Review by Sour DieseL
"Here we go..."
It had been so long since the last classic Mega Man game, and Mega Man X6 was pretty successful. So Capcom decided to keep the X series going and brought Mega Man X to the next gen. The 2D plane in video games had been considered long dead and decided that it was time to bring Mega Man X to a big 3D plane and make it almost a third-person shooter for a lot of the game. They tried to merge the old style of play with the new style and well, it didn't work out so well. It was a promising idea, and if done like Mega Man Legends, it might have worked. What we wound up with was a clunky game that sadly leaves a sour taste in your mouth if you're a fan of the series. Some like it and the game isn't totally horrible, but the faults really shine in this game.
Story: 5/10: It's been sometime since the Nightmare plague, and the world is finally able to relax and begin rebuilding, constructing cities, and bringing the world back to normality. However, as reploids possess free will, some continue to still go Maverick, bringing terror and halting progress wherever they go. The Maverick Hunters continue to fight and try to quell the Mavericks. Meanwhile, Mega Man X decides to drop out of the fight himself, as he has always been opposed to fighting throughout the series. He doesn't like killing, and hates it even more that reploids continue to kill each other. He'd rather all of the problems be solved peacefully. Without X on the case, the Mavericks continue to grow in strength. Soon, a new force comes in to help the Maverick Hunters known as the Red Alert Syndicate. They are, however, a vigilante group, meaning that they are fairly violent. They kinda had this issue before with Repliforce in Mega Man X4. One of the RAS reploids, named Axl, leaves the Syndicate and joins the Maverick Hunters. Red, commander of the RAS, releases eight mavericks from to attack the world. Whichever team (MH or RAS) defeats the Mavericks, gains custody of Axl, like property. X agrees to let Axl join the hunters to assist Zero in destroying the Mavericks. While most of this premise isn't bad, what kills it is that, yes, you won't be able to play as Mega Man X for a long time in this game. And when you do get him back, he's a little on the whiny aside as opposed to someone who does what has to be done with moral convictions. This game sucks all of the awesomeness out of character.
Gameplay: 5/10: Before we discuss the bad, I'll talk about the good first. This game added a couple of new things, and one of them was a really good idea. This would be the option to switch between characters right in the middle of a level or battle at the press of a button. We might as well say that this gives you multiple life bars and multiple playing styles for different characters. This trend would be continued in Mega Man X8. It was a great and helpful addition.
Like all Mega Man X games, this one is a plat-former. Meaning you'll have to make pixel perfect jumps to avoid spikes and bottomless pits. After the introductions stage, you'll have the option to choose from the eight Mavericks' stages. The introduction stage is there to bring all new players into the game and give them a feel for how it plays. The cool thing about this introduction stage is that it is a 3D remake of the introduction stage from the first Mega Man X game for the SNES, with the same enemies and everything. At the end of each stage, you'll get to the Maverick boss of that stage, each with it's own abilities. Upon beating them, you will gain that ability and be able to use it in battle whenever you wish, weapon energy permitting of course. In each level you will also find a heart tank, which will raise the maximum amount of health for whoever picks it up. Four levels also contain capsules which will give X additional capabilities to his armor, when you get him that is.
That being said, here comes the bad. Mega Man X is not playable right off the bat. There are two things you must do to play as him. You can either save a certain amount of reploids (which works similar to Mega Man X6), or defeat the eight Maverick bosses with Zero and Axl. This puts a major damper on the game, as Zero is great bvt not really versatile for the 3D field, and Axl's attacks are far too weak. In addition to this, the 3D fields have some fairly bad camera angles. There are too many 3D perspectives in this game and it's difficult to play in them because of the controls and camera angles. Wall-clinging is extremely difficult to do in 3D mode. Thankfully this style of play was abandoned in Mega Man X8.
Music: 4/10: The music is alright, nothing really spectacular ever comes to mind. The soundtrack feels sort of rushed to be honest. At least with the voice acting in this game, they finally were able to get some English voice actors in, unlike Mega Man X6. The problem here is that after charring a shot with X, he likes to yell out lines like "Stop it!" and "I don't want to hurt you!". Even Mega Man X himself is quite annoying in this game. The voice actors do their job well though. Mind you, some of the bosses will grate on your nerves, especially Flame Hyenard. His voice will be burned into your eardrums for the rest of your life.
Graphics: 6/10: This would have gotten a better score, if not for the horrid camera angles. The graphics look great though and the enemy design is pretty good, especially those in the introduction stage, as they are 3D renders of enemies from the first Mega Man X game. They brought the visuals of the PlayStation 2 to this game to make it look nice and smooth. If it weren't for the camera angles, this would have gotten a ten for a score. Often times, you can't see what's coming at you around the corner or something that's trying to come at you from the side. This is especially bad in Wind Crowang's level because of the planes that come in from the side.
Overall: 5/10: After playing through this game, you probably won't want to play it again. The game is incredibly difficult, and having to work so hard to play as the main character, who's name also happens to be the title of the game, is just disheartening. It introduced some new things however, such as switching characters in the middle of a stage. I hand it to Capcom for trying something new and adding some new gameplay features, but it resulted in a fairly un-enjoyable game. Thankfully for the next installment, they took what worked and refined it. Borrow this game and give it a shot, or pick it up used for cheap. It's worth a play, but not at full price.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 07/28/10
Game Release: Mega Man X7 (US, 10/14/03)
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