Good game as usual. Not perfect, but you wouldn't say it was made in only 48 hours by one person, so for that short amount of time I'll still give you 5 stars.
I like the fishing system. It gives a unique gameplay experience. I also like the leveling up. Leveling up is a little unbalanced though. Some ability slots were empty and not all abilities were as usefull as you'd expect. It's a matter of trial and error, so I think you could've made it more balanced if you had more time.
Leveling up takes a bit too much time I think. I wish it'd take less experience to level up. That would make the game faster and imo better.
In fact te entire game takes a lot of time (mainly because of the leveling up). At one point I restarted the game because my controls became very buggy over time. Unfortunately the game doesn't save your progress so I had to start all over again. I think a game as long as this one should save your progress.
There are some points about the controls and/or gameplay that could've ben better:
- Like I said the controls can become buggy (over time) which makes it hard or impossible to control thecharacter. Sometimes the character doesn't respond at all. At other times the controls freeze and she keeps moving in one direction until I hit the button that's stuck. Sometimes I don't even know what's going on anymore. The character and enemies just dash across the screen uncontrolably and the camera doesn't keep up. This happens especially if you use the underwater attack often, or the dive ability.
- The main character doesn't Always shoot when she's above water. I think this happens when the camera doesn't follow her fast enough, and is still underwater.
- You die too quickly, because of the fysics. It takes time to change direction in the water and you often need to react more quickly than possible. If you hit an enemy the wrong way you die instantly and there's nothing you can do about it. It doesn't matter how much health you have. Sometimes enemies come out of nowhere and kill you before you even see them. This is all rather cheap.
The graphics are good. I like the water surface effect. How it looks very 3d (like in eco the dolphin). The effect of light breaking through surface is also nice. I think it should b gone though once you're above the surface, and you should see waves on the surface instead. The colours are also very well chosen. Apart from that I believe the graphics would've been better if you'd had more time. All's there but everything looks a little like placeholders. I think it would look better with more detail. Perhaps with a traditional Japanese handdrawn style like in Okami.
The sound is very well chosen. It really enhances the atmosphere. I like how the ingame music sounds genuine Japanese. The quality of the sound isn't always optimal. The music doesn't Always loop very well either. I like how the sound is stereo. I remember much of the sound in your earlier games is mono. This is a great improvement.
Now I'm going to list what abilities I thought were most usefull, so other players can learn:
I'd say go for Aim Speed first. It's the most usefull of the 3. More Health doesn't help you much, since you can die instantly anyway when you're unlucky. The best way to prevent you from dying is by become more skilled. If you die anyway it's not so big of a deal, because you keep al of your experience and abilities. More Swim Speed is usefull. You'll need it to outrun strong enemies. In the beginning you don't need it though, so save it for later.
So take the right path of Aim Speed first. Aim Speed, Extra Arrow and Reload Speed are all very usefull ablities that enhance eachother. If you have enough of those abilities Auto Shoot also becomes extremely usefull. Once you have that ability you can no longer take your time to aim, but in combination with the other abilities it lets you shoot a spitfire of arrows. Aiming is no longer important. It's all about shooting as fast as you can. This is very usefull against Hara Spirits.
You may want to have Water Attack at some point. Probably after the first Hara Spirit. This is not such a usefull ability as you'd think. Most of the time when you use it, you'll get hit, not the enemy. It's not a good idea to use it against strong enemies. You'll certainly die. It's still the fastest way to kill small fish though, because you don't have to lure them to the surface first. Therefore this ability will drastically increase your grinding speed.
Once you have sufficient shooting power you can invest in faster swimming to outrun stronger enemies that are deeper down below. It also let's you swim down fater so the game becomes quicker.
Air Launch and Air Float are both usefull to stay in the air longer and shoot more often. Good in combination with the abilities on the right path.
Water Dive isn't usefull. It let's you get down faster, but this is extremely risky since you can bump ino an enemy any time, and instantly kill yourself. More Health and Water Heal I would skip. They won't prevent you from instant deaths anyway.