First off, this one is mostly aimed at the devs. You want feedback, here's feedback
Through my life playing games i've come to understand that the absolutely most important thing in games is the pure fact that they must be entertaining on some level, either instant gratification or drawn out over the course of several hours with a dangling carrot luring the player onwards, making it hard to stop playing.
This is achieved in many various ways, in first person shooters, most action games and racing games it is achieved by having such a good "feel" in the game mechanics, shooting or racing, that the enjoyment and gratification comes from that alone. Add on top of that the fact that most fps, action or racing games these days have a sense of progression (Forza being a prime example), you get both instant AND long term gratification.
Civilization or Europa Universalis does it entirely differently, you get a small trickle of gratification for each small step you take in forming your empire, leading to a constant build-up of more and more sense of pride and enjoyment in seeing what you created. To some extent this applies to Minecraft and such games as well.
Now, on to AVWW and why, despite how badly I want to love this game, despite how incredibly much value I place on replayability and dynamically generated worlds, I will probably not be interested in the long term. I looked over this post several times, tried to find a way not to make it sound so dreary and negative, but i trust that the readers are intelligent enough to know a personal opinion based on sound facts when they see one, as opposed to a short-sighted whine thread
1. The combat. First off I'm not a fan of platforming, nor of sidescrollers. But other games did it in an interesting way. Terraria is the latest example. Contra is an old example. What made combat 'fun' there (the instant gratification bit) is that you had a good ebb and flow to the combat. Offense and defence. The controls worked fluidly and you never once had to either pause the game or fuff around with your inventory. Also, the weapons and powers themselves were very enjoyable to use due to their chaotic and expected way of behaving.
In AVWW I must be honest about how much I hate the combat.. The gameplay coding itself is not bad, the collision with enemies, the movement feel, all is fine. But the spells are what I dislike immensely. Everything just seems to be a slow-recharge one-shot ball o hurt, where accuracy is so important that fun is taken out of the equasion. And why are there no weapons of any description at all? Here is the possibility of a Fallout-esque world with rag-tag crafted and duct-taped together weapons.
That is what I enjoy about shmups, fun weapons. Where you can actually have a laugh during combat rather than shooting 1 projectile per second at an enemy doing the same.
Yes you can 'spam' spells in somewhat of a fast succession, but then you're out of mana and done for.
Why do i have to fight the controls everytime an enemy appears on screen? Why do i have to pause and switch out spells everytime a new resistant enemy appears? (yes i can use the numberkeys to fire another spell, but while jumping and dodging that isnt fun. Why can i not just scroll my mouse wheel to select a different spell in the hotbar, then using my left mouse button as normal to use it? Would be so much smoother, so much more fluid.
Simply put, I just have absolutely no enjoyment what so ever out of the combat in AVWW. I wish i found it enjoyable, i really do, but i can't kid myself.
2. Platforming as the main gameplay element. Platforming on it's own isn't wrong in any way, and randomly generated worlds is something incredibly interesting.
But here, i find myself playing the game for hours on end doing the exact same thing. If i play Civ, EU, a racing game, or even a slow burner like Dwarf Fortress, i constantly get a trickle of enjoyment from each small step on the way. Here, i just don't. There is zero enjoyment for me in exploring the world, navigating tedious buildings and caverns to find homogenous uninteresting resources. Over and over again. Rinse and repeat.
The enemies would spice things up, they would really add the sense of excitement and enjoyment i seek, if the combat was enjoyable to me. If it was not a 1-hit-1-dodge exercise in tedium. It's hard, don't get me wrong. But it just does not have the magical sense of 'fun' for me.
3. Due to the above, when the vast majority of the game consists of 2 elements which fail to capture the magical 'fun' factor, I can not see myself being interested in the long term.
If the combat was different, with actual weapons as opposed to just spells, i'd enjoy the entire game more. The sad truth is, when the incredibly archaic and (lets be honest) horrible combat in Minecraft is more enjoyable and heart pounding, something needs to change.
If the platforming or exploration was different, with real wonders and interesting stuff to find and less tedious place-platform, jump, place-platform, jump gameplay, i'd enjoy the entire game more as well. When the extremely slow progression and tiny-trickle of enjoyment in a game like Dungeon Crawl surpasses it, again something needs to change.
But as it stands now, i don't. I just wanted to share why, as i feel it is important to properly convey the reasons why you dislike elements of a game.