(this is a repost of my Steam review for this game with some modifications. you can read the original review here: https://steamcommunity.com/id/huuishuu/recommended/400910/)
This is a game I played in Christmas of 2018. And I very quickly fell in love with it, putting in about 20 hours in a mere 2 days.
There's so many things I want to talk about with this game, but I'll start from the most fundamental part - the gameplay. It's just fantastic. It's a metroidvania platformer mixed with a bullethell game. And it's so good at being just a great game. The controls are super good - they are responsive, accurate and satisfying in every sense of the word. While at the start of the game you may be limited in terms of movement options, by the time you hit the late-game - you'll basically be going anywhere you want, whenever you want. It's that kind of gratifying feeling that makes exploration in a game like this really fun. Thanks to this, backtracking to previously completed stages never feels like a necessity or a drag because the game properly rewards you with new areas to explore alongside with new items to gain, new enemies to fight and even new characters to discover. It's never over until the game says it's over. And even then it's probably still not over.
On top of the solid controls, the combat is also very satisfying. While invincibility frames & slight knockback can be a minor annoyance, nothing in this game felt cheap. The game gives you a fair chance but also requires some degree of precision to dodge if you don't want to constantly lose health. Although this being heavily inspired by bullethell shooters, especially during boss battles, visibility can sometimes be a problem, as stuff tends to blend in with the background or with each other even and it may feel like you get hit by something you didn't see. But if you do pay attention while the boss is attacking then it's absolutely not a problem.
The story is a bit weird. Overall I did like it, but I didn't like the inconsistencies between the main game and the post game. I'm not gonna spoil anything here, but you may notice narrative inconsistencies from time to time. Besides that, the story doesn't try too hard to take itself seriously and that's for the better - you're a bunny girl running around with a fairy and a giant hammer. If this game tried to be ridiculously serious with its narrative then I'd find that pretty jarring for a game of this nature. Aside from that though, there were a few nitpicky quirks with the story, such as a couple of spelling mistakes that made themselves pretty obvious. While I never really outright laughed at this game's comedy, it never bored me and always kept me engaged, which is a good thing since that means it doesn't get very repetitive. Although some of the achievements in this game definitely are funny, I liked the sense of humor of the achievements, especially some of the references.
The soundtrack is just on another level for me. Well done by all the composers of the soundtrack, especially 3R2 with amazing tracks such as cyberspace.exe, Get On With It, Bounce Bounce and more. I also really liked songs like the Volcanic Caverns theme and Exotic Laboratory theme. But as stated - every song in the game is just incredible. It's rare for me to say that I didn't dislike any of the songs. I ended up buying the game's soundtrack for listening outside of the game.
Although one thing I will mention about the game that I feel is a bit of a negative is that the boss battles can feel a bit repetitive. Almost always you'll be placed in a wide open area with the boss you're fighting and it's really just a case of "dodge, attack, wait, repeat". Not a lot of the bosses in the game felt like they really challenged your skill otherwise. I do understand why they designed it like this - so speedrunning the game didn't feel like certain items were crucial in order to progress but because of that, the final result ended up with some repetitive boss battles. The best battle in the game was the main game's final boss because it was the closest thing in the game that ended up being even a little bit mechanically challenging for the player. A close second would be the boss battle in Natural Aquarium due to the higher jump that you get from being underwater, allowing for some flashy combos to be made.
There is still an entire OCEAN of content I haven't covered - badges, the item shop & how simple its integration is, new game+, speedrun mode, boss rush, etc. but that should be a testament to just how much stuff there is in the game. Overall it's a really solid metroidvania bullethell platformer. If you're at all on-the-fence about this game, just get it. It's absolutely worth it and I loved every second of it. In fact, I'll probably give this game repeat visits just to see how much stuff I missed.