Part 6: SHELDON HAHAHAShield Sheldon
The invisible slippery platforms indicated just by enemies on them are a bad idea, because not being able to see where to go after you destroyed your opponents is stupid. Fortunately, X6's inconsistent-ass level design for once saves the player, as they are never seen again. In slippery form, that is. Sigh. Every little thing counts.
Shield Sheldon's stage is a joke - a bad one. The main gimmick are the lasers which open the doors, and there isn't anything else in the main part. X6's version of shield attackers are the most obnoxious thing, only opening up when shooting themselves, classic Met design of course, but contrary to those, they aren't gone in a single shot, and can float wherever. Also, aimed projectiles. Fuck them. What little there is of stage is just a clusterfuck of cramped corridor with those godawful laser puzzles, that thankfully can't hurt you except at the very tip, otherwise this would be completely impossible. As-is, it's just majorly confusing for the eyes. There's not much to adjusting the mirrors, so it's pretty boring. I'll take it over rage-inducingly obnoxious, but this isn't a good level by any means.
Boss insert! Sheldon is as much of a joke as his stage is. The starting pattern just saves to waste your time; it's painfully easy, as he bounces around the room exactly the same way each time. Come on! The comparison to Armored Armadillo is apt, but that one actually bounced from where he was standing, so it was different each time and kept you on your toes! Then his desperation attack happens, and it's nigh-unavoidable because he's so big with the shields around. It's a pain in the ass. Sadly, also the best way to hurt him when in the second part of the fight. The only saving grace is that for all his shield theme, he has a pittance for a life bar. Kind of "alleviated" by the fact that he can really waste your time if you don't get him during his first desperation phase.
Back to the level! The secondary part is marginally more interesting, but the big laser puzzle right after going downwards is just painfully slow to make up for that. I'm really interested in what the point of the giant shield attacker is. There's maybe one later on, if even that? Oh, and there is a way to get back without killing yourself here, there's an invisible platform somewhere in the gap over to the armor piece. Just with no enemy on it so good luck finding it. Now the suicide train starts rolling, as without seriously tough jumps and/or getting hit by enemies all over the place, you won't get a number of upgrades without eating spikes. It's so incredibly stupid. And the Reploids on the invisible platforms add insult to injury, as after you've rescued them once, better remember where the platforms were! The Nightmare area is almost inconsequential, except for ropes being a pain in the ass in general.
High Max is a shining example of how not to do boss design. I don't think I need to add much to the numerous ways in which it's shitty to the, sorry, Max, so I'll just stop, there are enough words written already.