I'm really loving AVWW so far, and it's gotten noticeably more fun in just a week. But I have to say that the particle effects in this game nearly ruin the whole package for me. I thought it was just Fireball and sniper shots at first (since the two are practically identical), but the more I play the more I realize that anything shooting a particle effect just acts as annoyance. The visual effects themselves are nebulous, making it difficult to gauge the actual hit boxes of projectiles. There are also a lot of cases where multiple projectiles are spaced too closely together, which wouldn't be an issue if my character were small and agile, but this is not the case. Now, many of the games I played in my younger years were platformers, and in my later years I've played a lot of bullet hell and shoot 'em up games. AVWW has elements of both in its sidescrolling segments, but the problem here is a combination of 1) the player characters are too big and slow to adequately dodge the projectiles, and 2) the aforementioned issues with the particle effects being too big, scattered, and nebulous, plus they're oftentimes too close for my big and slow character to squeeze past while jumping. I honestly think the game would be a lot more fun if all of the projectiles were replaced with plain squares or circles. It wouldn't be pretty but at least I'd be able to know where a projectile begins and ends.
I'd like to hear other people's experiences with this aspect of the game because it's starting to deter me from actually playing.
If you've played enough bullet-hell or "danmaku" shmups though, you'd know that even in those, it's often not so easy, the hitboxes not so clear.
In MOST of those (the good ones anyway) the bullets, for example, are very crisp and clear, but their HITBOXES are not. You might have a bullet that's a decent sized circle, but in that sorta game, it's not the ENTIRE circle that can hit you; the ACTUAL hitbox is hidden somewhere in there, and only through practice and experimenting (and near misses) can you determine exactly where this is, and then it takes FURTHER practice to be able to accurately use it to your advantage in some of the denser patterns. By doing so though, you can often squeeze your ship through what looks like a solid wall of bullets.
Wether by accident or by design, I think that applies here. Even with the "nebulous" effects, I still dont honestly think it's that hard to determine the hitboxes for most things. Now, granted, I play *alot* of danmaku shmups, so I'm kinda used to the idea by default. But after having played this game enough, I've gotten an idea as to some of the exact points of contact between my character and enemies/bullets, or my own attacks and the enemies. If you just keep at it, you'll find that you probably can do the same.
As for the size/agility of the character.... I dont really think that is bad either. Example, I got to the point last night of encountering the red amoeba bosses for the first time; nasty snots, those are! They fire tons and tons of projectiles that are very fast and can fly a huge range, and they HURT if they hit you. At first I'd wondered, ok, my character isnt fast enough to deal with those so suddenly.... HOW am I supposed to deal with this?
But there was, in fact, a way to do it. Once again applying what I know from the shmup genre, I was able to look at the pattern of it's shots, and find points where I could stand/walk to avoid it, based on the angles it was at and it's movement, and all that fun stuff. I was even able to jump close to the thing and fire off Creeping Death at it... without getting hit, even that close.
It's difficult, yes, but I think it's supposed to be. But you can do it, with practice.