Hey, congratulations on the release of your game! I gave it a go and, aside from a few issues, I found myself enjoying the experience quite a bit. I know you're aiming to update the artwork eventually, so I'm not going to harp on you about that aspect. In fact, there's something strangely appealing to me about the sprite work in its current form, though I'm not sure what it is. The music is a mixed bag, I'd say; while some tunes were generally quite pleasant (Sky Man, Ombuds Man, Zombie Man), there are a few I think could use a bit more work. Missile Man's theme seemed rather repetitive and lacked the fast-paced, explosive nature you'd expect from a missile themed Robot Master. While I thought the instrumentation of Sand Man's theme was more fitting for his stage, the melody was simply dissonant. Again, those were the only two tracks that I really had any quarrel with.
I found the majority of the level design to be fluid and inventive, though I did encounter some hiccups along the way (namely one evil room later in the game). There were also instances where having a special weapon seemed mandatory for smooth progression, otherwise you were guaranteed to take hits. These areas might have been easily traversable if it weren't for some of the incredibly large hitboxes on pretty much all of the projectiles. For instance, the shielded enemies that throw grenades at you are next to impossible to dodge simply because the explosions in this game have a hitbox nearly twice the size of the actual sprite. This was one of my biggest frustrations, especially against the final boss, but I'll talk about that later. Aside from the hitboxes, I thought most of the boss battles were fair with a nice sense of variety.
The weapons were well suited to deal with each Robot Master and made sense thematically. I probably didn't look at the weapons as in-depth as I should have, but I tend to be more of buster dueler when it comes to Mega Man games. Still, I found myself using the weapons in a variety of situations; Brain Man's weapon was particularly useful in taking out those obnoxious bouncing ball enemies, despite being fairly slow. Also, Sand Man's weapon was a very unique concept and, now that I think about it, I probably should have used it against those Joe-type enemies.
So, my least favorite aspect of the game would definitely be some of the engine aspects; I'm aware that this game is a callback to Mega Man 1, but the knockback in this game is too extreme. Not only does it send you back a huge distance, but it also hurls you downward. If there was one aspect of the game that I'd recommend fixing first, it would be that (though, I do have another one in the spoiler tag). My favorite aspect of the game would be the Robot Masters themselves; some of them are completely ridiculous, but that's why they're so fun. There were so many nice creative touches along the way, such as the padded cells in Mad Man's stage and the breaking in and out of the glass in Ombuds Man's stage. The only stage that I really felt lacked that creative charm was Missile Man's stage; it just seemed rather empty at times and had some frustrating enemy placements. Overall, this game was a fun and challenging experience (I missed the use of E-tanks, but it sure made me work for my victory) and I would certainly playthrough it again, given you fix up some of the more frustrating issues. Some of those issues are listed below and have to deal with the last few stages.
While the first two fortress stages were easy enough to get through, those Joe enemies were extremely irritating, given that they frequently appeared in clumps and had practically undodgeable attacks. I noticed they also sometimes threw their explosives in a completely random direction, though this proved to be beneficial for getting past them. I actually quite enjoyed your spin on the Yellow Devil; it made the fight far less tedious then those fights tend to be, given you discovered its weakness.
I do not like the third fortress stage at all, even though it's short. This is all due to that one room with the four evil jumps in a row. First, I really hate those types of low ceiling jumps, but to force the player to do four times (over spikes) is just downright mean. The boss was interesting, even though it was difficult to anticipate his attacks. I only managed to beat him by camping in a corner and mashing the shoot button.
My biggest complaint about the fortress stages is directed at the final boss. I was really enjoying the game up to this point, but this boss really put me over the edge. Yes, it was a difficult boss and I'd be perfectly fine with that, however this comes back to hitbox issue. Pretty much every explosion and projectile fired from the boss, in all of its forms, seem to have hitboxes much larger than the actual sprites. I'd be standing nearly ten pixels away from an explosion and still get tagged. This was especially frustrating because I knew I needed all of my health intact for the final form. This is the one aspect of this game that I'd outright consider a dick move. First, I've never been a fan of having to use a particular special weapon to take down a boss, but I could still cope with that. No, it was the choice of weapon that infuriated me; the paint weapon has barely any horizontal movement to it, so it requires you to be right next to the boss for it work. However, since the boss alternates its attacks randomly, you never know when he'll decide to do that four ball attack, which appears right where you need to be. This essentially leaves the player praying that the boss will use the other attacks and the battle ultimately comes down to luck. I feel this can be fixed easily if you give the paint weapon more range or you change where the orbs appear during that attack. Otherwise it is completely unfair. Sorry if I come of as a little extreme in this part, but I'm conveying the genuine frustration this caused me, especially since this happened right before the finish line. This is the only thing in the game that I feel absolutely needs to be fixed, because otherwise I can definitely see myself playing through this again and enjoying it.
Thanks for the game!