Every Mega Man title that
has been released this year has been accompanied with much
celebration, as this is the 15-year anniversary of the franchise.
The sad thing is that Mega Man games have been sucktastic for
about ten of those fifteen years.
Every time Capcom tries to take a step forward by adding
something new to the series, they take three steps back in terms of
gameplay. Mega Man X7 is
a prime example of this. Character
swapping and 3D gameplay sections are interesting, but the game is
still a stinker overall because it just isnt all that fun to
The story in Mega
Man X7 is the same anime-inspired tale we have seen a hundred times
before. Good robots
fighting against bad robots. To
make a long story short, the good robots annihilated the bad robots
and then they became corrupt with power and turned bad so one of
them defected to fight against them.
Like I said, it is just a complicated story of good robots
versus bad robots. The
defector is named Axl, and he plays much like good ol
You also get to play as
sword wielding X series staple Zero.
So where is Mega Man, you ask?
He decided to put his Buster on the shelf and retire once he
became tired of the pointless fighting.
You do get to use him late in the game, but he is so weak
compared to Zero and Axl that you wont want to use him too often.
The story is pretty far out, but it is ultimately
For Mega Man X7,
Capcom tried to update the gameplay of the series by adding 3D
sections to the levels along with the 2D gameplay the series is
known for. What this
means is that each level is split between sections where you play
the game as a 2D side scroller like normal, and in other sections of
the level the camera will shift to a position behind you so you play
the game more like a 3D platformer.
Attempting to improve an aging franchise is admirable, but
Capcom was a bit too ambitious.
Not only are the 3D sections a complete waste, but they
didnt even get the 2D parts of the levels right either.
The 2D sections suffer
because an auto aim feature was added to the game.
This takes all of the skill and fun out of playing the game
because all you have to do is hammer the fire button.
The levels were designed around this auto aim feature and the
result is a lot of open areas where enemies are easy to lock on to
and shoot. If the game
moved a little faster, this would have probably been fun, sort of
like a shoot-em-up. Sadly,
the game moves at the traditionally plodding pace of the other Mega
Man games and there arent enough enemies thrown at you at any
given time to be very interesting.
All you are left with is bland levels and a lock on system
that takes all of the fun out of the game.
When the camera
shifts behind you and you tackle the 3D areas of the game, it
doesnt really get that much better.
The enemies do a little better job of hiding from you, but
the level designs are still pretty open and boring.
I think what is so disappointing about the 3D sections is
that they dont play all that differently from the 2D sections.
The only difference is that you are getting to see the
enemies and characters from a new camera angle--and thats it.
The game still plays the same way other than the platform
jumping is trickier, so it is hard to shake the feeling that they
should have either done the game in all 2D or all 3D and not a mix
The boss fights take place in the 3D sections and they arent all that
great either. All of the
bosses have an easy to figure out pattern they follow, and then you
just have to peck away at them with your weapons.
Most of the special powers you earn from beating bosses are
useless in the 3D sections because they were made with the 2D areas
in mind, so youll be using your standard blaster on a good many
of the bosses in the game.
A nice component of
the gameplay is that you get to choose two robots to fight as when
you begin a level. Zero,
Axl, and Mega Man all play differently and each one has their
advantages, so this makes the game somewhat strategic.
You can then switch between the two bots at will during the
level by pressing L2. Axl
seems custom designed for the 3D sections, and Zero can power
through pretty much anything. Sadly,
X comes into the game too late to be of much use.
Mega Man X7 is still extremely challenging, though, just like the
rest of the series. The
problem here is that it is just too boring and poorly designed to be
fun. By the time you
reach a part that you find difficult you will probably be sick of
the game and quit playing.
Graphically, Mega Man X7 looks good.
The design of the levels is pretty boring to play through,
but the environments still manage to look decent.
The 3D character models look cool and X, Zero, and Axl are
very detailed and look great. In
the 3D sections, the game looks and plays pretty much the same as
the 2D sections and that is really disappointing.
More detail overall would have been appreciated, but the game
is far from ugly. The sound in MMX7 doesnt fare so well.
The character voices, particularly Axl, are annoying and
dont sound good at all. The
music and sound effects are exactly the same as we have had for the
past fifteen years of Mega Man, though it has to be noted that the
music isnt nearly as catchy as the best soundtracks from past