Mega Man talking with Bass, Dr. Wily, Auto: the Robot companion of Dr. Light, and Roll: Mega Man’s sister semi frequently in the game. After the intro stage, you’ll probably be shocked to find that there are only four Robot Masters to take on, but after they’re defeated, Dr. Wily breaks four more out of the Robot Museum and Mega Man has to take them on. The new Robot Masters in this game are Freeze Man, Junk Man, Burst Man, Cloud Man, Spring Man, Slash Man, Shade Man, and Turbo Man (Not from Jingle All The Way). A new aspect of the gameplay is Auto’s shop. Sometimes when you defeat an enemy, instead of dropping energy, they drop a bolt, which can vary in size. The larger the bolt, the more valuable it is. You can find Auto’s bolt at one point, which halves all of the prices of items. These bolts are great, but none compare to the Golden Bolt’s game reviews. You can buy items like E Tanks and Lives in the shop, but powerups are also available. Most of these powerups are findable in the main levels though, so I wouldn’t recommend buying them unless you can’t find them. These Powerups are the Exit Part, which lets you leave any level, the energy equalizer, which we’ve discussed before, Proto Man’s Shield, which is gained after finding Proto Man in a few stages and defeating him, and Beat. Rush has Rush Coil and Jet back, but also has the new Search Ability, which lets him find items in the ground. Finally, the best powerup in the game by far is the Super Adapter. By finding the letters that spell out R-U-S-H in the first four stages, Mega Man gets the Rush Adaptor back, but instead of having jet and power separately, they’re combined into one, making Mega Man super powerful when equipped with it. Mega Man can also find the Hyper Rocket Buster later on, letting the shots lock on. Mega Man 7 can be really fun, but can also be quite difficult. The main eight Robot Master stages aren’t too difficult, but the Wily Castle stages are very frustrating. The stages can be stressful to get through, and the bosses are very difficult. Actually, pretty much all of the bosses in Mega Man 7 are difficult. Mega Man 7 as a whole feels like a slower game than the NES titles, and this can hinder the gameplay a bit. When coming in to 7 right after 6, my timing is a bit off, and I can mess up on sections where I would never mess up in the NES games. The sprites for Mega Man and the other Robot Masters are larger than the NES game sprites too, making Mega Man a large target. I feel that the hitboxes are also weirder in this game, and this combined with the sluggishness and large sprites makes the game artificially difficult. The controls are surprisingly unhindered by the sluggishness, as once I get used to the timing, I have no issues. The gameplay of Mega Man 7 is good on paper, but is hindered by technical issues.
The music and graphics of Mega Man 7 are fantastic, but at this point, is that a surprise? The music is very catchy and takes advantage of the SNES’s sound quality. Mega Man 7’s soundtrack is probably in my top 5 Mega Man soundtracks. The graphics are in my opinion the best aged part of the game. Mega Man games looked good on the NES, but this game is on another level. Everything has a ton of detail, and the overall aesthetic of the game is great. Mega Man 7 still looks and sounds amazing.
Mega Man 7 is definitely not the greatest Mega Man game. The gameplay has potential, but technical issues really hurt the game. The music and graphics are great, but they can’t make up for the gameplay having problems. I personally love Mega Man 7, I have fun playing it, but just because I like it doesn’t mean that the game hasn’t aged. Mega Man 7 has not aged well.