Fraxy – No Man’s Land by TheMMM

Boss Download:
Video Music: Jaded by Death by HoboKa of OverClocked Remix

It’s hard for a boss to be more imposing than an enormous wall. No Man’s Land feels like something out of Contra if Contra was a bullet hell in space. Taking up about a third of the screen, No Man’s Land requires players to aim for multiple weak points in order to break off its layers and reveal its central core. For the most part, this is a very traditional bullet hell boss with many of its attacks coming in the form of a barrage of extremely slow bullets which you must weave your way through. However, you rarely can stay in one area for too long as this boss likes to mix in a few homing bullets with many of its attacks. You don’t need to worry about aiming at all in this fight because both the boss and the camera are completely stationary, though you will need to look up at the boss on occasion while dodging in order to swap between weak points; there were definitely a few times when I was fighting No Man’s Land where I would look up and see that I had been shooting at a part which had already been destroyed.

The attack patterns here feel fair and balanced for the most part, but there are two exceptions. First, there is an attack where the play area gets divided into small rows by bullets and the boss shoots out a spiraling snake-like attack which somewhat homes in on the player. This attack is wonderful to look at, but the only way I could find to dodge it was to move very slowly to the left or right so that it spirals around your ship rather than through it. It’s an easy attack to dodge once you know how, but you’re almost certainly going to die at least once to it if you’re going into the fight blind because the way to survive isn’t particularly intuitive. Secondly, near the end of the fight there is a phase where the boss shoots out a bunch of missiles which fill the screen with bullets if you hit them or if they have been flying around for a while. I couldn’t find a good way to deal with this attack as it covers the screen with a ridiculous number of bullets regardless of if you shoot the missiles or not. According to the creator, there’s a ‘surprise’ at the end of this fight if you manage to beat it without dying, but I certainly don’t think that I’ll be able to accomplish that feat any time soon. Overall, a few parts feel like they could use a bit more balancing, but the boss’s design and concept are both great and the fight itself should still be very fun for anyone who enjoys maneuvering around hundreds of bullets.

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