Mega Maker – Defence Ship Yamato92 by M9cao (111279)

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Aside from the final section, Defence Ship Yamato92 doesn’t do anything overly fancy, but it uses all of its parts very effectively. The primary enemies here are the two types of turrets from the first game as well as Suzies which periodically move vertically or horizontally between walls. As for your weapons, the mega buster is your default and you’re also given access to crash bombs and magnet missiles. I never felt a need to use the crash bombs, but the magnet missiles are very handy for taking out turrets above you.

One of my favorite things about this level is the way it actually looks like a battleship. Partially this is due to the tilesets and backgrounds chosen, but there are various little details which bring it all together. To begin with, the outer walls aren’t just flat rectangles, they’re bumpy and give off the impression of the top of a ship. Suzies in all three colors are embedded in walls and twirl around throughout the level, which does nothing in terms of gameplay, but it looks cool and gives off the impression that they are powering something. As for how this ties into the gameplay, the focus on turrets fits with the ship theme, especially since most of them are embedded in alcoves in the walls.

Defence Ship Yamato92 is slightly below average in length, it’s linear with a few branches for healing items, and most segments don’t play around with the engine, but it is consistently solid and has variety. While sticking to its general theme, it incorporates conveyor belts, falling platforms, disappearing blocks, and a few other hazards. Even though turrets are the primary enemy types, other enemies are mixed in alongside them and are consistently placed in locations where they can be effective without being obnoxious or tedious to fight. Checkpointing is also very well done with a new checkpoint consistently appearing at the start of each distinct portion.

The final section is where the level becomes a bit more experimental. This part consists of riding a platform upward through three sets of lasers. The twist here is that disappearing blocks periodically appear in front of the lasers to temporarily clear a path. Since the platform you have to ride begins to sink while you stand on it and rises when you jump, you need to carefully control its height between the first and second sets of lasers while waiting for the blocks. The final set adds in an additional twist by providing platforms made of these blocks which block your platform and force you to run back and forth between them before they disappear. I’ve found it to be absurdly difficult to land back on your platform once you reach the top of this final set, but there is a checkpoint in the air that you can grab so Mega Man almost inevitably dies at the end, but no progress is lost. As to the boss of the battleship, it’s Knight Man in a square room partially filled with water with conveyor belts on the floor. Like much of the level, the boss fight is fairly simple yet surprisingly effective.

Defence Ship Yamato92 serves as a great example of how Mega Maker can be used to create great levels without relying on complicated gimmicks. Even the most basic components and enemies can provide players with a satisfying challenge when they’re used in ways which take advantage of their strengths.

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