Mega Man X4 Review

MMX4 Title

 

Title: Mega Man X4
Developer: Capcom
Game Type: PlayStation Classic
Download: 371 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Currently Unavailable

There are some game franchises that have seemed to have died down, over the years.  Even franchises that fans think are going well and strong can get replaced in a single moment.  There are many franchises this has happened one.  However, many of them aren’t notable or something that just anyone would be able to recall by memory.  One of the more recent franchises for this situation, though, is memorable.  That name is Mega Man.

While Mega Man seems to be getting replaced by Mighty No. 9, those of us who want to play Mega Man games must look back in time, to games that have already released.  In the handheld market, this isn’t such a hard thing to do.  Both the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita have a good number of Mega Man games that can be played on them.  This is mostly the games from the first generation of games.  The original Mega Man games that were on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

However, that is quickly changing.  Not even a week ago, Capcom made a big announcement for PlayStation fans.  They announced that two of the biggest Mega Man games in the PS1 era were coming to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita as PS1 Classics.  Going into what is called by some as the Legendary Mega Man X series, here is our official review of Mega Man X4.

Story

MMX4 Story

Mega Man X is a series that is unique to the Mega Man franchise, because it has a much more involved story than most games.  Back in the original series, the story was just about evil robots appearing and Mega Man going out to stop them.  The X series has more added to it.  This is set in a world where humans and “reploids” live together, unless reploids become hostile, in which case they are labeled as Mavericks and are taken down by a military organizations of mercenaries of reploids and humans known as the Maverick Hunters, led by reploids Mega Man X and Zero.

In Mega Man X4, an air base is destroyed, ending hundreds of lives.  Unwilling to be taken into custody and proved innocence for the event, the military organization known as the Repliforce are labeled as Mavericks and launch a coup against the human population.  In response to the attacks, Mega Man X and Zero are mobilized and sent to contain the situation.

The story of Mega Man X4 isn’t what one would call ground-breaking, but for a Mega Man game, it does well at what it does.  Tying backgrounds for each boss with anime scenes to show the deeper plot of the game, this is a game you can enjoy for both the gameplay and the storyline.  It also plays in two different ways, with different characters, depending on which character you choose to play as.

Gameplay

MMX4 Game 1

Much like the majority of the franchise, Mega Man X4 is a side-scrolling action game.  As you play through the game, you will be sent to a stage that you will travel through to fight enemies and collect secret items until you get to a boss fight.  This is a huge key factor to most of the Mega Man franchises, from the original to the X series to the Zero series and more.

One thing that makes this game unique is that there are two ways to play the game.  When you begin the game, you are taken to a Character Selection screen.  You can either play through the game as Mega Man X, or you can play through it as Zero.  Each character plays a little differently so, even though you’re fighting most of the same bosses, the experience will be a little different, as will how you play the game.  It is suggested that you play as Zero first, as his story has a bigger impact on the X series, as a whole.

The game is set in stages.  After you finish the introduction, you will be able to go into 8 stages.  Each of these has its own environment and its own Mini-Boss and Boss fights.  The goal is to navigate each stage to get to the Boss and fight the Boss to defeat it and obtain its abilities.

The order in which to play this will determine how hard each Boss fight is.  Unlike some of the more recent games, Mega Man X4 is a challenging game.  Each Boss has a weakness in the form of a power you can get from one of the other bosses.  They can also damage you a lot more than you can damage them.  Some have the ability to hit you once or twice and take away half of your entire health meter.  It will be a big trial-and-error to figure out which boss to fight first and then go from there to utilize elemental weaknesses to take on the other bosses.

MMX4 Game 2

The abilities that you gain from each Boss is also a unique element for each character.  While Mega Man X will gain powers that he can use with his Energy-shooting X Buster, it has limits.  All of these powers have ammunition that has to be replenished by finding various items in the stages.  Zero, however, has the Z Saber sword.  His abilities are implemented through that, most of which do not have ammo or any limitations.

While Zero has an advantage with the Saber and unlimited use of abilities, Mega Man X has the stage secrets to find.  As you play through the game as X, you will find capsules that will give you equipment upgrades.  These can be from being able to hover or having a more powerful charge attack from the X Buster.

As far as length goes, one play through should take you a good 3 or 4 hours, depending on how quickly you go and how much time you spend looking for secret items, like energy tanks for extra health.  Generally speaking, it should take you somewhere between 7 and 9 hours to be able to finish both storylines and complete the game.  This is fairly lengthy for a Mega Man game.

Controls

As far as controls go, Mega Man X4 will not be using all of the buttons on the PS Vita as you play.  The game does have more controls on it than the PS Vita has buttons for, though.  This can seem a little intimidating at first, but moving a few around can make it very comfortable.

By default, the D-Pad is used to move X and Zero through each stage.  This can, of course, be remapped to the Analog Sticks using the PS1 Classic Settings.  Most of the rest of the controls have to do with the Face Buttons.  The X button will be, by default, used for jumping and hovering.  The Square Button and Triangle will be your main attack buttons.  The Square Button allows you to use the X Buster or Z Saber for attacks, and the Triangle allows you to use special abilities that are learned from boss fights.

Other than this, the Circle is the default button for dashing.  In my honest opinion, dashing is much easier (especially Dashing Jumps) if set to the R1/R button.  That will also move the R button’s use, the Giga Attack, to the Circle button.  The L1/L button will be used for switching weapons with Mega Man X.

All in all, it’s not a hard control scheme to use, but tinkering with it a little can make it quite comfortable.

Presentation

MMX4 Pres

As far as visuals go, Mega Man X4 is a 2D game.  Each piece of the game is built with 2D graphics, though not all of them are hand-drawn.  Many of the environments, themselves, are pre-rendered moving backgrounds.  The way everything is drawn and angled also give it a bit more 3D depth than your average 2D side-scroller.  They are still drawn visuals and clearly 2D renders, but they have a certain design that makes them look almost 3D in looks.

The transition to the Vita also goes well.  Mega Man X4 is a PlayStation One game, meaning it was originally meant to be displayed on a TV.  The screen on the Vita doesn’t look stretched or deformed on the Widescreen display.  There are some breaks in some of the models, but you won’t notice them unless you’re looking for them.  Also, the less-than-wonderful voice acting is the same in this one as well.

The game also plays well, just as it did on the original PlayStation.  Load times are very short, and there aren’t any areas of the game where the game slows down or lags.  It’s a nice, relaxing play.

Overall

Mega Man X4 is everything you expect of a Mega Man game and more.  While the game is a bit of a hassle to get on your Vita by buying it on the in the PSP section of the store and some of the Voice-Acting will make some cringe, it is worth the download.  With two playable characters, nearly 10 hours of challenging content, and a much deeper storyline than the franchise as a whole is known for, Mega Man X4 is definitely worth the purchase.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Mega Man X4 a 9/10

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