No game is perfect. No matter what anyone says, every game will have at least one or two minor flaws. I can say that one of my favorite games of all time, Mega Man X4, is no different. I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty regarding the game’s flaws, though. To me, this game is perfect because it’s one of the few games from yesteryear that I can play over and over. I will never grow tired of this game which, to me, deems it worthy of a perfect score. I have had the opportunity to play it on the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3, and the PlayStation Vita. Now, I’m stepping back in time and covering the version offered on the Sega Saturn. Aside from better graphics, the game is exact the same. And, it’s for that reason that I still recommend it if you’re willing to let go of some money.
Mega Man X4 takes place after the Dr. Doppler saga from the previous game. At the Maverick Hunter Headquarters, X and Zero get word that a giant Maverick is causing a riot in the city of Sky Lagoon. The organization behind this massive Maverick is the robot army of Repliforce. Feeling wrongfully judged by the rest of the world, Repliforce has decided to start a rebellion. It’s up to X and Zero to put a stop to them. At the start of the game, you will get to choose to play as either X or Zero. Both of their stories follow the same overarching plot, but there are unique characters introduced depending on the hero you select. X’s story introduces Double, a clumsy but well-meaning robot who happens to randomly appear after the Sky Lagoon attack. Zero’s story introduces Iris, the sister to one of Repliforce’s higher ups. There is nothing surprising about X4’s story. It’s a Mega Man X title; chances are you know what you’re getting into.
After deciding to adventure as X or Zero, you will be thrown right into the action. X and Zero will have to fight their way through the same eight stages and battle the same eight Mavericks. The only minor differences are a few boss battles near the middle and the end of the game. The real fun comes with the differing controls between X and Zero. X retains all of the abilities he’s known for. His X-Buster can charge a powerful blast, he can perform a dash-boost to gain a burst of speed and he can kick himself up walls. In four of the stages, he can find capsules from Dr. Light that will upgrade his abilities. When he destroys a boss Maverick, he gets an ability that requires weapon energy. It’s the fun, classic stuff that you’ve come to expect.
Zero plays differently. While also able to perform the wall kicks and dash-boosts that X can do, he will be relying on his Z-Saber to destroy enemies. Due to its range, Zero needs to get close to his enemies to deal damage. First time players will find his play-style challenging. Zero doesn’t have the chance to find capsules from Dr. Light, either. However, defeating most boss Maverick grants him a new ability that does not require weapon energy. By the end of the game, Zero can double-jump, air dash, infuse his saber with elemental power, and much more. Both X and Zero can find Energy Tanks, a Weapon Tank and Heart Capsules. However, no matter which hero you select, the game provides endless hours of fun. At this point, I know the game inside and out. First time players will be challenged by the difficulty the series is known for. No matter your experience, Mega Man X4 is an absolute blast. And, thanks to the Saturn’s internal memory capabilities, you don’t have to worry about passwords in the event you want to take a break from your adventure. Since day one, I never had any complaints about X4’s game play. Despite my console change, I still stand by this.
You might be wondering if there is any reason to try the Saturn version if you’ve already played one of the PlayStation versions. The 2D graphics are more crisp on the Saturn, but the difference is subtle. Despite this fact, the visuals are colorful and detailed. They prove that you don’t need graphics in 3D to have a beautiful game. The Saturn was a the console of choice for 2D presentation, and X4 is proof of that. Another graphical highlight is the multitude of well-drawn anime cut-scenes that advance the story. X and Zero have different scenes; offering incentive to play the game as both characters. As far as I can tell, the music sounds the same no matter which console you select. That said, the soundtrack is great. Mega Man X4 has exciting and catchy music. Every stage has a fun tune for your listening pleasure. Another incentive for playing the game as both characters is that X and Zero have different introduction and victory themes. Finally, we have the voice acting. I have five words for you: “What am I fighting for?” Those that have already played the game will get that reference. Those that haven’t will soon learn the infamy behind that phrase. The point is, the voice acting is not good. However, I think it adds to the game’s fun.
Completion time for either X or Zero will depend on skill level, but it usually takes a few hours to reach the end. However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be playing Mega Man X4 again and again. The Saturn version is slightly pricier than the others. If you are looking to play it for the first time, there are more cost effective means of doing so. Personally, I didn’t mind the price of admission because I know I’ll play this version as many times as I did the PlayStation version. As you can see, this glowing review hardly mentioned the game’s flaws. You can learn more about those flaws from other reviewers. For me, Mega Man X4 is a perfect game for a variety of reasons. After nearly 20 years, the game is still a fantastic experience.
Overall, 10/10: If you want to spend the money on it, then by all means check out the Saturn version of Mega Man X4. If not, then find a different console that is more affordable. Just find a way to play it.