This is simultaneously a very polished and very unpolished game.
The art is pretty great, it's what drew me in. Usually, when I see a game looking this good, I expect the gameplay to follow suit but....
- The empty corridors. It takes quite a while for you to come across anything of even slight significance. It reality its only about a minute, but given the nature of this type of game, having gone through a fair few rooms, its quite long. This would be fine if it were building atmosphere or leading to something, but it doesn't.
- The first path you unlock you do so by interacting with a thing, and then it unlocks. It'd be much more interesting if you got some kind of upgrade that naturally unlocks an area, rather than a door just opening. Also, it tells you to open the map I believe, but doesn't tell you how.
- The camera feels horrible, I'm sorry but there's no other way to really put it. Sometimes simple works better, particularly in a retro style setting. The way it lacks behind or jumps back and forth as you turn around is incredibly disorientating and obnoxious. The only time I can think in a platformer that a camera should work more complexly than "stick to player" is perhaps invertical sections.
- The controls are tricky to get even though it feels like the type of game where they'd be easy to pickup. For one thing the jump. Having the character drop when the jump is released works well for some types of games and could work here. The problem is thus, instantly dropping when it's released does not work in tandem with the shoot jump mechanic. FTR, cool mechanic. But being forced to release the jump button to press it again feels all kinds of awkward. Later, without realising, switched to shooting down using the shoot button and this worked much better, so then why is the ability to use the jump button there? So it's easier to figure out? A simple prompt could do that, I'm all for teaching through level design over obnoxious tutorials, that doesn't mean simple prompts need to be completely omitted; that flies in the face of being user friendly.
- The bullet recharge mechanic is just bad. Having to wait around for the gun to charge destroys the pacing. There's an easy solution to this that I'm not sure why it wasn't taken, increase the weapon recharge time dramatically, but only have it recharge when on the ground (or recharge faster on the ground). I got one of the recharge speed upgrades, I'm guessing that the idea is you find more of them and so on. But you shouldn't need upgrades in order for the game to be fun in the first place. I believe in the trailer it showed the character recharging in the air to repeatedly bounce, but that itself could be an upgrade.
- Each room just kind of blended together. Looking back, the only room that I remotely remember was the rolling rock room. Every other room didn't present some kind of challenge, just the same enemies in the same situations, it all felt like filler.
- I didn't play around with this too much cos I didn't want to die, so apologies if I'm wrong, but spikes seem to knock you back when you get damaged. This seems like something that'll make it a pain to get out of.