A Critical Look at Mega Man 6 Stages: Mr. X Stage 3

An extra life, two breakable blocks, and two Gabyoalls: Simple objects with a great configuration. A player can destroy the enemies with Blizzard from above or within, but anyone not knowing this would need to slide in, destroy a block, then immediately punch the Gabyoall, making this a rare case where punching a block without thinking can be harmful.

The next screen once again pushes us into using Jet Mega Man, and the top of the ladder is another nice moment where Mega Man's position is safe, but his immediate destination is attacked with way more firepower than usual. The split path here is of the kind I find annoying, with a blind guess as to which way to go, and a need to backtrack on the optimal route.

The majority of the stage is taken up by these platforms. Each lowers when stood upon, raising the opposite one, and have a staggered arrangement with the occasional need to move the next one higher or avoid lowering the current one too much, with a nasty one near the ceiling spikes at the end. We have the Jet armor though, and despite Pooker's attempt to make us switch away from it, there's just no reason not to use it for this section beyond self-enforced extra challenge.

It's still a decent segment though, with both enemies' projectiles having the chance of knocking us into the pit at any moment. The Pookers at the end force us to change back to avoid damage, and put up a reasonable fight alongside the Fire Telly.

While the Cannopellers here are useless and the Gabyoalls are just a less interesting recap of the first screen, this is an odd case of a split path allowing the player to go the other way in reverse (those two small health items were inside a block), and the E Tank in the last block at the bottom is worth returning for.

The armor swapping gets a little stupid here. The previous screen gave us a jump that requires Jet, while the Pookers here heavily encourage switching again for a charge shot. We could keep Power Mega Man for the next couple screens, but the last ledge is defended by a Pooker that takes a great deal of effort to avoid without Jet. While that pair of Pookers is intimidating, I find it easier to just keep Jet for this section.

Metonger Z is the least interesting boss so far. While a Met using something like one of the simpler Wily Machines is funny, its actions are also simplistic, firing either three shots above Mega Man's head or three slower bouncing shots. It and the floor are both moving slowly, but this is more a distraction than a threat. We can hit it safely from the ground with Blizzard Attack, or just pelt it with Power shots for a few seconds. This is a good time to note that fully charged Power shots deal four damage to endgame bosses, so a few close punches will take this out fast.

While Cannopeller is the only thing I would say is used badly here, the stage relies too heavily on a gimmick that a player with Jet armor doesn't need to pay attention to, and its attempts at making the player use other things just result in extra time spent in menus. The need to switch to Jet at the start of the last segment, the brick before the large health item that only serves to waste time, and the use of Pooker to make the player switch out of Jet before an area where it isn't useful all feel sloppy.

However, I still find this one a lot of fun for it's short length, and it's saved only by the heavy use of two enemies with projectiles that can give Jet trouble where the platforms don't.