Review by EPoetker

Reviewed: 02/15/00 | Updated: 02/15/00

Music takes a hit! MAJOR mistake!

The fourth in a series(when it's attempted) is usually the worst, a rehash of the old themes with usually little or nothing to add. If it weren't for the fact that ANY Mega Man game tends to be fun for me, this game would have gotten a four or five for terminal unoriginality. Enough ranting...might as well get to the best feature...

The GRAPHICS. Mega Man 4 begins with a very nice, well animated recap of the first three games. And the graphics continue to impress throughout. The familiar ''huge robotic mid-level bosses'' have reached their pinnacle of graphical refinement. The whale in Dive Man's stage and the snail in Toad Man's stage, particularly, are extremely impressive in their detailing. The backgrounds (and foregrounds) on certain levels are very well animated, with rain, snow, and electric effects, many more than on previous Mega Mans. The bosses are, of course, the same Mega-man size powerhouses they've always been. And some of the new bosses on the Doctor Wily and Cossack stages are HUGELY well done. Unfortunately, the nice graphics were soured by the...

HORRID MUSIC! Now, I WILL admit, I DID like the Bright Man theme. And once you got to the second set of stages in Dr. Cossacks Castle, the music got MUCH better. But until then, I was forced to listen to ''music'' which can only be described as over-rushed crud. Listen to Dust Man's theme. You can almost see the musician frantically tapping out on the synthesizer whatever came into his head as he saw the release deadline marked in red on his calendar. The same goes (albeit in differing extents) for ALL the other stages except for Bright Man. And the new boss music is TERRIBLE! Had me longing for Mega Man 2 & 3 as soon as I heard it. (Fortunately, the ending has a rather nice remix of the opening theme from Mega Man 2, so not all is lost.)

Well, at least they didn't screw around with the gameplay. Mega Man can now charge his Mega Buster, adding a little bit more variety to the usual ''shoot-everything-that-moves'' concept. Plus, in addition to the two Rush adapters, you can pick up a new Balloon and Wire Adapter if you look hard enough. Flip Top, the item-giving helper, makes his first appearance as well. However, the improvements are minor, and not quite enough to retrieve the classic feel of the past games. And of course, the music ain't helping my mood any! When I start to get tired of jumping and shooting, SOMETHING is wrong!

Ah, well...I suppose to a first-timer, this game would be a pretty fun experience. But to the rest of us...you probably won't capture the ''feel'' of the previous three until you get to Doctor Wily's castle, where the music and the rest of the game VASTLY improves. Until then, the game evokes the Latin word ''robota,'' for drudgery. At least Capcom made two more NES sequels...plenty of space in which to rework your previous mistakes! Get this game if you're either a collector or just want to review what NEVER to do in a video game sequel.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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