Mega Man X4 is awesome and one of my favorite games in the series, it does so much right and evens out a few of the minor flaws or annoyances that the franchise has become known for. First of all, the dificulty is tweaked to be just right, for the most of the time, finding heart tanks, sub tanks and Dr. Light capsules can be very difficult and may take some tries to figure out how to get to all of them. The final boss is also very challenging, he has 3 or 4 forms, depending on how you look at things, the first two aren't that tricky, but the massive, freakish head takes forever to kill. Even if you figure out the bosses weaknesses they can still withstand a massive amount of damage, some of the bosses are really cool, others aren't, in true Mega Man fashion. The level design is better than many other X games, here's looking at you X6, and it has some variety, you can find robot suits that can hover and one level has you largely maneuvering some water-bike or whatever it is before the boss encounter. The soundtrack is stellar, but I was more impressed by X5 and X6's soundtracks, vice acting is...you guessed it, awful, but there's kind of a charm to...no, actually, it's just bad.
The game follows the formula and as such is very short, intro stage, 8 bosses and then a few more final levels before the final enemy. It is cool that you can play as either X or Zero, and playing as Zero lets you face a certain character as a boss, there are different endings as well. The tone is darker and there's a fair amount of violence in the cutscenes, but they're robots and stuff so it shouldn't upset kids or anything, the story takes some very dramatic turns, very dramatic if you choose Zero, but it doesn't pack any emotional punch, so it kind of falls flat on it's face, the death of a certain character I didn't really care that muc about just seems strange, and any emotional resonance it could've achieved is killed stone dead by the voice acting. I had a lot of fun playing Mega Man X4, I was afraid I would find this entry a bit stale after replaying and playing so many Mega Man games recently, but it surprised me and reminded me why I love the franchise. One of the best Mega Man games for sure.
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