The gameplay was definitely stale. But I appreciated the commentary on the trend of microtransactions in games now. I liked that clicking on the Paypal knock off made a google search about the negative effects of microtransactions.
By removing random encounters and refreshing health/mana before every encounter, you cut down on a lot of the fluff that fills most RPGs. And it works extremely well. Only (minor) complaints I have were 1) some difficulty returning to quest givers for rewards (maybe show them on the map) and 2) the mage could've used some more passives in the skill trees, since we can only bring 10 skills into battle. Great game, looking forward to number 3 if you plan on making it.
It would be one thing if it was strictly platforming. But there's too much timing based on moving parts. Even that isn't too big a deal, until you hit the levels based on half a dozen parts clustered together moving at different rates and to different distances. I can't even tell the saw blades apart once they all pile up (like in the Our House level).
Wow. By making guns the primary weapons, you've pretty much just ripped off Zombotron, except it's way worse. The combat is super simple, the physics based aspects (like switches, planks of wood for gaps, etc.) were poorly done and forced me to replay levels several times, and none of the treasure chests meant anything to me. You took out all of the aspects that made the Barons Gate games decent and left us with this.
Not bad. A little easy. Also, the power ups didn't come down conveniently enough. I got probably half a dozen or more cannon and missile upgrades after they were maxed when the side shot was still on its first level. And while the life stock cap is understandable, it would be nice to get something out of picking up extra lives past the limit. A free weapon upgrade, a full or partial heal, or even just some extra points. But a player should never think that a pick up is pointless.
I'm gonna be honest, it seems like the game got worse with the sequel. There are no real major improvements, like a way to compare equipment side by side, corrected movement around corners, or more particular movement for dodging and kiting.
I do appreciate the artwork of the game, but as others have mentioned, there's a point where it detracts from the gameplay. I had to use a walkthrough to realize I hadn't picked up an object in the corner of one of the puzzle screens. It's extremely difficult to tell apart the scenery from the in game items.