Review by Gimili

Reviewed: 10/23/02 | Updated: 10/23/02

A worthy continuation of the series.

Throughout the internet, ''Mega Man 4'' almost symbolizes the drop in the quality of the ''Mega Man'' series. It's true that
it doesn'live up to the two previous installments of the series. But, it's still a game well worth checking out.

Plot: 8

In this game, we see a surprising difference in plot from the three predecessors. We begin with a cutscene that actually tells Mega Man's origin. Sure, we had been told that he was a robot built by Dr. Light to battle the evil scientist Dr. Wily, but we hadn't really been given a detailed backstory of him. We are told that MM was originally a cleaning robot until Wily initiated his threat.
At that point, his systems were changed and he became the defender of the planet.

Now we find that Wily is not the enemy in this game. At least not right away. According to the manual, a scientist named Dr. Cossack has long been jealous of Light's fame since his creation of Mega Man. To prove to the world that he is the better scientist, Cossack builds eight of his own robots to destroy Mega Man and thereby secure his position as the most brilliant mind on Earth.

This plot (caution: spoiler ahead) is very refreshing. Instead of the same villain, we have a different one. Too bad Capcom decided to be chickenheaded and make Dr. Wily rear his ugly head after all. Still, the subplot with him kidnapping Cossack's daughter and using her to blackmail Wily is a nice twist, and keeps the plot rating high.

Graphics: 9

Although not as good as the graphics in MM2, MM4 still has great graphics. In fact, we've taken a pretty good step up from MM3. The sprites are very good. We also have excellent backgrounds. You can see that a lot of effort was put into this category, because the visuals are top-notch.

Sound: 6

Sadly, I can't keep singing praises with the sound. Simply put, the music is uninspired. You might try humming the tunes, but you won't be as enthusiastic as you would if you tried this with MM2 or MM3. There are a few solid tunes, which is why this category rates a bit above average.

Sound effects are standard MM fare.

Gameplay: 6

Anyone who's played MM3 should have some sort of idea of how
to play this game as well. You can jump, shoot energy pellots from a cannon in Mega Man's arm, climb ladders, and slide. You also get a new weapon for each of the first eight
levels you pass. In addition, you can also choose the order in which you want to play through those levels.

One nice twist, however, is your new Mega Buster. This enables you to charge up your standard weapon to a level where it hits with the power of three or four shots. This offers a new element of strategy. What's more important? Hitting harder, or hitting faster? It also makes the bosses more manageable if you don't have other weapons. In MM3, the
level select function was almost unofficial, because most of
the bosses were too tough to beat without a certain weapon. But with this new enhancement, the ability to fight bosses in more orders reasserts itself. Not too many more, though, because the bosses are tougher than in previous games (excluding MM1). So, you don't get too many extra choices in
terms of alternate orders.

The biggest flaw in this game is that the passwords don't take you too far into this game. In the prequels, you could get about 65%-80% through the game. But in this game, the most advanced password only takes you halfway through it. I realize you shouldn't get to start too close to the end, but
this seriously hampers the meaning of passwords.

Challenge: 9

After MM2 and MM3, most people would have expected this game
to not be too tough either. Not so fast. The difficulty has been spiked way, way up. This is not a game for beginners. You have more unpredictable opponents in more inconvenient positions.

One problem this game has is that I think Dr. Wily is cheap.
He is invisible until a shot flies after you. This is downright unfair. But I guess that if any enemy is to be unfair, it should be the final boss.

Replay Value: 6

You'll play it sometimes, but not too much. MM2 and MM3 get a lot of replays. This game won't be played that much. This is because of that fact that its combined length and difficulty without all that much of a shortcut via passwords
makes it a little unattractive to play once you've beaten it.

Overall: 7

It's hasn't got anything on MM2 or MM3, but it's definetely good enough. I don't think this game deserves some of the scathing reviews it gets. It's a good game that any serious NES collector should be without. But if you don't fit into that category, you should probably play a rom version first.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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