Part 15: Wily II
It's bland as fuck is what it is. I realize that I'm repeating myself, but the stages do the same so I don't care.
Nice way to really put the finger down on the problem, though. Just look at the first room. One enemy type, moderately varied terrain. Remember when I praised design where two enemies were working together to make you think of ways to deal with them, while differently elevated platforms forced you to adjust the strategy again and again dynamically? Here, we've got none of that. The single strategy is "use Gyro Attack". Or "use Star Crash". Or "use the shoot function of the Buster while maybe jumping a bit" even. Just by selecting the correct special weapon, you've probably put more thought into this segment than the designers already.
Next section is actually good. Shame we had two very similar ones already (Proto 2 and Wily 1), not with water, I admit...oh yeah, this is the singular appearance of water in the whole game, by the way. Does it make the stage more memorable for that piece of trivia? Fuck no. Short as hell anyway, easily cheesable by Rush Marine erm Jet because the Marine was a stupid idea to begin with.
Then we have a couple rooms in succession where there's zero threat, zero ideas and effort. It's stairs and Mets, stairs (and a spike patch for some reason) and the fliers which would get taken out in a single charged shot if I gave a shit at that point, then...a flat patch and mice. That there's also enemies hanging from the ceiling doesn't change a bit, how would they ever do anything? Just move! Crystal Eye is perfect here, because you don't have to charge it for the necessary AOE to take out the ground-based enemies. Water Wave would be even better, you know, if it dealt damage like it really should to not be worthless.
At this point I've used it less than Power Stone and that's just sad.
Two big dudes, mandatory Rush or Arrow usage for the umpteenth time (Arrow is actually safer because it's kind of tight what with Rush vanishing against walls) and that's it. At least we didn't have a stupid crusher segment?
Really, past Mega Man games had bad stages that were shitty because they drove you insane by being completely unfair. This game has stages that are shitty because
there's nothing going on in them. And being bland is probably worse then being downright awful in a series like this, where you're in the fifth iteration already and desparately in need of new stuff anyway for that fact.
Fortunately, with this stage over, we're done with boring as shit level design and back to just shit. Much looking forward to that.
Best thing about the stage, definitely. It's got two distinct patterns which is a big step up from...almost all other bosses we've seen so far, really; first, it'll weave from one side of the room to the next in two infinity symbols, all the while firing those exploding balls that we know already from normal enemies who also can shoot them; as with those, the balls are really good at leading you. As your movement is hampered by where the boss is at the moment and the platforms you have to use to reach him, dodging isn't easy. Unless you want to do it really fast (like I did, pro that I am!!), I would recommend not trying to shoot him at the same time.
Other pattern is easier to get and work around; he's moving from middle to bottom left corner, back again, other corner, back to middle. Basic. Homing shots are fired in the meantime, so don't completely relax just yet.
To hit him, you'll have to step on platforms that'll always move the same way, too; the real challenge comes from timing those with his movement, his shots and when the chutes on the sides are actually open to make him vulnerable.
Overall, a challenge to your concentration, probably where keeping your cool and observing what the boss does before you act pays off most. A fitting culmination to the skills you've had to aquire in all those other boss fights where panic was your biggest foe.
Now if I could just tell what the fuck it's supposed to be or why the hell it's purple and mint green to the degree that I almost gagged when making the title card.
Oh yeah the other way around the colours are marginally less vomit-inducing, maybe? I just had to give you the full nauseau with the official title, but maybe you like this one less. Hopefully. I can be quite sadistic, you know.