MEGA MAN 7 / Capcom / SNES
Mega Man 7 was kind of an odd release, considering it came out about a year and a half after Mega Man X. Gamer sentiment at the time was largely that Capcom had gone to the well once too often with the series on the NES, and as the medicore rehashyness of 4-6 were still fresh in our minds, and this whole man-child nostalgia thing that made 9 and 10 possible hadn't had it's decade to gestate yet, it was largely thought that the much more exciting new X series was going to be the new format of MM and that the little boy in the blue underpants was pretty much retired.
But nope, he's back, and rendered with larger, more detailed, and more colorful sprites than ever before. There's also dialogue and a developing story now, as well. Good ol' Wily was finally incarcerated, but at the outset of the game, his Backup Escape Plan kicks in. This consists of four robots hidden away in time-release capsules, who apparently are programmed to go on a rampage looking for their creator. Though you begin the game with only four robot masters to take on, once they've been downed, four more appear to round out the usual complement of eight.
The larger, more detailed sprites lead to a bit of an adjustment in gameplay, however. With much less overall screen space to work with, Capcom apparently attempted to preserve the feel of the NES games by making everything move all slow and sludgy. Compared to Mega Man X, this game feels like everything is covered in a coating of molasses. Mega moves around at a casual jog, and there's a ridiculous two-second delay to even begin charging his Mega Buster. This isn't a huge deal in most of the levels, which are mostly designed to accomodate the lazy new pace, but the bosses are frantic MMX-style marauders that are usually all over your ass, and you start to feel woefully overmatched by them. And if you happen to fall down a pit or hit some spikes in a level or something, replaying the stretches of level to get back to where you were is tortorous between the slow pace and the plethora of "big/shield enemies that take tons of hits and block the path" scattered merrily about in the levels.
I strongly recommend the awesome freeware de-make Rockman 7-FC instead of playing this.
* Gameplay Video