Written by BroRocker on July 23, 2015 @ 3:47 pm
Mega Man X4 was my very first venture in the Mega Man franchise, and it was a game that really changed the way I looked at other games going forward. I was only eleven or so at the time, and much of my gaming experience to that point was mainly with Mario and Sonic games on previous-gen consoles.
For starters, one of the things I loved about the game was the 'look' of the game. At a time when the new consoles were pushing 3D adventures with highly pixelated figures, Capcom chose to stay true to the X series and made a very well-polished and great looking 2D platform. The colors were vibrant, the characters and enemy designs were creative unique, the landscapes of each level were distinct, and even the motion designs of the characters were impressive for its time. It was easily the best graphical 2D game up to that point in time.
Another aspect I enjoyed was the ability to switch between X and Zero. Each had two very distinct play styles and both offered different levels of difficulty and strategy when it came to how you played the game. Also, as with all Mega Man games, you would unlock new abilities as you defeated bosses, and in this game those abilities not only helped you defeat and exploit weaknesses in other bosses, but also helped you get through levels and find and unlock new paths along the way.
Boss battles were also a ton of fun in this game. The animations and designs made each one stand out, and each boss battle felt totally unique. While some were clearly easier than others, for someone just experiencing the franchise, the boss battles were challenging and pushed me in a way I had not been challenged before in a game, but were not so difficult as to make the game feel impossible to beat. It was the perfect balance of challenge versus fun.
Mega Man X4 also has possibly one of my favorite soundtracks of any game I have played. The music blends perfectly with each level and just adds to the overall enjoyment of the game. Most of the tracks are very memorable and certainly fuel the emotion and intensity of the game itself.
The thing that stood out to me the most, though, about Mega Man X4 was the depth and emotions of the story compared to other 2D games I had played to that point. The animated cut scenes and the dialogue offered a depth I had not seen to that point in a game. It was a game where I felt how high the stakes were for the characters. The aftermath of several boss fights were sorrowful, and the emotions of both X and Zero throughout the game were strong. As the story progressed you definitely felt sympathy for them and could see their fatigue dealing with a conflict that even they weren't sure about. It's a game that somewhat bent the typical good-guy vs. bad-guy and made it hazy. Finally, because of all the emotion that you experience yourself through the story, you really come to hate Sigma, the main antagonist. I think this was the first game where I felt emotionally invested in defeating the final boss not just for completion sake, but because Sigma deserved it.
To me, Mega Man X4 will always be one of my favorite games ever, and it has certainly withstood the test of time for me as a game I still occasionally go back and play after all this time. I'm extremely biased in giving this game a 10 all the way around, but I just love it that much!
Story Rating: 10
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 10
Sound Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 10
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