Above: Mega Man rule: the cooler the box art, the worse the game.
I just got done beating Mega Man 4 on original NES hardware after beating Mega Man 2 and 3 on the same hardware. Now I know why I stopped buying Mega Man games after 4. 4 is terrible. Terrible!
The robot bosses are all stupid. Sure, in the past there were dumb ones like Top Man but nothing like Toad Man or Bright Man and other uninspiring ones like Dive Man or Ring Man. I did like Dust Man and Skull Man. The power-ups are also all lame. Nothing is cool. Everything is a redux from a prior Mega Man game. Skull shield? That’s Woodman’s leaf shield. Pharoah Shot? That’s Heatman’s ability. Even Ring Man is a boomerang. I did like the Balloon and Wire (especially) adapters. I hate how you have to find them in a secret part of the stage. The music isn’t very interesting. The stage design is TERRIBLE. There is absolutely nothing memorable about these stages unlike Mega Man 2’s or Mega Man 3’s. This is a game built on cheap deaths. Take Toad Man’s stage with the stupid rain and the long jumps or Pharoah Man with the head platforms and their stupid shots. Mega Man 2 and 3 had their cheap deaths, but it was nothing to this extent. Play 4 after 2 and 3, and you will see!
Above: Oh no! Toad Man! Dust Man! Ring Man! These robot masters are gay.
I really didn’t like how you could replay stages after the robot master was dead. It’s like they expect you to stock up on energy tanks (why does energy tanks have two digits when the maximum is 9? Dumb). I just replayed Skull Man’s stage over and over. Each run I got 3 energy tanks. Tip: When Fliptop throws your prize, stay on the ladder and go down and back up until he gives an energy tank.
The last stages were dumb as hell. The only weapon you use is the Ring Shot for the bosses (Dust for one though). One stage is a forced scrolling platform stage in the air! The first stage of Wily’s castle is nothing but hard hats. I’m sure the makers thought they were being cute, but it is just dumb. Seeing hard hats do different things got annoying to me.
The final boss…. ugh ugh ugh. When you fight Wily, you need to use the drills. But I had used them up already. I had to spend like half a dozen energy tanks and do some fancy footwork with the mega buster in order to bring him down (and the wire adapter bizarrely works too).
There is no imagination in this game. Mega Man 2 had that giant dragon, had Wily as an alien, had the Metal Blades, had interesting stages like Air Man’s stage and incredible music like Bubble Man’s stage. Mega Man 3 had giant ass bosses that filled the screen, memorable robot master stages such as Gemini Man or Snake Man. The Doc Master stages were also very memorable. 3 also has cool music.
4 has shit. It is such a decline that no wonder I felt had. Even the ending is crappy. It is just Mega Man riding a train. Mega Man 2 and 3’s endings were touching with good music. Mega Man 4 has like no ending whatsoever. Mega Man rides the train home and Roll greets him. WTF? Lame. Lame. Lame.
Above: Fuck this shit.
I’m not as familiar with Mega Man 5. Apparently, people must like it since it is now going for $100 used.