I just played the new version and there are some good things and some bad things.
The new music feels very off and the drums dont sound like they belong with the dark nature of the game. You could try out to use a plucksynth or a piano for it instead, try out a lot of stuff! You could maybe take a look at the music from celest to get some inspiration.
The wave style is very frustrating, espaccially in the later levels where I fell like I get the win stolen from me, because when I prepared to land the last hits on an enemy and I did it feelt amazing. But then another wave killed me on the spot and it totally catched me offguard andfeelt really bad. The wavedesign also makes the fights a lot longer and makes it more frustrating when you die.
In a lot of fights I didnt find the way to actually fight the enemy. Think of it this way: You can fight the enemy in two ways: by deflecting their attacks or to attack them head on. Most fights seem to favourise the first one. BUT even when using the deflect the deflect would almost never work because of two things: the enemy/enemies shot more than one shot at a time and the timing window is so short or the attack wouldnt be telegrafed precisely enough. What i mean with that is that i could know there were an attack coming, but i could never tell exactly enough to time the deflect. And even if I instead chose to just use the sword instead I would get completely overwhelmed with attacks and shot into pieces. So, in short: make the fights more clear on what weapon to use.
And just a little thing. The screen doesnt get completely blacked out when you die (there is two "stripes" at the top and at the bottom that doesnt turn black) and there is no deathanimation of the character. My screensize is 1940*1080 if you wondered.
A saving system is much needed.
So now to the good things!
I like that the game goes sideways as well as downwards. It was getting a bit tiring to just fall and fall and fall. Those points when you are walking sideways could be a point of rest and to give the game some better pacing instead of being so intense all the time.
I really like the new enemies, they have such great animations you cant help but admiring them (even if it is the thirteenth time they kill you). ALSO i couldnt help but notice you have stolen some of the designs from jignons ascent. *wink wink*
The way the hidden boss is hidden gives the game more replayability because you get to know how to destroy such walls later in the game.
The assist mode really helps out. But i think that it is a bit intruding on the experience. You could take a look at the Gamemakers toolkit video "Celestes assist mode".
But from what ive seen, the game is really getting somewhere!
Really well done!
Edit: Im not at all sorry for writing such a long comment, meheheheh