Before we delve into the utterly vanilla experience that is Mega Man 7, I feel it important to address one simple issue surrounding the stigma that seems to have arose in regards to this game.
Case in point:
Now, I can’t claim that this video’s (clever) views on the Mega Man series are at all that of the general public, however I feel that it should be said that Mega Man 7 is far from the worst of the Mega Man series.
*Ahem!* By now it should be obvious that that honor belongs to Mega Man 5…
Anyway, despite Mega Man 7’s apparent reputation for being a shit-fest of epic proportions, the game actually had a decent story.
Not that that counts for anything in a franchise that puts zero emphasis on story.
In short, after Dr. Wily is thrown in jail at the conclusion of Mega Man 6, exactly 6 months later, 4 robots he had hidden in an underground laboratory wake up and blow the shit out of the city to free him.
Coincidence? I think not!
Nah, I’m just Joshing yah’, it probably was a coincidence.
Anyway, like any Mega Man game, the changes to the gameplay made in 7 were small, but fairly impactful.
Just not as much as in most other games in the series…
Several new characters were introduced, including Auto, Mega Man’s burly mechanic buddy:
While Auto served as little more than window dressing, Bass and Treble engaged the player at several points in the game, initially pretending to be all baby-faced n’shit, only to turn heel and bash Mega Man over the head with a steel chair.
Gameplay additions to Mega Man 7 included a new equipment store run by Eddie, wherein the player could purchase new items and abilities, and a brand new Rush adapter called “Super Mega Man” that combined the flight and power functions of the adapters from Mega Man 6.
It was also the first game in the linear series to allow the player to “charge” the weapons of all of the robot masters.
In addition to this, the game also adopted the “Intro Stage before Stage Select” mechanic that had been pioneered in the Mega Man X series, as well as set it’s own precedent by introducing the “Intermission” stage, that is; an unskippable level forced on the player after defeating 4 of the 8 robot masters.
As you can already tell, outside of 16-bit graphics and sound, Mega Man 7 didn’t really bring much to the table in terms of innovation.
In fact, despite the larger sprites and more detailed animations, the games’ musical compositions were actually somewhat weak for the series.
Even so, there were exceptions:
Just goes to show you that technical advancements don’t always mean much in regards to gameplay.
Mega Man 7 was not a horrible game, nor was it the worst Mega Man game, however; due to the hype and expectations surrounding it, the first 16-bit Mega Man game; it ended up being a pretty big letdown.
Even so, the games’ biggest shame is the fact that it is utterly average, serving as nothing more than a mere hiccup in the vast legacy of the Mega Man franchise.
Enough dour bullshit, let’s get down to who’s The Best MAN!
Well kiddo’, that’d have to be…
This one hurt me.
Seriously, Mega Man 7 has a decent roster of robot masters, but I really only like 2 of them.
So why the fuck aren’t either of them The Best MAN in Mega Man 7!?
Well, shut up and I’ll tell you.
Junk Man is the first guy I’d always kill, and c’mon; he’s fuckin’ Junk Man.
Cloud Man is a fattie.
I actually had to look up Burst Man just to figure out what the fuck his gimmick was.
Note: I still don’t know what it is…
That leaves us with Turbo Man and Freeze Man, the only 2 MEN that I actually like in Mega Man 7.
Both are my favorite designs in the game, they have pretty cool weapons, pretty fun stages, and are tough cookies when you finally get down to stompin’ a mudhole on their asses.
Despite Shade Man’s relatively crappy design, he trumps both of my boys in every other category, hands down.
He’s got a pimp-ass weapon, he’s tough to fight, and if you hold “B” before selecting his stage, you can play a through his stage with the Ghosts ‘N Gobins intro stage music playing as the stage background music!
Not only that, but his is the only robot master stage that includes a brief story sequence wherein Mega Man runs across an injured Bass and Treble just after they fought, and lost to Shade Man.
Even though it is later revealed that Bass and Treble were in fact working for Dr. Wily, it’s worth noting that Shade Man was considered powerful enough to have believably defeated them.
That’s street cred son, you can’t buy that.
While I don’t really care much for the whole vampire schtick of Shade Man, from a gameplay standpoint, he was a very creative and unique addition to the series.
He had more attacks than most bosses, including a life draining bite and Medusa-like stone gaze.
More importantly, his weapon, the Noise Crush, was truly awesome, as it would bounce off of walls, growing more powerful as it ricocheted.
Like I said, the thought of declaring Shade Man the best, well, anything, makes me violently ill, however I feel I’d be lying to myself if I elected one of my favorites in his stead.
Just goes to show you, that which you like isn’t necessarily what’s best.