Mega Man X7

The evolution of the Mega Man series just took several steps back.

In a failed attempt to go next-generation with the next-generation robo-hero, Capcom unfortunately has turned its latest Mega Man game into a mega disappointment.

In this latest tale of 22nd-Century battles, you take control of the baby blue wonder and his mechanically inclined friends in a side-scrolling adventure set in a colorful 3D world. The run-n-gun action stays true to the Man?s roots?while it may seem like you?re hopping around in large three-dimensional levels, almost all of the action is still completely linear in traditional side-scrolling fashion. Though this in and of itself is not a setback, the unlimited cheap shots directed at you by the unruly enemies are nothing short of annoying and frustrating. Even a new feature that lets you switch between two characters at any time during gameplay can?t keep adversaries from repeatedly hitting below the metal belt with unavoidable and inconsistent blows.

The cheapness continues in other gameplay areas. A huge amount of slowdown, even when there?s little going on, detracts from the overall simple shooting-n-slashing frenzy. A sloppy targeting system and the inability to strafe make the controls more of a pain than painless, while a dull soundtrack completes a mediocre audio package. If it weren?t for the name, X7 would be at the bottom of the rental pile. For Mega Man fans, however, this latest foray with the blue man group has a nostalgia factor that might make it worth a night?s rental?just don?t expect an exhilarating ride from start to finish.

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