A new era of Mega Man doubles the bits and the action
For a long time it seemed like a Mega Man game releasing was a common occurrence. Heck, Capcom could have four Mega Man games releasing in one year-- and that's on the low end. Nowadays, we don't know what we've got until it's gone. Mega Man is seldom seen outside of rare cameo appearances. Still, we have a profusion of classic titles featuring the Blue Bomber to enjoy, and one such title is the Super Nintendo's Mega Man 7, also available on the Wii U Virtual Console. The latter, to me, is the better option considering most of us don't want have to justify spending over $100 to legally own a copy of the game.
Mega Man 7's structure is a little different from what you've seen from past Mega Man games. Yes, you still enter one of eight Robot Master stages and beat the boss at the end to absorb their special weapon, but this time around, Mega Man 7 begins with an opening stage that brings some narrative during gameplay. It's this dilapidated city street opening stage that has Mega Man meeting up with Bass and his canine companion (hmm, that seems a bit familiar) Treble. Is he friend, or is he foe?
|Mega Man's about to send this polar bear into hibernation... for good!|
|Junk Man's stage is in great need of an exterminator.|
For instance, in the first four Robot Master stages there are one of four R-U-S-H circuit pieces hidden in each that when all have been gathered, allows Mega Man to fuse with Rush, Mega's canine companion, to thrust into the air as well as power up his charge shot to unleash a homing arm attack. That's not all there is to find in Mega Man 7 either to add to the longevity of the game. There's Mega Man's bird buddy Beat to free from its cage in one of the eight Robot Master stages, items that are buried underground that only Rush can dig up (but you also need to find the Rush Search upgrade to do this). Perhaps there's even a gift from Mega Man's brother Proto Man to be found for those who search well enough for it...
On the Robot Master selection menu, you can press the Select button to enter Auto's shop, where bolts that are found sprinkled in levels and dropped by defeated foes can be spent on various goods. These are goodies like extra Energy Tanks that heal Mega Man in the middle of battle, Weapon Tanks that refill Mega Man's weapon energy, and extra lives for those especially hazardous levels to Mega Man's health.
|Use bolts found in stages to purchase helpful|
boosts for Mega Man's cause.
As for levels themselves, Mega Man 7 features a robust collection of Robot Master stages that contain numerous obstacles, level hazards, and for lack of a better term, gimmicks, that will keep you on your toes and your palms sweating profusely. For example, Turbo Man's stage is one part tire factory, where you have to make careful jumps while avoiding getting bounced by the never-ending supply of tires being transported on the ceiling. The other part is a mad dash downward, evading deadly heat beams a la Quick Man's stage. Then there's Cloud Man's stage which is all about perilous leaps over bottomless pits from suspended in the sky platform to platform.
|There's not much room to maneuver on these platforms,|
so don't let those enemies push you off, Mega Man!
|Mega Man-- practice your base-stealing moves|
at another time. You've got a Robot Master to beat!
Mega Man 7 is a short game, possibly spanning anywhere between 3-6 hours based on skill level. Since the game does not have a save battery, you need to record the sixteen digit password that displays each time you complete or exit a level. Then, when you return to the game, you have to input that password to pick off where you left off with all of your items and weapons intact. It's a pain of a process, especially when games with save batteries on the Super Nintendo were so common even at the time of Mega Man 7's release, but at least it's not an NES Metroid-length password!
|Perfect timing to be in this stage considering|
Jurassic World just released in theaters.
The visual style of Mega Man 7 truly uses the Super Nintendo's 16-bit processor to its full potential, offering vibrant levels, detailed and expressive character and enemy sprites, and impressive environments. There is slowdown to watch out for in particularly heated moments, which did mess me up once or twice while playing, so that's something to keep in mind. The music is suitably catchy, and is just as memorable as the NES stuff to me. That is to say that the music is still as awesome as ever.
|Sure, it's all fun and games bouncing around |
until you get skewered by some spikes.
[SPC Says: B]