Welcome to Rockman's World.
Remember in the early 2000's how so many of us complained about Mega Man being in way too many games and seeing way too many releases? Oh, if only we knew then what we know now. Today, Mega Man is pretty much intentionally forgotten by Capcom, the series's publisher. Hell, Nintendo is doing more with the franchise than its own publisher is, and that doesn't just include Mega Man's entry in the Super Smash Bros. series with this year's Wii U and 3DS entries. It also includes many of Mega Man's games being released on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console marketplaces. The latter is where the fourth Mega Man game for the Game Boy finally gets another chance to shine, Mega Man IV. For its low entry price, Mega Man IV is like a fully charged Mega Buster shot-- it's a blast.
The core of Mega Man IV remains unchanged from past Mega Man titles, both on the NES and on the Game Boy titles that preceded it. Mega Man runs, guns, and jumps through linear platforming stages, taking on the Robot Master that serves as the last challenge of each level. Defeating the Robot Master endows Mega Man with its special weapon. This special weapon can be used as a helpful tool in completing levels, and it also serves as a weakness to another Robot Master. Finding the right weakness to the right Robot Master is essential for making the game easier on the player. The ability to choose whichever Robot Master level you want to play in whatever order you wanted makes for the ability to make Mega Man IV as easy or as challenging as you'd like.
|Like each GB Mega Man before it,|
Mega Man IV reuses NES Mega Man bosses.
A new feature for this Game Boy installment of Mega Man (and for the series in general) is the inclusion of a shop feature. Once a level has been cleared, Mega Man ventures to Dr. Light's lab and can use the P-Chips (Power Chips) collected in stages to purchase a whole slew of item types. There's health and weapon energy restorative items, energy tanks, 1-ups, and more. This makes the oft-challenging Mega Man IV less of a frustration. Though, no item will save you from poor jumps, particularly into spikes, bottomless pits, or into a wall that crushes poor Mega Man.
|P-Chips dropped by foes and found|
in levels can be used to purchase items.
Meanwhile, the latter four Robot Masters are all taken from Mega Man 5 on the NES. Unlike the letters in the first four levels, these levels require you to collect all four letters-- W, I, L, and Y, in order to unlock the last series of levels in the game.
Since the Game Boy screen had much less space to it than a television screen, rooms in the Game Boy Mega Man games were much smaller, meaning larger sprites and less real estate per screen. That said, even with this perceived handicap, levels in Mega Man IV are well designed and seldom feel unfair. Well, Crystal Man's notwithstanding, which is a stage that ups the difficulty to astronomical levels in comparison to all of the other Robot Master levels in the game.
|Know when to hold 'em. Know when|
to fold 'em. Know when to run away.
Much like discovering the weaknesses to each Robot Master, Mega Man IV is trial and error. An important part of its challenge is redoing stages, learning from your mistakes, and going for that perfect run. This makes the game a lengthy one in that regard. However, with the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console's restore points, you can cheese your way through the game, reloading the restore point when you die. It's like it never happened! Doing so, though, will rob you of the sense of accomplishment Mega Man IV gives you from succeeding due to skill rather than perseverance with the restore point option.
|This robot won't even LOOK your way|
if you use restore points.
[SPC Says: 7.5/10]