An OK attempt at taking the series into 3D space.
NOTE: This review was written by me years ago, but it's never been posted on GB, so enjoy!
Mega Man X7 marks the series’ first PS2 title, and like all the other MM titles that make their debut on a newer console, there are significant changes to the old formula. The biggest change is the addition of 3D gameplay. Now, I bet when you first heard this, you immediately thought of Mega Man Legends and groaned. All I can say is give X7 a chance.
X7 has its fair share of both 2D and 3D stages, but most of the boss battles are in 3D. I wish the 2D stages weren’t so straightforward; in most of them, it’s just a matter of running to the right and shooting everything in your path. The 2D level designs just aren’t interesting. The 3D stages, on the other hand, are slightly better. In the cyber space stage, for instance, things get confusing as you progress through the level while upside-down. In the air force stage, you have to make your way to a mother ship while jumping on moving fighter jets. The controls in either 2D or 3D mode are as good as they should be, though manually swinging the camera should be a faster process, because you want to quickly see what’s in front of you.
The graphics suit X7 well, because it gives the whole game a 2D look even when you know it isn’t. X4 fans will be pleased to know that animated cutscenes make a return, but then they’ll be disappointed to learn that only the opening intro and the ending are animated. The sound is not quite up to par, unfortunately; the fact that the English voice acting is atrocious doesn’t help things, either (when was the last time Capcom had a game with good voice acting?). When you turn on the game for the first time, switch to Japanese VA immediately!
Mega Man X7 is a decent (and difficult) game, though it won’t stand out as being as great as the SNES or early PS1 X games, due to largely uninspired level design, terrible voice acting, and not-so-memorable music. But the 3D gameplay is a step in the right direction as far as Mega Man games go. If there’s going to be an X8, Capcom will have a chance to impress with more levels like the two I mentioned earlier, and also beef up the 2D stages considerably so that they’re more like the earlier X games. One last thing—the dumb boss names have to go. They get sillier and sillier, but NOTHING will ever beat X6’s Infinity Mijinion. Whatever happened to simple, effective names like Chill Penguin or Flame Stag?