Well it's been a while since we've done a real review of a game. And this doesn't really change things much. If you want a real review go to a site that does real reviews. Dumbass.
This is a MegaMan game, so you know pretty much exactly what to expect, not that that's bad. If you have a hot idea, run with it. The only really big innovation with this game was deciding to split it into two different people to play as, X and Zero. This means they want you to play through it twice, which I did. X and Zero really play very differently, and it's a really good idea since I've personally wanted to play as Zero since the original Megaman X. Well, you could in X3 but it sucked. However, this time it really made playing them into almost like two different games, except that you have all the same bosses and stages.
Megaman, or X, plays exactly like every other Megaman game. Jump, shoot, dash. Not too big a deal in those respects. In fact, there is very little innovation on him whatsoever. His defining differences between the games are in the capsules, which are always outlet for innovation.
First as always are his boots, which in X4 are pretty lame. They let you dash in the air like in X2 and X3, which is okay, but also have a new ability, being hovering. Hovering is about as useful as being able to stand in place. You just kinda FLOAT there, and since it's set to the jump button, you accidentally hover a lot. Which sucks.
His armor, while also reducing damage, lets you do a supernova attack or some crap. But you can only use it every now and again, and it doesn't really cover a very useful range, so it really is only useful for getting a single cheap hit on bosses, and never being used otherwise. Well, unless you cheat and get the black armor, which lets you repeatedly do that attack. Cool.
You get two arm powerups in this game, if you're crafty enough to find both of them. His first arm powerup is really weak, as all it does lets you shoot 4 shots at once. But his OTHER arm powerup is awesome, making his charged shot a huge plasma ball that generates more plasma when it hits enemies, causing them to get hit repeatedly. It doesn't work like that on bosses, as they become invincible for a second after getting hit, but normal enemies really get trashed by it. What I wonder is what happened to doing mega-awesome charged shots though, like in X 1-3, but the residual plasma almost makes up for it. Either arm lets you charge normal weapons.
Megaman's helmet is a good idea, but in the end just sucks. It lets you have infinite amounts of any un-charged special weapon. Cool, you say? It would be, if this were a different Megaman game, but the special weapons in X4 suck more than the Spice Girls... They do shit for damage, are slow, and/or move in a completely useless direction, making them in no way better than your X-buster. This really made me sad about playing as Megaman, because I felt no secret compulsion to waste my ammo on enemies. Sad powerups = lame game.
Perhaps the only thing worse than the powerups are X's voice actor. Seriously he sounds like a 10 year old boy, who is REALLY emPHATIC about stuff. I just can't take him seriously at all because it constantly sounds like like he got kicked in his balls two seconds ago.
Zero's game was only marginally better. Zero has his own flaws though, mostly in the way he fights. He no longer has a badass arm cannon that kicks the shit out of X's arm cannon, like every other game. Instead, he has his sword, which he got in X3. Just the sword though, making him VERY close-range. Like close enough for the enemy to hit you, which is a problem X never faces.
This isn't so bad, because it's fun playing like that, but it could've been done MUCH better than this for Christ's sake. Instead of weapons, Zero gets moves he learns from bosses. This too could have been cool if EVERY boss taught him a USEFUL move, but he really only has two or three ones you end up using more than twice.
But what really makes Zero suck compared to X is that Zero doesn't get ANY capsules, meaning he sucks as much at the beginning as he does approaching the end of the game. Instead of capsules, some of the bosses teach him or give him powerups RESEMBLING what you'd get in a capsule. Split Mushroom gives you a double-jump and spin attack, for example, which is really useful. More useful than any shit X gets in a capsule. Storm Owl powers up Zero's weapon, which makes no sense at all, but I'll accept it.
So, not only do you have to split up bosses' rewards between attacks and powerups, but half of them just SUCK. For example, one guy teaches you to attack while dashing. WHOOPDIE FREAKING DOO. Another lets you stab down with ice. SIGN ME UP FOR THAT! And a potentially useful one, shooting lightning straight forward, takes SO LONG to perform that you end up getting hit before it goes off. The only one I really, really like is Magmar Dragoon's Ryuujin. That's fun, and actually useful. You jump up with your Zero Saber on fire, and you could theoretically hit someone 25 times with it, except for the fact that anything that isn't killed instantly by it goes invincible when you hit it for long enough that you only hit the guy once. GAhhhhh.
So despite the fact that statistically X kicks the crap out of Zero, at least Zero doesn't sound like a little girl. Instead he just sounds like the really dramatic kid in your school plays who can't act. His voice acting is choppy and unrealistic and doesn't flow at all, making any scene where he talks (or growls) painful to the ear. Quite annoying. However, you get a really good 5 minute anime cutscene playing as Zero (with very little talking on Zero's part fortunately). This makes it all worth it.
The difficulty curve when using Zero is really screwed up though. Unlike MegaMan, it's actually MUCH more difficult when you start out as Zero, and the end of game gets easier. The last bosses are pretty tough except for the very last one which isn't too bad. But in order to kill your first boss as Zero, you need a lot of practice. Conversely, with Megaman, it's pretty easy most of the way through the game, until you get to the last boss, which kicks your ass. It's a severe anal raping that goes on because of the sudden jump in difficulty. But it's possible, I've done it.
As for the other factors in the game, if you play as X, you get this real dork who just sits there in the level-selection screen. "Oh, I will sit here and help you!" Then you're SO surprised when you find out he was a spy. "I TRUSTED you!!!" What a dumbass.
Also there's this robot chick who hangs out with Zero, and they're supposedly in love. However, she decides to just attack him near the end of the game. "Oh, my brother is dead because he insisted on fighting you! I attack! NYARGH!" Not only that but you have a touching scene afterwards filled with more bad voice acting. "IiiIIIiIiIIRrrrRIIiiiIIIiSsSsSSS!!!!!"
Speaking of bad voice acting, the Colonel has really ass-lancingly bad voice acting. It's kind of a really bad Brittish accent, but he says it in really short, choppy sounding sentences. Also he never sounds anywhere closed to enthused about anything.
The bosses each have a quote at the beginning of the level. Usually really stupid quotes too, like "He protects the secret weapon of the forest!" Oh damn, I tremble in fear for him now! But there's this one, who runs a millitary train... which means he must have some sort of position, like Administrator of Supplies. So we've lovingly dubbed him "Slash Administrator." Watch out for his amazing inventory attack, which sorts and files you alphabetically, by priority, and by destination... I shut up now.
Also, ever notice how Dr. Light built X for peace, but yet he burried dozens of capsules containing armor and weapons for X? What the hell, would he get on a drunken binge, build these death-rays and super jet boots, decide the next morning "What the hell would I want to give this to a peace-bot for?!" and bury them? This must happen a lot. At least three or four times per game.
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Written by WrexSoul and posted on 03-27-00.
This article is ©2000 Zach Francks.