Mega Man 4

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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
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

When compared to the classic series, Megaman 4 is a well rounded and solid experience. While some say that MM2 or 3 are the ones to get started with, this game is the one I recommend to starters. It might spoil some (like me) when they play previous titles right after playing MM4, but it can let new comers know how far the series has involved to perfect itself. This game has Great Weapons with great balance (except from Skull Barrier) and the level design has a right pace of challenge with a dash of Casualness for the starters (Drill man, Dust man and Skull man). The only gripes I have with the game are that there are a VERY MINOR! amount of unfair enemy placements in about only 2 stages however when you play MM4 once, you will learn the placement in the next run. The OST is great, The levels are fun and the Weapons are phenomenal. Not anything new or spectacular (The exception only being Eddie) but just a solid, tight and great Megaman game to start with.

Game Rating
Snufflepus Penguin

Mega Man 4 is an exquisite game and an absolute NES gem of a game. This game expands from the good gameplay in Mega Man 3, and fixes a lot of stage problems found in Mega Man 2, while retaining that classic Blue Bomber feel. This game packs a lot of content stretching from your 8 robot master stages and introducing a two castles with their own exciting stages. Each stage, at worst is a decent experience but at it’s peak a true time of fun.

This game gives a well animated cutscene of Megaman’s origin story, and the robot masters you’ll face are some of the best in the entire series. Their stages all offer some real neat platforming. You’ll be fighting Giant Robot Snails that fire their eyeballs and bombs out of their backs in Toad Man’s stage, raiding the ancient tomb of Pharaoh Man, storming the aquatic base of Dive Man and a metallic junkyard in Dust Man’s stage, to name a few. Secrets in the game, along with alternative passages are present, keeping that replay-ability value. Most bosses are pretty good, with their own distinctive patterns, but damage taken from colliding with them has been increased up to absurd levels.

Controls are excellent, the charged buster deals a powerful punch, but not too strong, unlike Megaman 5.

The weapons are strong and pack a punch, with many uses. The Skull Barrier is great for single-hit protection, the drill bomb blows enemies to bits (Unlike the Crash Bomber from MM2), the rain flush clears enemies off the screen but is balanced with a wind-up time. The Pharoah shot can be charged for a super strong shot, and the ring boomerang hits multiple times, just to name a few. You’ll end up with a vast array of arsenal perfect for taking on Cossack’s and Wily’s castle. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, facing off against giant robot moths, cockroaches, a giant claw machine and a big met, with much more. Each castle level is memorable, such as sliding on the ice in Cossack Stage 1, or the met laboratory in Wily Stage 1. The aesthetics of the stages are vibrant and mesh well, but in a way that it isn’t obnoxious like Clown/Bounce Man. I admire the beautiful blue moon in Cossack Stage 4.

Occasionally, there are a few bad rooms, such as a prank room in Wily Stage 2, but the level design for the most part is great. Along with the two castle assortment of stages, and your 8 robot masters, Mega Man 4 is a truly great package that provides playability and plainly, just a great time to be had.

Game Rating

Mega Man 4 is just a well-rounded experience all they way from the start till the end, and for good reason. The game has its set of issues, but putting them aside results in a fun experience.

The graphics are phenomenal. The attention to detail is so well done (both in the graphics and gameplay) that it makes me wonder what happened to the later games and how they weren’t as awesome as this.

The music is rocking, and I just give a listen to the album almost every day. Tracks like Skull, Toad, Dust, Drill and Dive are just phenomenally well composed. Cossack 1&2 and 3&4 is also worth a mention.

The physics. Best of the NES. Very risk-free, very much controllable, and really tight. The newly added chargeable buster plays well into the game’s design as a choice of whether you want to use it or not. I’ve heard people dislike this feature because they say it makes the game too easy, but obviously they’ve never played MM5.

Stage design is high quality and they are never boring. There’s honestly not a single stage I hate in 4. Not even the castle stages. What makes 4 unique from the rest is that instead of re-using gimmicks from the previous stages and use them in the castle stages to test what you have learnt (which is the usual formula), every stage has its mechanic of it’s own. The mechanics themselves are really well done and they are so fun to play around with. Bright with the swing platforms and Battans; Toad with the Rain and sewer conveyors; Drill with the Rock Droppers along with the Light Switches; Pharaoh with the sand and Hovers; Ring has the rainbow and golden disappearing platforms; Dust has the giant Compressor and the enormous Yoku Blocks; Dive with the Moving Water; Skull… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯; Cossack 1 with the Ice and Snow physics; Cossack 2 has the Spike-Alternating Blocks; Cossack 3 is an autoscroller with the Golden Hovers; Cossack 4 plays on different routes; Wily 1 has the Yoku Blocks (pretty late though) and… Not sure if this counts as a mechanic, but METS GALORE; Wily 2 doesn’t have any mechanics either; But all in all, some of the best stage design there is; The enemy variety is interesting, fun, and the placements make them a hundred times better.

The weapons certainly shine in this game. One of the best weapon sets ever as they all can be used in different spots whilst allowing other weapons to play in those specific locations too. I guess Dust Crusher could use some work, but it’s not bad either. Doing a ‘No Buster Run’ for this game was certainly one of my favourite challenges that I’ve done.

The robot masters however, aren’t quite good. Half of them are well-crafted, while the other half is quite lousily designed (looking at you, Toad Man). The endgame bosses however are well done and they feel so unique and interesting.

This game is honestly worth every Mega Man fan’s time, and it certainly won’t let them down either.

Game Rating