Mega Man X7 Review
Released: October 2003 Playstation 2
Not all famous video game characters had an easy time transitioning to the third dimension back in the mid 90's. While Mario's was successful, other characters like Sonic and Earthworm Jim had a more difficult time. Luckily for Capcom's blue robot, a new Mega Man series called Legends was createted to utilize the new hardware's 3D capabilities while the still ongoing Classic and X series kept to their 2D roots. Fastforward to 2003, with the Mega Man series celebrating it's 15th anniversary Capcom wanted to try something new with the X series which resulted in Mega Man X7.
I got this game for $4 from a used game store and I decided to buy it just because I didn't have X6 or X7 in my Mega Man X collection. I knew before buying this what the reviews were…
Mega Man X7 was created by a team of 30 people and was lead by two producers, Tatsuya Minami and Tatsuya Kitabayashi. The transition from 2D to 3D graphics was challenging and the developers took into account the poor reviews X6 got, but rather than just updating the graphics they wanted to focus on getting the 3D right. The team added a new character named Axl who would be the third Maverick Hunter to "deepen" the games story. Apparently this game was going to have multiplayer but it was cut from the final version.
Keiji Inafune had very little to do with X7. His only contribution was helping the illustrators create Axl so he looked different from X and Zero. As the series moved to 3D the developers wanted to rethink the way the game was made like how X1 did with the Classic series. This however would be X7's downfall.
Reploid conflicts are still proceeding after the Nightmare phenomena from X6. The world is slowly recovering but as always Maverick crime is continuing. X tries to answer the moral questions he always says in every single game: "How much longer must we fight. Are we doing the right thing to solve this matter?", so he has decided to stop fighting and become strategic support for the Maverick Hunters. So with X's retirement independent groups of hunters fill in his void. The biggest of these groups is the Red Alert Syndicate, similar to the Repliforce just with vigilantes lead by Red. One of the members, Axl has had enough of their crimes and leaves the group. Angered, Red goes on a rampage to get Axl back. From here the intro stage begins.
On a side note, in X5 their was a Maverick called Axle the Red, and in X7 we have two new characters named Axl and Red. What a coincidence.
So yes as I mentioned, X7 is 3D, well parts of it, some levels are still regular 2D. The controls in the game are still fine like in other X games, even the 3D levels control fine. That is unless you're moving on a moving 3D platform, then they are horrible. Thankfully their are very few moving 3D platforms in X7, just some spot in Wind Crowrang's stage and the battle with Flame Hyenard. Another new feature X7 has is that you bring two characters into a stage and you can switch between them during the stage. For example, I bring Axl and Zero into a stage and when I want to play as Zero I press R2. If one of the two characters dies it's still game over.
With X not fighting we have Axl to take his spot (funny how the game is called MEGA MAN X7 yet you can't play as X for half of the game). Axl has thew ability to hover for a few second when you hold the X button while in the air. Another new thing with Axl is his gun, he doesn't charge shots like X but rather bullets. Hope you like pressing the square button a lot cuz you'll be doing that when you play as Axl since you can't just hold down the button to have continuous fire. The last thing Axl can do is copy a robot by destroying them with copy shots. When you become a different robot you gain certain abilities like being able to walk on spikes, but the copy ability only lasts for a short time.
Zero's gameplay is still the same as it was in previous games, close combat sword slashing and having a double jump at the start. Zero seems to move much slower in this game than usual, but the game moves at a slow rate as well so I guess it isn't a problem.
Want to play as X? Their are two ways you can play as him. You have to either rescue 64 Reploids first or defeat all 8 Mavericks. He still has armor to collect in this game and thank goodness it isn't like in X5 and X6 where you have to have all 4 pieces of an armor to use it. X7 only has one armor named the Glide Armor which, as the name states, lets you glide. I like how the Glide Armor looks.
So as I mentioned earlier, the gameplay is slow. When you're in 2D mode the game feels fine, but when you get to 3D sections the characters seem to move really slow and I find myself dashing constantly to get through stages. Also to contribute to the slowness on X7, we have longer load screens and dialogue you can't skip before a battle with a Maverick. Plus you either have no control over the camera in 3D or you have to constantly fight the camera when you do so you can see where you are going. Do you want to know one of the worst things about the gameplay is this game? When you get hit by certain enemies you get knocked back, while this is normal is all Mega Man games X7 knocks you back so your character has to get back up slowing down the game even more. When you get knocked back you can't control where you are falling so you're screwed if you are near lava or a bottomless pit.
Our Red Alert Mavericks in Mega Man X7 are…(they're starting to get lame)
- Solider Stongkong
- Tornado Tonion
- Splash Warfly
- Flame Hyenard
- Ride Boarski
- Snipe Anteater
- Wing Crowrang
- Vanishing Gungaroo
When you play this game you are going to notice something right away when you battle the mavericks. THEY DON'T SHUT THE HELL UP!!! Mavericks in X6 had voices, but they were in japanese and they didn't say much. Of all of these bosses Flame Hyenard is by far the worst. I posted this on my wall a few days ago when I was playing the game: "When playing Mega Man X7 you would hope switching the character's voices to japanese would make certain bosses voices less annoying *cough* Flame Hyenard *cough*, but no their voices in battle are still in english. Capcom can't deprive players of having to listen to an asshole screaming "BURN, BURN TO THE GROUND, BURN" for 5+ minutes." Of all the voice actors in the game, Sigma's is the best.
The levels in X7 still have some variety. We have 3D stages, 2D stages, stages that have both 2D and 3D sections, a stage where you have to collect bombs before the timer hits zero, a cyberspace maze, a stage where you have to jump from plane to plane, and a battleship level. We finally have new Ride Armors, two in fact. A blue gunner one and a red spiderish one which punches and jumps slightly higher. The Ride Armor is used in Vanishing Gungaroo and Crimson Palace stage 2.
I find X7 to be slightly harder than X1 and X2. The hardest thing about this game is the battles with the bosses since they takes forever. The battle with Red to me is the hardest battle in the game. Sigma is a little harder than he was in Mega Man X2 and X6. When you're battling Sigma's first form use Zero and hit Sigma with Wind Crowrang's V-Hanger weapon. Even though it's not his weakness, it gets him stuck in a loop where he does nothing but switch between places. Sigma's second form can be taken down easily with Splash Warfly's weapon charged up by X.
The characters are cell shaded like how Link and Zelda were in Wind Waker and they look exactly like their designs. Most of the backgrounds look good as well. My only complaints with the graphics are that the characters mouths don't move when they talk and the background in Crimson Palace stage 1 is just one solid color.
Another excellent job to the composers for this game. X7's music is up their with X1 and X4. It's just a shame that you can't here the music that well in the stage
Well you almost never have to go back to stages in this game unless you forgot something, but I don't go back and play X7 that often. Adding a third character you can play as doesn't really give me any incentive to play this game more since when I unlock X I throw Axl away.
Moving to the PS2 was a rough start for the X series. While I congratulate the developers for trying the 3D gameplay it failed and makes the gameplay very slow. The game still controls nice like past games in the X series until you are on a moving platform. The game has an awesome soundtrack and excellent character models and good graphics.
While the game isn't very hard it shouldn't be the first game you play in the series due to the awful gameplay and slowness.
A copy of X7 will cost around $9 on eBay, but if you can find it for cheaper or just need to complete your X collection then I would get this game for shits and giggles.
For its rating… well Mega Man X7 gets a 4/10 (Lacking). The only positives I can really say about the game is the music and graphics. While the controls are fine, the environments they're used in don't work.
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