Review by Joe the Destroyer

Reviewed: 07/04/01 | Updated: 10/14/01

Stop that, Fliptop! You're disturbing me!

Intro
When I heard Mega Man 4 was coming out, I was pretty excited. I really enjoyed 2 and 3 (at that time, I hadn't played the first one, but eventually got it for Christmas one year). My friend used his B-day money to get this bad boy. The next day, he brought it to my house and we fired it up. Sure enough, it was a pretty good follow up to Mega Man 3, although 3 is better in my opinion.

Dr. Who? Cossack What?
In Mega Man 4, Mega Man returns to battle a new enemy named Dr. Cossack. As it would turn out, to help enforce his reign of terror, he builds... YOU GUESSED IT! 8 Robots. He doesn't try to one-up Wily and go for 9 or 10, but still at the usual 8. This time, Mega Man is pit against Skull Man, Toad Man, Pharaoh Man, Drill Man, Dust Man, Bright Man, Ring Man, and Dive Man.

The Basics
It's played just as any other previous Mega Man games, only with a few new additions. The gameplay is side-scrolling platformish, sort of like Castlevania. You blast enemies with you arm cannon until you get to the boss. This time, if you hold the B button down you can charge up the Mega Buster, which is a powered up version of the regular shot.

Bosses
As most of you know, at the end of each stage is a boss. Defeating each boss allows you to gain a new weapon. Each boss has a weakness to a different weapon. Okay, so I like the bosses in this one. Sue me! I don't think the boss names started getting silly until MM5 or 6. I'm just glad we didn't see the ominous Milk Man, or the destructive Dysfunctional Family Man.

Fliptop!
This game also introduced Fliptop. He is a little robot guy who will appear from time to time and give you a random item. Fliptop is a very small addition, but also a very nice one. Having him come around ever now and then is convenient, especially if you're patient. That way, you can wait for extra lives and E tanks to pop out and you don't have to go hunting them down.

Graphics
The graphics are a bit of a touch-up compared to the last one. That's always good. They displayed a better color usage and sharper images. I think the strongest improvement on the graphics has to the backgrounds. They seem to have a much better texture this time through and have that rich image that most any background should have.

Sounds
As with any MM game before this (and select ones after), the music was very befitting. The level music fit with the character theme. You have a nice big conjunction there. Toad man's level is a nice big rainy level, for example, with some slightly rainy sounding music. Not a sad type of rainy, but it seems to personify the essence of a nice, Spring Rain. The sound effects, as always, sound good with their given events.

Final Word: The Decline
After this game, the Mega Man series really took a turn for the worse. Mega Man 5 was released about a year or so after this one. I played it and somewhat enjoyed it. However, I finished it in one day. I stayed up all the night, playing it until I finally beat the final boss and I said, ''Wow... MM games are getting just a bit too easy.'' The same with 6. The only difference with Mega Man 6 was that I didn't complete it. I actually beat all the robot masters in one sitting. I felt that the MM series as a whole began to decline, getting easier and easier.

What I think could've saved the Mega Man series would've been more innovations. This was finally seen and realized with the X series and with Mega Man 8. Mega Man kept all the good graphics and sounds throughout the games, but it also kept the same, repetitive gameplay. Enjoy this one while it lasts. In my opinion, it was one of the last good ones in the regular series until Mega Man 8.

FINAL JUDGMENT
Graphics: Nice 9/10
Sounds: Work well with the game 8/10
Controls: Great! Good response and easy to get the hang of. 10/10
Plot/Storyline: Ahh... Very nice! 9/10
Gameplay: Pretty fun 8/10
All Together: 8/10

Perks
*Great graphics
*Cool bosses
*Good controls
*Different plot idea, for a change
*Still fun

Downers
*The series begins to show its age, and it's only the fourth game.
*Needed some innovations (other than Fliptop)

Recommendations
If you like Mega Man, this is worth a try. It's a fairly good game. If, however, you got tired of Mega Man after 3 games, then it's best avoided. If you hate Mega Man, this game definitely won't change your mind.


Rating:   4.0 - Great

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