CGRundertow MEGA MAN 4 for NES Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 21.04.2012

It’s not always easy being awesome. Just ask Mega Man. After starring in two of the
greatest games of all-time within the span of about a year, nothing short of incredible
was expected from his next. After all, Mega Man was riding a wave of unreasonable quality,
so unreasonable expectations were a given.
And anything less than incredible would’ve been a wipeout.
That’s the context in which, twenty years ago, we were given this. Mega Man 4 was released
for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992, and coming after the classic duo of Mega Man
2 and 3, the game already had an uphill battle. But even more than that, Mega Man 4 was also
the first 8-bit Mega Man released after the launch of the Super Nintendo.
Symbolically, it’s actually quite fitting that the first Mega Man game to drop off in
quality, however slightly, would release as its legendary console generation was also
coming to an end.
In a way, Mega Man 4 faced the same problem as Mega Man 3. How do you follow a game that
was already a classic? But where Mega Man 3 got creative with its answer, Mega Man 4
takes a more...routine approach. In fact, this is the first Mega Man game where creativity
dropped off. Instead, Mega Man 4 maintained the status quo with an important exception,
ushering in the era of the controversial Mega Buster.
For the first time, the Blue Bomber could actually charge his buster and unleash a devastating
power shot. It certainly helped players like me with Mega Man’s notorious difficulty,
but at the same time, Rock feels a little bit too powerful. Part of the appeal of prior
releases had been that very weakness—that you were the underdog against these robot
bosses that had an almost unfair amount of firepower.
In this one? Not so much. In fact, the bosses’ diminished creativity also plays a role here,
as their weapons are often less impressive than your very own Mega Buster.
And yet, there’s something important to remember about Mega Man 4. This is still a
Mega Man game, which instantly puts in the upper-echelon of the NES library. Mega Man’s
trademark action-platforming is as sharp and ruthless as ever, and though the creativity
was a bit down overall, Mega Man 4 still provides a few very memorable bosses...most notably
Skull Man and the classic Pharaoh Man.
Mega Man 4 marked a shift in the Mega Man series, a turning point where the games went
from masterful to “still better than almost everything else.” Not a bad drop in your
quality, but when standards are so high, opinions are bound to be split on a game like Mega
Man 4. To me, it’s an NES classic no retro gamer should be without.
To you? Well, it depends. You pay in small amounts...or do you charge it?