Review by Gbness

Reviewed: 04/29/04

This game bombs more than the blue bomber's biggest one.

''What goes up must come down.''

Oh Mega Man, did we play you too much? Did we worship you as the great blue one you were far more than what was your desire? Why have you punished us with Mega Man 4? Just in case you haven't got the message yet, Mega Man 4 is the worst Mega Man game in the series; there's just no contest. It fails in almost everything that it does, and is completely unoriginal in most of the other aspects. It's really a saddening fact.

When you go through the intro, you'll find the word ''again'' appearing quite a few times. The reason is that Mega Man 4 has no new storyline whatsoever, except for the deal with Dr. Cossack. This time, instead of being Dr. Wily who's sending the robots after Mega Man, it's Dr. Cossack instead. There's a bit more to that around the end of the game, but besides that the storyline is just the same as it was in the original Mega Man game. It's like a kid who eats a supper with vanilla ice cream one night, wants another kind of dessert, and gets chocolate ice cream and that's the only difference.

Mega Man 4 clearly has the worst robot masters I have seen in the series. We've got the extremely uninteresting Dive Man (which is an unoriginal name), Drill Man (the same), Bright Man (again, the same), and Dust Man (which is just plain weird). Toad Man is just like Dive Man, and again unoriginal and uninteresting, Ring Man sucks as a name, and Skull Man and Pharaoh Man... see any resemblance? One darker kind of robot master is good enough. And the stages themselves have about as much variation as Mega Man 2's.

That is the worst part. I saw little difference from one stage to the next. But it doesn't help that Mega Man 4 is one of the easiest games in the series, implements one new thing from the past Mega Man games, and has none of the awesome things that Mega Man 5, or even Mega Man 6 had. As for the difficulty of the game, there is little. The order where you should fight the bosses in terms of their weaknesses is more linear than ever before. Most of the enemies are just as easy as ever. There's nothing tricky like the next two games or Mega Man 3 had. I could go on.

As usual though, you can start in any stage of your choosing. Personally, I chose to begin with Toad Man. Later I was happy though, since Toad Man is definitely one of the easiest Robot Masters. I jumped from one platform to the next, being greatly bothered by the rain, but I could put up with it. Further I went, constantly shooting at enemies. Eventually, I found a ditch. So far, this place was just plain old frustrating. It was just as frustrating as I crept further. Those waterfalls forced me into them pits while I had to fight off those darned robots. I wanted to hit something by the time I reached Toad Man. The next stage I chose, Bright Man, was just as boring. I wasn't having much fun, obviously.

But now, let me say it one more time. I am not happy to have to say this, but... almost all stages are like this.

One good thing that I have to say is that the controls remain just the same as usual. Mega Man can still jump, fire, and slide. He's also got one new feature: he can charge up his arm cannon and launch out a shot three times as powerful, and this is where it becomes the ''Mega Buster''. I loved this feature, and it's the best part in the game, in my opinion. However, there's one downright large flaw in the gameplay: this game is a lot slower than any of the other games in the series. Play it, fall into a ditch, go to another screen, you'll see what I mean.

Mega Man 4's visuals are quite similar to those of Mega Man 3, which isn't altogether a bad thing, but my main problem with Mega Man 4's graphics was that they were too bright for my tastes. Ring Man's and Dive Man's looked far too colorful and therefore, childish for me to like them. I mean, I loved the dark feeling of Mega Man 3 (Shadow Man and Gemini Man's stages, anyone?). Mega Man 4 also happens to fail in enemy designs, because the majority of them are exactly the same as Mega Man 3's. Mega Man 4 didn't do enough new stuff for the graphics to win much favor from me.

The graphics aren't all that Mega Man 4 fails in either. The thing that more people will notice is that Mega Man 4's music sucks. The original three clearly succeeded over the crap this one has; fitting into the feeling of the graphics, Mega Man 4 offers slightly louder and much more bland music. Ring Man's music is extremely annoying, and Dust Man's and the boss theme also irritate me somewhat. Bright Man's and Dive Man's are also far from memorable, despite being better than most of the rest. And this game has by far the worst Dr. Wily stage music, by far. Man, a great job. *turns off the sarcasm* The sound is mostly the same though. One of the better parts of the game. ;)

In the end, you've got a below average game. Mega Man 4 is still a Mega Man game and still has the gameplay, although it fails miserably in almost all locations. If you're a particular fan of Mega Man and cannot miss out on any games in the series, it's worth a shot, but otherwise, you shouldn't really be bothered unless you can find it cheap somewhere. You'll be happier if you get Mega Man 5 though.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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