Also available on PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Wii U via Virtual Console, 3DS via Virtual Console, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 07/17/2021 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Mega Man 7 is a game that I never heard much about when I was growing up. It was a fairly late release in the SNES lifespan, it always seemed overshadowed by the Mega Man X series as far as 16-bit entries went. It didn’t make it into the first Mega Man Legacy Collection, but it did make it into Legacy Collection 2. Still, though, having played through the six NES games a few years ago, I figured it was worth playing through, and I gotta say, I’m glad I did.
Mega Man 7 is very much just the NES games but in 16-bits instead of 8-bit as far as gameplay goes. If you’ve played those games, just imagine it with SNES graphics, and you’ve pretty much got it. Like the NES games, the actual stages are the hard part of the game for the most part with the eight robot masters being pretty easy once you figure out their attack patterns. The exceptions to this are some of the bosses in Dr. Wily’s castle at the end. The last three bosses, specifically, were about to make me pull my hair out, especially the final Dr. Wily fight.
Frustrating bosses aside, the biggest issue I had with the game was slowdown. There typically wasn’t an enormous amount of slowdown, but it was definitely frequent and noticeable enough to stand out as worth mentioning. Truthfully, the game’s biggest flaw is that it’s just more of the same. Especially upon its release, the Mega Man series was suffering from the same problem that plagues Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed today – repetitive yearly releases that don’t really change that much. Mega Man 7 is a solidly good game, but it doesn’t really do anything to stand out from the previous mainline entries aside from being on more powerful hardware, and it just doesn’t manage to be as cool or addicting as the Mega Man X series.
Mega Man 7’s good. Honestly, it’s really good. It’s stale, though. The first few NES games felt fresh because Mega Man was new, and the Mega Man X games added enough in the way of mechanics and plot elements to feel exciting and distinct. Mega Man 7 doesn’t have either of those things going for it. There’s a lot to be said for “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but when you’ve already not only fixed but improved upon it, you really shouldn’t go back, and that’s what it feels like Mega Man 7 did. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it just feels like a step back rather than forward or even to the side.