I played the demo!
What follows is the raw feelings I've had while playing--I haven't read anything outside of the game (like in this thread) so you'll hear how one old shmup player (who's lived through and played the golden oldies) felt.
-The player ship is gigantic. Feels uncomfortably big. Looks nice though, but too big.
-The ship feels kinda slow.
-The powerups are confusing. I don't understand why I sometimes get a new weapon and sometimes don't and sometimes when I get a powerup, it doesn't feel like anything important happened. It is annoying and confusing.
-I don't know when to barrel-roll into the background, seems kinda useless in a non-bullet-hell game. At least, I pretty much always forget I can. It's also not terribly interesting.
-I don't understand the weapon throwing. Didn't come across as useful.
-There are some cool weapons! Like the blue lasers that go through stuff. But why can't I change weapons? Seems like I should. What I'm saying is--don't explain to me here in the thread "why I can't". Just understand, I don't understand why I end up with certain weapons and I'm sure others will be confused. I think the design here needs some serious help.
-Some of the collision feels arbitrary as to when it hurts the player ship. There's some green crystals that don't, but some grey building parts that do and they are all very close to the same brightness level (with no parallax difference).
-The bombs that circle me look like Options. Why are they not Options? Why do they not look like bombs? I sure wish those bomb things looked like bombs and not options. These are the annoying things that I think about while playing.
-The art looks good!
-The score hud at the top is too big and covers up the gameplay too much when I'm dodging under it. Shrink it or fade it when I'm under it or something.
-The music is good!
-The hairy snake monsters are great! They look wonderful.
-The mega gun that you can pick up is cool, but the metal beams in that area should be brighter so it's more clear that they will hurt the player.
-The end boss looks amazing! The seeking red ball is mean!
-The mega beam is really cool, but the seeking red ball with the mega beam that tracks a lot is a bit much.
-There should be a checkpoint in the middle, but fewer player lives.
-The main player shot is kinda boring. No charge beam or anything else interesting to spice things up.
-There should be something about this game to distinguish it from other shmups.
It's well made!
And it's *close* but the gameplay is generic with a few nearly interesting weapons, but not much more. I wish there was something special about the shots or weapons or player somehow.
Maybe the throw weapon thing? But as it stands, I didn't seem to need it and it wasn't communicated to me how or why to use it.
Okay, take that information as you will!
I'm excited for the game and I hope it improves, because I like it now, but I want to *love* it!
That was my tough-love for you game, since I care about it!