Review: Mega Man 4 (NES)

By Drew Wilson

In an effort to continue a very successful action game series, Mega Man 4 would become the next iteration in a very long Mega Man series. We check in and see if this game continued the top quality gameplay that players were familiar with thanks to the second and third installment.

This installment of the long running classic game series, Mega Man, was released in 1991. While the slide dash was tyhe main innovative feature for the third game in the series, the power-up ability of the main blaster would be the innovative feature in this feature.

Players familiar with the mechanics of the series would find themselves on very familiar terrain when they start this game. Fight 8 robot masters by completing their levels and depleting their energy supplies in any order they wish. Beat a robot master, obtain a weapon from them. Sometimes, you’ll be rewarded with a Rush item that helps players retrieve otherwise unreachable items.

What is different is the appearance of Dr. Cassock – seemingly taking the place of Dr. Wiley as seen in previous versions of this game. Still, players will go through Dr. Cassock’s lair, but when one fights Dr. Cassock, Proto Man interferes by dropping off Dr. Cassock’s daughter. She explains that Dr. Wiley kidnapped her and forced her father to make the robots in an effort to defeat Mega Man. That is when players take on Dr. Wiley’s castle.

One thing that is a positive feature is the ability to re-enter levels that have already been beaten. This can allow for players to re-obtain things like free lives and energy containers at the risk of dying by, say, falling into the pit in the Skull Man level. It’s useful if you are in to trying to make sure that you have a good shot at beating the end game level series.

Graphically, this game does manage to add in a few effects like the rain, but most of these effects aren’t really anything new. There’s not much this game does in this department that wasn’t accomplished in the 2nd and 3rd games in the series. It works, but it isn’t much of an improvement from previous games.

The audio is decent. Musically, there weren’t as many memorable tunes as found in previous iterations. the Skull Man level music was good, but there were far fewer levels with memorable music tracks. The sound effects were fairly par for the course for a Mega Man game.

Overall, I felt that while the powering up of the Mega Buster weapon may appear innovative at first, it isn’t anything new necessarily given that one could power-up the Heat Man weapon in Mega Man 2. It just seemed to be applied to the default weapon of Mega Man. While the mechanics of the game were initially ground-breaking, they start really showing signs of being a tired feature in this game. The level select, for instance, is there more because it was a feature in previous games, not necessarily as something that really helped push this game forward. Besides a few plot twists that were thrown in for a little extra flavour, this game seems like a standard Mega Man game.


Furthest point in game: Beat the game.

General gameplay: 17/25
Replay value: 6/10
Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 68%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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