So we’ve left the NES era and now it’s on to 16-bit territory. And in 1994, we got the next installment of the Mega Man series…Mega Man X. Huh? Where’s 7? Well Capcom decided to make a new series in the Mega Man mythos, probably wanting to freshen up the series, but people found it to be great and probably didn’t have a problem with this new version of what people grew up with. Nevertheless, one year later, the now deemed classic Mega Man returned for his own next installment, but what can this game do that X can’t?
Mega Man 7, known as Rockman 7: Shukumei no Taiketsu! (ロックマン7 宿命の対決! Rokkuman Sebun Shukumei no Taiketsu!, “Rockman 7: Showdown of Destiny!”), developed and published by Capcom. It was published in Europe by Laguna Video Games and distributed in the UK by Marubeni. The game was released in 1995 worldwide.
So if you played Mega Man 6, the blue bomber finally put Dr. Wily in prison…this doesn’t last long. You see, Wily prepared for the worst and made four robot masters, he would give them six months to activated if he didn’t make it back to the lab. Six months pass and the Robot Masters have been activated and are causing havoc in the city, as well as freeing Dr. Wily. So of course, Mega Man is tasked to do what he always do…until he’s stopped by Treble and Bass (ahhah, ahhah). But just who is this black and purple version of Mega Man and his robot dog Rush?
Well since this game is a jump to the SNES, let’s first talk about the graphics and level design…but why should I, it’s Capcom, it’s always fantastic and this game is no different, everything is detailed to the touch, it’s brighter, it’s beautiful, it’s Capcom’s art design. The music unfortunately is underwhelming and even the boss battle music is a bit goofy, so that’s overall weak, which is a shame since Mega Man is known for its fantastic music. Though there is an easter egg piece that I like, for obvious reasons, I still have the nightmares.
Once again, the format hasn’t exactly changed, but what’s new pussycat? Oh, I mean Doraemon? Instead of fighting eight Robot Masters, we fight four, as shown in the intro, Freeze Man and his Freeze Cracker, Cloud Man and his Thunder Bolt, Burst Man and his Danger Wrap, and Junk Man and his Junk Shield. However, after beating all four of those Robot Masters, you defeat an additional boss and then battle ANOTHER four Robot Masters. Well this is Mega Man; you don’t really expect to defeat just a measly four. The next set includes Slash Man and his Slash Claws, Spring Man and his Wild Coil, Shade Man and his Noise Crush, and Turbo Man and his Scorch Wheel. I don’t know but the bosses here are quite easy, some pack a punch but they’re not too much of an issue once you know the patterns.
My main mate Rush, where he at? Well you can once again use him to jump to high places again, and even fly for you, but there’s another Rush ability, the Rush Search, where he can find items for you. But you can collect the letters R-U-S-H, collect them all and you have access to the Rush Super Adaptor. So remember those two enhancements from Mega Man 6? Well they’re blended to make a suit where you can punch hard and fly high…though you can’t slide; no biggie.
A new feature in this game is Bolts. What are Bolts you may ask? Currency! So in the stage select screen, you press Select and you can go to Eddie’s Cybernetic Support Shop where you can buy various items and power-ups like Energy Tanks, Weapon Tanks, Beat the Bird, 1-ups and the ability to exit for some reason. I’m not too much of a fan of this, but it’s helpful, I mostly get Energy Tanks, but you can find some more in-game, though those ones may be difficult to reach. HOLD ON A MINUTE! Apparently I can only hold up to four Energy Tanks and whatnot instead of nine in the NES games? COME ON! Yeah, try to collect a ton of bolts…the word being try.
In terms of gameplay, it’s still Mega Man at its finest, though there are secrets in this game, and if you like to explore everywhere then you may get rewarded. Can you find Protoman? I have an issue with the Mega Buster, it takes more time to charge and you want to defeat enemies quickly and efficiently. Most of the weapons are cool, I love the Thunder Bolt, very powerful, Slash Claws get the job done, Danger Wrap can make some hard to aim enemies float, so most do pack a punch and I love them. I will agree that if you’re looking for something new and fresh, you’re not going to get it here. I like Mega Man and 7 is good enough, but there’s little new for this installment and it makes me want to play Mega Man X EVEN MORE!!! But like I said, all’s well anyway.
Overall, Mega Man 7 is a decent SNES Mega Man game, but in terms of Mega Man, it’s what you’d expect. It’s still a great title nonetheless and it’s considered a homage to the NES titles…which in my opinion shouldn’t be the case since nearly each Mega Man title did bring something game-changing to the series…bolts don’t count. But check it out anyway, if you don’t like 8-bit graphics (you scrub), then this might be to your palette.
You can get it on the SNES, PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube via Mega Man Anniversary Collection and Wii U and New 3DS Virtual Console.
As always, it’s time for the cover art in the west: