This time equipped with the powerful NEW MEGA BUSTER!!
written : 06/15/03
To be completely honest, I've been wanting to do an article on a NES game for a long time. When we finished Chat Radio #2, I knew that I had found my calling. Maybe not my calling, but it was some kind of sign, because it was then that I found the perfect game for my first video game article: MegaMan 4, or as it is known to the higher classes, MegaMan IV. Damn social butterflies. Actually, damn all butterflies. I don't know why, but I don't really like them.
"But why MegaMan 4?" you ask, "Why not MegaMan 1,2,3,5 or 6? Or MegaMan Soccer?" The answer is simple, really. 1)MegaMan 4 features the best Robot Master ever, Skull Man and 2)MegaMan Soccer was for SNES. I distinctly said in the paragraph above this that I wanted to review a NES game. And NES game I will. Oh yes. Oh NES. Sentence that really has no use except for to make this paragraph look longer than it really is.
I can already tell that this review is going to take a long time, mostly because all of my articles have taken a long time. And also, because as I type, I'm playing MegaMan4. I need screenshots, and I didn't have any on hand before, so I'm multitasking a bit. I know it's something that men aren't supposed to be able to do, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna stick to the stereotype.
When you first boot up MM4, you are treated to a nice little "movie" of Mega's story. It all started when Dr. Light and Dr. Wily worked together to make robots that would help the humans. But for reasons unknown, Wily went nuts, took control of the robots, and went on a rampage. Light's remaning robots, Rock and Roll were powerless to stop them, for they were mere maid-bots. But brave Rock volunteered to become the super-robot, MegaMan. He had stopped Wily a total of three times, hopefully putting him out of the biz for good. And now we're in the present.
Once again, 8 robots have declared war on Earth, this time led by a mysterious scientist named Dr. Cossack. His name kind of souds like cock sack. High school must have been torture. Now Megs must spring back into action and defeat yet another wave of angry 'bots. It's not gonna win any awards, but the story of MM4 was probably one of the best of the era. Considering the kind of crap they were marketing as "video games"(read: Jaws) back then.
The key to beating any MegaMan game was always to know which order you were supposed to beat the bosses in. It was like a big game or rock-paper-scissors, every boss had a special power. When you beat him you gained that power to use on the other levels. Every boss also had a weakness to one of the weapons. So the only real trick here was figuring out which one of these guys to kill first. They were all pretty tough, but I recommend starting with Toad Man, since he's such a wuss. Wait... I just contradicted myself, didn't I?
Toad Man really didn't account for much, except for that he was the only frogish Robot Master within the whole series. But I guess that counted for more than I think, because he got reincarnated in MegaMan Battle Network 2 for GameBoy Advance/SP. Which, I might add, is also an excellent game. Buy it. Back to Toadie. his special weapon is called the "Rain Flush". How it manages to count as a weapon is beyond my comprehension, but then again, most things are. Like I said before, Toadie's a wuss, so he shouldn't be too hard to take down with the Mega Buster. As an added bonus, you also get the Rush Marine for beating him.
Bright Man is a bit tougher, if only because his level is rather hard. Lots of spikes, peope. And as any Mega-fan knows, spikes kill you in one hit, regardless of how much life you have left. If you have the Rain Flush weapon, he's not too bad. Of course, every boss can be taken down with the Mega Buster if necessary. I guess Bright's name described the guy pretty well, since he was more or less a big light bulb. The bulb on his head lit up every once in a while, but I don't think it was ever actually used as a light source. His Flash Stopper stops enemies. That's it.
The other day I was drawing all the boss robots from MM4, and I got to seven before I was stumped. It was a decision between StarMan and PharaohMan, and I chose wrong. I don't know why, I'm usually pretty good at remembering which bosses were in which game. It's probably because PharaohMan is the least memorable boss in MM4. He was pretty boring actually, all he did was throw a big energy ball. Every other boss had something that did something unique(to say the most). And if short-term memory serves, his level was pretty crappy as well. The boss himself wasn't extremely easy, and as one would expect, his .EXE incarnation is way stronger and cooler. Onto the next.
Ring Man! For some reason, his level was space-themed. I don't know what's so spacey about rings, and they sure didn't have Halo back then. In any case, he was like every other boss who attacked with projectiles. Jump, shoot, jump, shoot, lather, rinse, repeat. None of them were terribly difficult in theory, but the unpredictable jumping and aim could best even the best player. Unless they had the boss' weakness. Then it was very possible to beat them without getting hit, never mind breaking a sweat. Only I didn't know this back when I rented the games, so it made for some frustrating times. It also explains why most of my NES controllers don't work very well at all.
Next on the list we have Dust Man. Look at him! He's got a ventilation shaft for a forehead! Mega could just sneak in there to get into the enemy base like in the movies. Maybe not, but I think it would be pretty funny. In any case, Dust Man's level is kinda tough, since it's got enemies that pop out of pits randomly and if you get hit, you'll more than likely die. Then near the end there's one of those "crushing machine" things, which poses a problem only because there's so damn many metools lurking around inside it. As for Dusty himself, he's a generally easy boss, even without the Ring Boomerang. His shots always go straight, so just jump. His movement is similar, so it's a solid strategy. Your reward for beating him is the Dust Crusher, which is remarkably similar to Junk Man's special wepon(MM7).
It's about damn time we got to Skull Man. He's so cool. I'm not sure why. I've always had a special place in my heart for the undead. Putting zombies or skeletons in a game increases the worth by about $10 by itself. Well, at least that's what I think. It might also explain why I enjoy Castlevania and Resident Evil games so much. Anywho, Skull Man's level is embarassingly easy, and there are two Energy Tanks to grab along the way. Skull Man himself isn't much of a challenge either. He'll shoot straight and diagonally and run around, pausing occasionally to use the Skull Barrier. The Dust Crusher will stomp him down in about 5 or 6 hits. Victory secures the Skull Barrier weapon, which is a non-active variation of the Leaf Shield. You'll know what I mean if you've played MM2.
Dive Man, theoretically, has the biggest level of all. It spans the clouds right down to the bottom of some type of cyber sea. But in reality, all the levels are pretty short. It does have a good amount of spikes though, making it somewhat tricky to get through. And, as a bonus, you can find the Wire Adapter here by navigationg a chasm of spikes. What the Wire Adapter does exactly, I have not clue, but it might allow MegaMan to cling to ceilings. Dive Man is a rather tough boss, even if you do have the Skull Barrier. His missiles will follow you forever and he moves quite fast. An Energy Tank will help here. Taking him out will result in gaining the Dive Missile power.
I think that Drill Man's level is actually the longest. It's hard to say for sure, but I know it took me the longest to beat. It's got a lot of spike traps at first, then falling rocks, then falling rocks over bottomless pits. Plus, there's a whole area where you have to turn platforms on and off to progress. And hitting a switch and then changing direction to land on the newly created platform isn't exactly easy. If and/or when you make it to Drill Man, he'll launch drills all over the place and pop up at random places to try and catch you off guard. The Dive Missile's homing ability makes it that much easier. Manage to kill him and you'll bring home the Drill Bomb.
After you beat all eight bosses, you'll be taken to Cocksack's castle. Then you'll have to beat so many levels until you fight the Doc himself. I don't have the patience to play through the rest of the game on an emulator, so I'll just guess what happens from that point on. After you beat Cossack, you'll reveal that Dr. Wily was the bad guy all along. What a unexpected plot twist! Then you'll have to go through his castle, fight all the Bosses again, and then finally beat Wily. It's standard fare. Every 4th game and on in every MegaMan series is like that. Well, maybe that's being a little too general. It only happens in the original and X series. None of that crap in the Battle Network series. Ah, good old MMBN.
I suppose this review should contain the general review contents, so here goes. The graphics are great. For the NES anyway. The sprites are all nice and clear, and sized well for the levels, not too big, not too small. The backgrounds seem to be a bit more detailed than the previous three games, but that's about all the change there is. As for controls, they're spot-on, if and only if you're using a controller. If you're playing the ROM and using the keyboard, be prepaed to get frustrated with the controls at least once. It might be the emulator, but the game won't let me jump left while charging the buster, and that has caused death on more than one occasion.
The sound is just what you'd expect it to be. Fast-paced techno-ish music that fits right in with the game. Then there's the evil music whenever one of the Docs come on screen. And the prologue has a nice tune playing too. Of course, every other MegaMan fan will say that MM2 has the best music of them all. I'm not sure if I agree or not. It's all really similar to me. As long as it sounds good, I guess. Of course, let's not forget sound effects. It keeps true to that jumping sound that MegaMan makes in all the NES games. I love that sound. Not sure why, but it's just a funny sound. And all the other stuff is standard MegaMan fare too.
Overall, I give MegaMan 4 a 10/10. It might seem a bit biased becasue Skull Man is in it, but I'd give most MegaMan games 10/10. The only exceptions are MMX6, RM.EXE(WonderSwan), and MegaMan Soccer. Sure, MegaMan Soccer is a fun and hilarious game, but it's got control issues and I'm not a huge fan of soccer. MMX6 is a good indication of why a series should die, and RM.EXE for WS was a terrible, terrible game. But back to MM4 for a second, it is a more or less perfect game, the only faults being that it's a bit slower than modern day MM games. Otherwise, it's all good.
The thing that really bothers me though, is that I never got the chance to own this superb game. Back when my NES was my premiere game console, I really didn't have any money, so I couldn't buy it. And you know that when you let parents buy you games you're gonna end up with a lot of crap and maybe a few good ones. Luckily, my library of 30+ was pretty well-rounded, so I can't say my parents neveer picked anything good. They did get me Punch-Out!! after all. I suppose the moral of this story is that ROMs are a Godsend.
There, finally finished! But the intro is a little bit out of date now... this definetly isn't my first game review, and obviously, it took a very long time to finish it. But I promised that I would, and I try my damnedest to keep my promises. So now that it's done what do I do? I was thinking something along the lines of Aria of Sorrow or some type of Animal Crossing article. I can never predict what my next article will be.
I also took a lot of pics for this article, and a good amount of them are rather large too, so it's taking up a lot more space than I want it to. Maybe by the time I need it, I'll have access to a bigger amount of webspace. If only it didn't cost so much. If you want, you could always send me some money so that I could afford some. Or, I could just make another Angelfire accont and store articles on that! But it is againt the TOS... I don't know how long it would go unnoticed. Anyways, this is the end. You can click the back button now or click the link below the table to send me an E-mail. I like E-mail.