Mega Man 4

MEGA MAN 4
Developer: Capcom
 

Mega Man 4 is the pinnacle of the NES Mega Man games. High attention to detail, beautiful background to foreground contrast ratios and amazing controls. Enemy placements are some of the best you’ll find and using the multi-purpose weapons is a true joy that doesn’t stop giving.
 
Only a few flaws are present. However, it is not enough to sour the experience. Robot Masters can be a bit on the boring side and just a few bad rooms are present. All of those little flaws are nothing compared to the full package: There is no better Mega Man experience on the NES. Along with its amazing soundtrack, Mega Man 4 sets a high standard that all fan games should follow. If you’re only going to play one of the NES games, make this the one you pick up.

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BiscuitNate
BiscuitNate

If I were asked the question “What is your favorite Mega Man game out of the classic series?” I would most definitely have to go with this game. Mega Man 4 is an amazing example that made a set bar on quality of a Mega Man game; defining how Mega Man should work. The game’s mechanics work smoothly, with them eventually following to be relative in many later titles. Graphically, the game is very pleasing when it comes to the backgrounds and foreground and it shows off the true capability of the NES.

Robot Masters work well but there are a set few that could be a bit apathetic after fighting them for the first time such as Toad Man and somewhat Drill Man. Weapons were also very good and there wasn’t a single weapon that would be considered “abysmal” or “uninspired” to me (as my personal favorites are Drill Bomb, Dive Missile, and Pharaoh Shot). The weapons were also capable of being used in many situations rather than existing just because they look cool.

Enemies are usually placed very well in stages and there wasn’t a moment in the game in which the rooms felt the same; even when using the same enemies, the game always found a way to use the properties of the enemies in creative, challenging ways. The game packs a great soundtrack that I always catch myself humming to, even when I’m not playing the game. As stated before by the original review, the game has few flaws but they are usually unnoticed on first play-throughs.

Overall, a game that I always come back to and what I would recommend to new Mega Man players to start with.

Game Rating
9,4
Brent Critic
Brent Critic

After Mega Man 3 was released, Capcom then made the golden rule of milking the franchise for more sequels. The end result was 4 through 11. Before I start, I should mention that I had a lot of busy work on my hands after I reviewed Mega Man 1-3 which was why it took me so long to get to this review although some of it was just slacking off so I apologize for delaying my review of Mega Man 4. Anyways, on to the review.

Back when Mega Man 4 first came out. It was well received like the previous games but many felt it was the start of the series downfall. Nowadays, more and more people are starting to say it’s their favourite of the NES Mega Man games and I’m one of those people. I did enjoy Mega Man 1-3 but I never found them to be grand masterpieces that many led you to believe. They’re better designed than some games during the same and even the 16-bit era (looking at you Sonic 2) but they still had annoying flaws. Fortunately, Mega Man 4 takes the best of the original trilogy and irons out the major flaws.

The level design is very challenging with rarely a moment where the game feels boring to play through, more importantly however is that Mega Man 4’s level design is highly consistent in quality compared to its predecessors. There is some trial and error and cheap enemy placement but this is kept at a bare minimum in comparison to the previous games. Most of the challenge actually feels rewarding as well as cutting down a lot of the bullshit from the previous games. 1 had trial and error, 2 had poor enemy placement and 3 had the doc robots. 4 doesn’t have a single bit of majorly offensive design that pisses me off to no end. It’s all rewarding and satisfying design that rarely feels cheap and is overall well designed and fun to play.

While I personally prefer the robot master stages from Mega Man 3, Mega Man 4’s robot master stages are still a riot to play through and is overall a lot of fun. One thing that is better than Mega Man 3, 1 and especially 2 is the weapon balancing. Mega Man 4 easily has the best selection of weapons of all the NES Mega Man games. The ring boomerang is a piercing weapon worth a damn, the rain flush is a screen nuke done right, the dive missile is a solid homing missile that works well for what it does, the drill bomb is actually what the crash bomber should have been, the skull barrier is a decent shield weapon and the flash stopper is the time stopper with far better execution. The only weapon I would say isn’t great is the dust crusher, it’s basically just a quicker way of shooting a fully charged mega buster. With that said, I’d take it over the worst weapons of the previous games anyday.

The 2nd half of Mega Man 4 involves you travelling through Dr. Cossack’s stages and then you eventually take on Dr. Wily through his new set of castle stages. Mega Man 4’s 2nd half is what Mega Man 3’s 2nd half should have been. Instead of slightly different versions of previously played stages, you instead play through actual new stages with new graphics and design with much better boss battles. Can I just bring up how much I love Dr. Cossack? He’s a refreshing change of pace from Dr. Wily and the opening has Mega Man travelling on a train going to Russia to stop Dr. Cossack. It turns out that Dr. Cossack is doing this because Dr. Wily kidnapped his daughter who Proto Man saves before Mega Man almost destroys Dr. Cossack to death. Yeah, it has a dumb twist but I don’t mind since the game does do a good job of not mentioning Dr. Wily until the near end and it makes Dr. Wily more threatening than last time. It’s a good story and I liked it more than Mega Man 3’s story. Sure, Proto Man was great but you can’t take Dr. Wily helping out Dr. Light seriously in that plot.

The boss battles are good but not great. More specifically the robot masters. They’re relatively hit or miss and they don’t pose a huge challenge. Thankfully, the bosses in the Dr. Cossack and Wily stages are a lot of fun with well telegraphed patterns, recognizable strategies and pose a fun challenge. They’re a lot of fun from start to finish even if the robot masters aren’t great to begin with.

The graphics is about on par with Mega Man 3 only with more colourful and interesting environments so there’s not much to say here. The music, while not up there with 2 & 3’s music, is still some great stuff, plus, I cannot get enough of Dr. Cossack’s tracks, they’re so damn catchy.

One last thing to address is that Mega Man 4 was the game that introduced the chargeable mega buster. Some criticize Mega Man 4 for introducing it but I think Mega Man 4 handles the chargeable buster quite well, it’s fun to use but it takes long to charge and it does the same amount of damage as the weapons you gain in this game. I mostly use the chargeable buster just to have an easier time against the robot masters, plus, because of this new mechanic, it’s much easier to do the buster only challenge than previous games. Because the weapons are so good in this game, I never found much of a reason to use the chargeable buster since, like I said, it does the same amount of damage except you have to charge it for 2 seconds so I prefer to use one of the weapons.

To conclude, Mega Man 4 is a brilliant game and a huge improvement over its previous installments. It’s consistent, balanced, well designed and overall just a fun time with minimal frustration. Will the later games follow up on 4’s design. Will see when I review the next games but for now, I’m too busy with my own stuff at the moment. Thanks for reading.

Game Rating
9,5
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