GSQ5: A new ambition

Mega Man 4
Another entry in this week’s all “GSQ5, all the time” mandate brings us a look at Mega Man 4. Don’t worry, I promise there’s more to this site than just posting content its print iteration. Next week, GameSpite will go back to its normal charter of musing about game history, being nostalgic for the NES, and griping about Mega Man — a welcome 360-degree turnaround from today’s material.

17 thoughts on “GSQ5: A new ambition

  1. Good observations, to be sure. I’ve always argued that you can break up the Mega Man series into sets of 3 (which in a lot of ways also continues with the X series as well), and that is solely predicated on the charge shot. It does “break” the game to a large extent. But at the same time, effective use of the charge shot make you feel like a bad-ass. No one would really say that about Mega Man in the first three games, but it’s very true in the later NES entries, and particularly Mega Man 5, which brought the charge shot to new levels of absurdity.

    I’m still partial to the original set, or at the very least Mega Man 2 and 3, although you rightly point out that the later Mega Man games are not bad at all. Mega Man 9 is probably near the pinnacle of the series, which really surprised me, because I didn’t think Capcom had it in ’em anymore (and perhaps Mega Man 10 is indicative that they are prone to falling back into their old ways).

    Also, Mega Man 4 was the first game I got to play on my brother’s and my first color TV, so I’m a little partial to it. :)

  2. I do like Mega Man 4 a lot, and it’s probably my second favorite game after 2, but I do recognize a lot of the stuff you say. For the reasons you mention or for others, you do get the feeling that Mega Man 4 just feels like it’s starting to fall away. I think a lot of it is that the bosses were overall just a bit more goofy, though I still like a lot them. But the stages are fun, the music is extremely underrated. The weapons could stand to be better, but they would only get worse from here until 9.

    Though, for those interested in seeing MM4 get really punched up, go to YouTube and check out “Rockman 4 MI.”

  3. I remember finishing MegaMan 4 in one weekend using nothing but the charge shot. It was definitively overpowered. It says quite a bit about Capcom’s level designers that the game was quite fun, nonetheless.

  4. This was my favorite back in the day, but I never thought about how the charge shot broke it :(

  5. Back in the days of my childhood, MM4 was a great challenge to me. I don’t think I ever abused the charge shot. Even now, 15-some years later, I still don’t abuse the charge shot in the later MM games. I guess it’s really up to you to make your own game experience.

  6. I played MM4 once, and never had any desire to play through it again. While MM5 caused me to hate myself for playing through such a pile of trash, MM4 was just average and uninteresting.

    I’d probably rank it 5th in the series, tied with MM10. It’s very similar to MM10, in that its key theme is “disappointment”. 5 and 10 both had such phenomenal games as their predecessors… and then we get an average, unremarkable game as a sequel.

    I think the music was pretty terrible compared to its immediate predecessors– there were maybe 3-4 good themes in the entire game, and Skull Man is the only GREAT theme.

  7. MM4’s weapon balance is much, much better than you give if credit for. I mean, weapons like the Flash Stopper can trivialize entire stages: (turn annotations off)

    Also, given the composer’s contribution to MM10 (Commando Man), I’m pretty sure the percussive nature of the soundtrack is more a result of the composer’s fetish for white noise than anything sound-design related.

  8. Honestly, I don’t see the ability to trivialize challenge as a characteristic of a well-balanced game.

  9. Those are really nice screengrabs. *Really* nice!

    Last time I played through MM4 I was trying to abuse the special weapons in creative ways. The Pharaoh Shot is particularly fun to toy with in a glitchy-charged-Metal Blade sort of way.

    Then I realized that even during Christmas holidays I have better things to do, and considered selling the cart at a local game shop. In the end, I couldn’t bring myself to do it…

  10. Speaking of every new year of GameSpite starting off with a Retrospective, next year is the SNES’s 20th. I’m on to you, Jeremy Parish.

  11. Aww, but SNES…. well, ok, granted, I guess we do kind of talk about SNES at every opportunity around here *anyway*.

  12. As a Nintendo adherent, I can talk a lot about their systems, but it would be interesting to visit the Sega Genesis or the TurboGrafx-16. The former would probably be more interesting to most, although the amount of stuff that the PC-Engine got in Japan is pretty staggering.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t have been exposed to the Genesis if not through emulation. So many games that I never got a chance to play (Phantasy Star IV, Shining Force, etc.) in the day, and it prompted me to go find a Genesis (and Sega CD, naturally!) so I could build up a library. :) Don’t get me wrong, SNES had a better library, but dang if there aren’t some gems for the Genny.

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