After checking out a video for this (Alpha Beta Gamer on YouTube), I've downloaded the demo & played through it. I have many things to say.
TL;DR? Some rough patches here & there, but this game is good. Very, very good.
I will freely admit; My initial thoughts from the video, while still highly positive, did have some very minor nitpicking that I've honestly thought about, and have changed my stance on.
I'll get that out of the way first; I mentioned in the video's comments that I didn't care too much for the animations at the start; Her running seemed a bit too dainty, and you've probably heard a bunch of comments about physics on her chest, so I'll just say I only made a passing remark about that since it's fixed when you find the suit, anyway (In that incredibly Dead Space moment that made me nerd out so hard, it almost hurt).
But after playing it & seeing all the effects in practice, I think I get what you're going for. I know this isn't Samus Aran, and honestly, small details like the spiky hair & post-cryo getup that you see frequently in sci-fi, it honestly feels like a nice homage towards either 80's/90's sci-fi horror films & anime combined. It's good stuff, and even if I still had a problem with it, it has no impact on the gameplay whatsoever.
Basically, I hope you don't get pressured into changing this aspect. If anything is changed, I hope it's under your terms & not because of complaints.
I absolutely love the tone you've gone for with Zordak. It's like Super Metroid combined with Fusion, with many of your own ideas & bits of inspiration from various other things here & there. I will say this; From all the bodies & gore lying around, I'm expecting to see some horrific stuff later.
Seriously, I've already got the feeling you're fooling us into thinking this is just some kind of Metroid clone, then pulling the rug out from under us. In the comment I mentioned, I actually used the words 'Metroid clone'. Honestly wish I hadn't.
This looks to be much darker than Metroid. Really looking forward to keeping my eye on it, and seeing what you come up with.
There is some stuff I would like to address though:
- Item pickups; The frequency of enemies dropping items is just a bit too scarce. I died on the first attempt with the boss while trying to work out all the patterns. The problem wasn't so much getting hit too many times, but rather those creatures swooping down from the ceiling gave me next to nothing. That was the only genuinely frustrating moment I had throughout the whole thing. I even noticed this when finding those same creatures spawning out pipes, like in Super Metroid.
- Crouching; I see you've already gotten some feedback about the crouch animation, so I'll just say that her height felt a bit finicky while trying to aim at first, but it's easy to quickly get used to. I may've mentioned it, but I'm not going to demand you change that, since crouch walking is a mechanic in this game. But if there's anything you can think of to improve it, all the better.
- Jumping; It could just be my controller, but the jumping can feel a tad restrictive, especially when it's off of walls. I just expected to go a bit further is all. Those moments where you have to grab ledges can be a bit too awkward because you have to jump straight up then go left/right. I'm gathering this is intentional for the sake of the level design, but it did throw me off a bit when I pressed right to jump across & instead let go of the platform.
It almost feels like the character's missing an animation where she hoists herself off the ledge to jump across. But since that would require you to make additions to that mechanic or even re-work it, I don't want to make it sound like a total deal-breaker. It's just that it stood out to me.
- Control fluidity; For the most part, I had no problems & really like the momentum you build up when running forward. But there one or two points where I had to momentarily struggle with the controls to get her to either crouch or jump. Again, it could be my controller, but I mention it in case it's something more.
- Collision detection when shooting; Overall it's fine, but I have noticed that if your're right up against a wall & try to fire at something directly above you, the shot has a habit of hitting the wall instead.
- Gun sounds; Nothing more than personal preference, and I know it's only the first gun, but for an energy weapon, the sound is a more of a pop than any kind of pew-pew. I don't think it needs to be a different sound. Maybe just take the existing one you've made, and mess about with one or two filters. The charge-up sound is absolutely fine. Would be interesting to see if there's any difference when you get other energy types.
Aside from these points, I enjoyed the hell out of this & will be having a second or even third run-through at some point.
I also have a couple of ideas I want to send your way, in hopes they might be good for even a foundation of an idea you might be working on; It's about a possible morph ball mechanic.
- So I've seen a few comments already along the lines of 'If she turns into a ball, you'll get a call from Nintendo'. So if you do decide to make some kind of mechanic around that, how about this?
Give the character the ability to change into a thick fluid of some kind, or at least some sort of liquid mass that stays together & can move around freely. This means you could make use of the water mechanics you've already got in place, creating some intersting puzzles & shortcuts that involve you having to slosh around through pipes & tight spaces.
It could also be a serious 'What the hell just happened' moment for the player; Boss fight occurs, boss is defeated but strikes the character before dying, character melts & looks like she dies, then after a couple of seconds, the mass she melts into starts twitching & moving, then recomposes herself back into human form, then you get informed you've aquired whatever the name of this ability could be... That should help people see this isn't a mere Metroid clone.
- This one's a lot simpler & in all honesty, not really important in any way. I've also seen remarks about the character being a girl that isn't Samus. Unless it affects the story in any major way, maybe consider letting the player select either a male or female character.
In all honesty, I kind of hope we're just told that we get what we're given. It shouldn't make any difference who the protagonist is or what they look like. But you know the internet; Always itching to complain about something.
It's only something I've noticed, and as far as I'm concerned, you gotta change nothing in this department. But if it's something you wish to work on at some stage, then there ya go. At the very least, you could try the Resident Evil 2 deal; 2 protagonists, 2 stories running parallel to one another. Entirely your choice.
I understand this is a lot of feedback in one go, but I wanted to give all my thoughts on this & hopefully play my part in helping this shape up even further. Super Metroid has easily been one of my favourite games ever made, ever since it first came out.
Zordak is obviously Metroid inspired, but with the lighting & fog & overall tone you've set with the amazingly dark ambience, the previous violence on display with all the dead bodies, blood & gore, and the way the enemies look familiar then surprise you by hurling themselves at you like they do... Thank you for making this. This is way more than a clone, and you might be able to guess I'm somewhat keen to see what the end result will be.
Oh & just one other thing; The arm cannon's called a 'Blaster'? Charged shots deal 'Quad damage'?... I see what you did there, and it's just the best >w>