A few physics things that could be improved (I have the frigate demo, Super, and ZM all running to compare)-
-Holding left/right and jumping should always do a spin jump
-There’s way too much acceleration on movement, it takes about a full second just to turn around from full speed
-Jumping should have a bit less horizontal speed, it feels like you’re launching yourself forward (Super and ZM both seem to have the arc be maybe 20 degrees from vertical at the base)
-Along with that there shouldn’t be any acceleration at all in the air so it’s really easy to line up jumps. Precision platforming is almost impossible because you shoot sideways and by the time you’ve turned around you’re already on the ground
Basically it would be a good idea to use the other games as a reference for the engine.
And other things-
-This is really just personal but I’d rather limit non-pixel art effects as much as possible. The entire point of pixel art is controlling exactly how something looks, so putting a bunch of glowy lighting effects on top of it is like photoshopping a Van Gogh painting to smooth out the brush strokes. Changing the brightness of an entire room or overlaying red during the escape sequence is fine, but any other lighting should be done through the pixels.
-Beams should definitely be more like the other 2D games. The demo’s charge shot is barely distinguishable from the regular one, and the charge on the cannon feels more like a bubble than a mass of energy.
-Definitely still for getting rid of MIDI music. All the music I’ve heard here over the years has been some pretty solid arrangements but MIDI inherently sucks, and just isn’t worth what we save in memory.