Mega Man is back!
Mega Man has come a long way since his early 2D platforming days, with those initial games defining a genre and which stand alongside Castlevania and Metroid as classic platforming examples. Mega Man X7 is one of the later entries in the expansive franchise and although it might not quite hit the heady heights of its predecessors, it remains an enjoyable romp that is well worth a look. If you want to get into the story, this one does require a bit of foreknowledge, so other games in the Mega Man X series are probably worth looking at before you play but it's not really necessary if you just want to enjoy the game. The narrative is actually quite complex, taking place after the Eurasia Incident and the Nightmare Crisis and with a new character introduced, Axl, to stand alongside some of the established favorites. In gameplay terms, this is a mixture of 2D side scrolling action and 3D platformer, with a blend of blasting and puzzle solving. You get to switch between two character, each of whom have their own special abilities, and which allow you to solve the various puzzles which block your progress. The X series is generally pretty good, and this one is a fairly standard entry which is enjoyable enough but which is less than a must play. The action and puzzling are all well integrated, with some interesting levels to explore and some cool enemies to take out. The visuals are a little simplistic, with some reasonably charming design work but which look a little goofy at times, while the voice acting and script are pretty ropy. If you concentrate on the gameplay though, there's a reasonably enjoyable time to be had here.