Mega Man 4

released on Dec 06, 1991
by Capcom

For a year the city has been quiet, but a new robotic terror has gripped the city! That scheming scientist, Dr. Cossack has arrived in town with eight new metal maniacs who are bigger and badder than anything Dr. Wily dreamed of. It's going to be a cybernetic showdown as the streets of the city erupt with the sizzling sounds of molten metal! Armed with the new Mega Buster, Mega Man runs, jumps and dodges his way through mazes of metallic munchkins on his way to the Siberian citadel of Dr. Cossack for the final cataclysmic clash!

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A massive improvement over Mega Man 3, returning to the challenge and level design that I was expecting from 2. While I think it drags near the end and the weapons could be a little bit better, it’s still a worthy entry in the series.

Mega Man 4 is easily the best of the original 6 Mega Man games, and honestly, I think at this point it's the best game in the entire series. The newly upgraded Mega Buster adds a whole lot to the base formula, as its inclusion makes it a lot easier to fight Robot Masters with your base weapon, which makes the game more replayable as you're more capable of choosing new level orders if you get bored of the basic boss order. I found myself using just the Mega Buster to go through a lot of the later bosses in the Cossack in Wily Castles and had a whole lot more fun doing that than just spamming the weaknesses. This is easily one of the best games on the NES, and additionally one of the best games out there. Absolute must play.
- I found the weapons in this game to be extremely well done. None of them felt broken like in Mega Man 3, and I found myself using them all the time. I think the only one I didn't end up using much was Toad Man's ability because I wanted to keep it for when I most needed it, but my cautiousness led me to never actually use it in battle.
- The music in this game feels far ahead of Mega Man 3. My favorites were Cossack Stages 3-4, Wily Stages 1-2, Pharoh Man, Dive Man, and Drill Man.
- I'm happy to see another intro cutscene in this one after the surprising lack of one in the previous title. I really loved it.
- Rush Jet has been downgraded in this game, but I honestly don't have too much of an issue with it. Yeah, I missed being able to move more freely, but I still got plenty of use out of Jet here.
- I'm very impressed this game managed to work in 2 new utility abilities alongside rush without making the new abilities feel useless. The ballon, while basically the same as Item 1 and accomplishing much of the same things Rush Coil does, was very useful in my playthrough. Though more than Balloon, Wire was by far the most useful utility in the entire game, even more useful than Rush.
- My one big issue with this game is Phase 2 of the Wily Machine. I could not figure out how to hit Wily without having to use a utility like Balloon or Rush Coil and then immediately switching out of it. How was I going to beat him if I ran out of energy on those utilities? Maybe there was some other way that I was not aware of...
- While having to refill my Pharoh Shot for the final boss was bothersome, the final boss itself was very cool.
-I really like that this game relied on newer characters rather than just having Wily return from the jump. Works especially well since he "supposedly" died in the last game getting crushed under the rubble of the falling Wily Castle. That's something I really like in 5 & 6 too, even if they do fall back on Wily for a big reveal.

Nothing really great. The story actually tries to get to somewhere interesting, but BAM, Willy.

These boss weaknesses are getting absurd.
Like yeah, Pharaoh Man being weak to the "Time Stopper" makes sense (not the pharaoh part, he's just really fast), but why is Ring Man weak to "Pharoah Shot"? Or why is Drill Man weak to "Dive Missiles"? Don't even get me started on Dive Man being weak to "Skull Barrier", or Dust Man being weak to "Ring Boomerang".
Outside of randomly trying every possible weapon in a fight, how you figure these out is beyond me.

Meh overall. The weapons are just ok, the slowdowns are still there although less often than megaman 3. I also noticed that sometimes when you charge shot then turn around, you end up firing in the opposite direction.

As one would expect, Mega Man 3 was pretty successful for Capcom, despite not being quite on the same level as the success of Mega Man 2. Nevertheless, a sequel was already being put in development shortly after, even though at this point, given how the SNES was already out, they could have just as easily ended off the NES lineup with 3 and called it a day. Instead, however, they pressed on to make yet another set of games for the system, starting off with Mega Man 4.
So, this is where a majority of people would consider this to be the start of the “lesser” NES Mega Man games. Not bad by any means, but compared what had come before, people would consider this, as well as the two games to follow, very samey, repetitive, and just not as interesting as before. Honestly, I completely understand where people are coming from when they say that… but with that being said, of course I still fucking love Mega Man 4. Would I consider it as good as Mega Man 2 or 3? No, but it is still a fantastic entry in the series, and one that no fan of the franchise should pass up.
The story is pretty much the exact same, except now changing up the characters, which is fine for me, although I don’t understand why now in the 4th entry we are getting a cutscene that details the origins of Mega Man, the graphics are the best in the series so far, even if they appear very similar to that of the previous titles, the music is awesome, no surprise there, the control is just as tight, responsive, and fun as ever, and the gameplay is also just as fun and satisfying as every other mainline entry so far.
If you somehow need a reminder of how the gameplay in Mega Man works, then you should probably see a doctor for your memory loss issues. You run through stages, jumping and shooting through many enemies, getting health and weapon supplies along the way, defeating bosses, gaining their powers, and using those powers to your advantage in other stages. Just like with the previous games, though, they do add a few new features in this game to spice things up. For starters, this is the first game in the series to give you a charge shot, which is very great to see, as it helps out with dealing with a lot of the bigger threats that you will face throughout the game. Sure, it isn’t as big or effective as future charge shots from future games, but for what we have here, it is still pretty great stuff, even if the noise it makes can make other people want to permanently clog up their ears so they can never hear it. I’ve just gotten used to the sound now.
In addition to all the new powers you get throughout the game, as well as the Rush abilities still here, there are also additional hidden powers that you can find in two of the levels, those being Balloon, which is just Item 1 from Mega Man 2, and the Wire, which is a grappling hook that allows you to get to places for extra goodies. Not only does this add replay value to the game, which is always appreciated, but the items themselves are very useful in several scenarios, so it doesn’t feel like too much stuff at once. Not much else to say about the changed gameplay, except for the introduction of Eddie, who shows up in several levels to give you an item, which you can then exploit into him giving you a free E-Tank, which is nice.
In terms of problems with the game, this goes back to something I brought up in my review of Mega Man 3: the padding. In this game, as well as the next two after this, you have to go through two separate final castles to beat the game, because the plot demands that you find out about this obvious twist that you already know going in. Granted, it’s not as annoying as it is in Mega Man 3, but padding is still padding, no matter what form it comes in, and needless to say, the game doesn’t need to be extended for this long, even if I still find it to be fun and challenging. In addition, from here on out, the Rush Jet ability gets nerfed pretty hard. In Mega Man 3, you could move about freely on Rush Jet, allowing you to get to various hard-to-reach areas with little to no trouble. Here, and in every other subsequent game to come after, you can only move up and down while moving forward constantly in the direction you are facing, which isn’t terrible by any means, but it just sucks compared to what we had before. There are also other minor things, like, y’know… Toad Man, but that other stuff doesn’t really bother me too much, and none of the problems did anything to keep me from having a great time
Overall, despite the issues that it has, this is still yet again another fantastic entry in the Mega Man series, and I would definitely recommend it not just for Mega Man fans, but anyone who wants to get into the series in general. I mean, it has the origins of Mega Man in the opening cutscene, so hey, you may as well get people started on this game instead of the first one. Probably would make for a better experience.
Game #196