Review by Shivan Reincarnated

Reviewed: 09/25/06

The charging robot..... Mega Man!

Usually if a series goes beyond a trilogy, it’s safe to say that it is being rehashed, especially when it’s the fourth game on one single system and with many more to come. If the Nintendo Entertainment System was good for something, it was good for jumpstarting several influential series into fame. Mario, Zelda, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy and Metroid are just some examples. Mega Man is another example. Mega Man for the NES is the beginning of a legacy that spans well over 50 titles and does not appear to be stopping any time soon. There are 6 Mega Man games just for the NES! Legend of Zelda has only two, Final Fantasy had three and Mario Bros. has 3. The NES Mega Man games aren't too much different than one another which would probably explain why the later games aren't received as well. The games were rehashed for the most part and there wasn't a whole lot of spark of creativity. Mega Man 4 is truly where you can start to see the decline but I still found it fun.

Mega Man 4 is a platformer but it does have unique aspects that only the Mega Man series can call as its own. The story as you know begins as the brilliant scientist Dr. Light made humanoid robots to perform specific everyday duties. Mega Man was the first of these. Dr. Light and his assistant Dr. Wily proceeded to develop six additional humanoid robots all with different purposes. Dr. Wily went evil and re-programmed all the robots to do help him enslave the world. Fortunately, Mega Man was here to save the day and he crushed Dr. Wily, not once but twice. In Mega Man 3, Wily had planned to steal the blueprints to Gamma from Dr. Light. Mega Man once again foiled his plans but now a new foe has arisen. A mysterious new enemy, Dr. Cossack, who claims to be a brilliant robot designer wants to destroy Mega Man to get fame. These robots featured in this game are Toad Man, Bright Man, Pharaoh Man, Ring Man, Dust Man, Dive Man, Skull Man and Drill Man. Toad Man? Pharaoh Man? They are a bit silly but I found them amusing.

At the beginning of this game you will have the option of eight levels to choose from, one for each of the aforementioned robot masters. This is different from the original Mega Man which only had 6 to choose from. Your goal is to navigate through each level and have a final showdown with the robot master at the end. This isn't as easy as it sounds though because several of the robot masters can really only be easily defeated with their weakness. I personally approve of this way, I think it requires you to have more strategy than just waltzing through each level. Having these different powers at your disposal is really nice and adds a lot to the game play because let us be honest here, it would get boring just using your little blaster over and over again. Mega Man 4 allows you to now charge your blaster to do more damage than before. This is awesome and will be used in all future Mega Man games. The charger is a very important addition to the large series.

Mega Man 4 is a very challenging game. Difficulty wise, it is much more intense than a Mario game. While the difficulty can't quite compare to the original, that is actually okay, it is more balanced in this game. Simply jumping over a pit can be a challenge because you have to time your jump just right. One thing that is irritating about this game is that you have to be precise. I looked at the “Game Over” screen a countless number of times. You'll have to battle some tough regular enemies and you have to make sure you shoot well, or an enemy might run into you which would knock you off a block you were standing on. There are some block puzzles where the blocks will appear and disappear and you'll have to study their patterns and act accordingly. Of course, by accordingly I mean quickly. It can get irritating but once you have conquered it, it's quite satisfying and rewarding. I will admit I was often frustrated with this game. This is a very difficult game but it was still slightly easier than MM, MM2 or MM3

The graphics of this game are better than what was done so far at that point in time but in retrospect, they are merely sub-par now. The backgrounds were still very nicely done for an NES game. The enemies were creative and original and the attacks were noticeable. The scenery was at times pretty vibrant and it's overall pretty impressive for a NES game. This was nice and all for previous games but Mega Man 4 and the rest of the NES Mega Man games really fail to add anything new to the graphical aspect.

When judging a game, I do feel music is a very important feature. Without a good soundtrack, the quality of a game is often severed. A game with no soundtrack is the equivalent to Donald Trump without his hair. It just doesn't work. Fortunately, the Mega Man series is widely known for its good music. Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3 had amazing soundtracks. Mega Man 4 wasn’t horrible but it was uninspired snd failed to live up the originals. This is what I mean by the beginning of a decline.The sound of this game is actually quite good. Despite the blasters sounding pretty much the same for the most part, there is a noticeable difference between them which is good. The have a few different types of attacks sound-wise and I think it's funny that no matter how you die, it always sounds the same.

Rating Breakdown:

Story: 7/10
Game Play: 9/10
Graphics: 8/10
Music: 3/5
Sound: 5/5
Difficulty: 8/10

Average Score: 8.0 = 80% = B

Pros:
Unique Abilities
Good Soundtrack
Pretty good graphics for the time
Okay sound
Interesting game play
Balanced Difficulty
Charging is now available!

Cons:
Rehashed story
Beginning of a decline
Glitches

Mega Man 4 is not as well received as Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3. Those two are the famous games. The series really only goes downhill from Mega Man 4 but it’s not that I hated those games, they just weren’t original and thus were not as memorable as MM2 or MM3.


Rating:   4.0 - Great

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