Part 8: Stone Man
Yeah, it's long.
Most of the rooms here are purely enemy-based, with mostly clever placement; take the three one-screen rooms with a Met and two other enemies in them, for example. One, you can power through quickly, which is just fine; another, then Met is positioned really dangerously, but it's still plenty avoidable with a short and well-timed slide. All three play differently, though they have the same setup. Someone put thought into that, and I appreciate it.
Especially with its length, this stage really symbolizes the "feel" of Mega Man 5 to me. As I do like this feel, I really like playing it. You'll find that very rarely, the difficulty comes from instant-kill, rather they try to wear you down by damage. This is a far fairer approach and makes this game easier than the others, and I'm thankful for it. In Stone Man especially, you have to manage your health carefully. I really recommend picking up special weapons for it, and it pays of tons to fool around with them. Water Wave on Mets, Charge Kick on cannons, the multiple applications of Star Crash - those tricks do not only make it easier, they also make it flow far better. Very often, using the Buster forces waiting. Longer than a short trip into the weapon menu takes. Here, experimenting does wonders for how you'll proceed, and every playthrough you'll discover a neat new little trick. Again, very much what I cherish MM5 for.
A few choice comments:
- The hidden rooms are such bullshit. Very hard to see, and you never had to do stuff like shooting random walls to discover items before. This isn't Super Metroid. As such, most new time players will be short a G and scratching their heads futilely.
- In the first one-screen-room with the hard-to-dodge Met, a jellybomber just suicides itself. Useless enemy? No, it shows you without fuss how they work. Them dropping is obvious, the charge...not. Still, shows that the game is all-around easier, not only because they toned down the spikes; other classic games would have you run into the first one gleefully.
- Loving the usage of mice on narrow platforms that lie under you. Buster most certainly isn't the way to go here, even Crystal Eye is better because you don't have to charge for every single enemy.
- The outdoor areas are a great contrast to the cave parts. Again, the stage is very visually appealing; just compare it to a level like Drill Man's which was all cave all the time and looked like someone vomited salmon over the screen.
- Spinning platforms weeeeeeeeeeeh
- The E-Tank room sucks, though. Fortunately, there's no real danger of falling there...
- The last screen cost me often when I first played the game. Getting punted to the lower route is not nice, as there's barely any room to dodge the Mets and shoot down the annoying homing fuckers.
He's really fucking easy, yet a bit tedious. Dunno what I could say that I didn't mention in the video. The only attack that could be considered a threat is a Power Stone in the middle of the room, leaving you between a rock and a goddamnit that guy lends himself to jokes SO EASILY.
But why would you ever slide away in panic from a pile of rubble to make that happen? He's a joke.
Also one of the few designs in the game I can't really get behind. He's made of stone, that's...it...so boring. Only good because you can ridicule it in countless ways.
- Hirarian 427: Who comes up with those random numbers?
They hang on the ceiling until Mega comes close, then fall down and attack swiftly. Can be a surprise. Bonus points for exploding on contact. Very versatile enemy, as a ceiling trap, a quick runner you have to have good reflexes to avoid, or to lull you: Haha you're going to hit the wall below me SHIT forgot about the explosion.
Metall Mommy: The babies have little pacifiers in their official artwork.
MEGA YOU MONSTER
I really like that enemy design. A great incentive to be creative; cookie cutter doesn't...well, cut it, here. Charge Kick is awesome. Water Wave shows potential. Gravity Hold is moderately good (takes two shots). Can be farmed. Hard to dodge as any Met. You could make a whole stage with only this enemy, put it in different situations and it'd be still varied, that's efficient design!
Rock Thrower: More than just a palette swap of the Bomb Thrower? I'm in awe! Big points for effort.
- Stone Man - I swear, this'll be the last time I have nothing more to say than "it's boring, bland and I don't like it". Probably should put those in another order, I don't like it because I find it to have...nothing going for it. More so than others of that kind, because...this isn't a theme I'd imagine a stone-themed level to have. They pulled off the damn generic concept so well in stage design and visuals, but the music fails to reinforce that, sadly.