The Equipment UI is definitely shitty and placeholder, but fear not!
I'm going to completely revamp how items work so they're more like those in Risk of Rain, with very unique effects that change how you play the game. I was also going to make them equipped in a similar manner, so there's not going to be any UI, and the game flow isn't paused.
And when you're in the screen equipping these, you'll get a description of what it does and a list of what you have equipped.
I've been planning on making a LOT more "hallways" (the short platforming segments) so that you don't see the same ones as often, is that what you meant by variation on level layouts? Or the "arenas" where you do the fighting? I was considering adding some kind of hazards you have to play around, but I kind of like the purity of the fighting as it is now.