I don't understand people telling this game is hard. It is NOT hard. I got >2m score on first try and the only thing I did was start at level 1 and avoid death at all costs. Extra lives awards score so the more the better.
The difficulty is adequate, as is the learning curve. There are no "surprises" other than the fact that purple feather thingy stuns, but the level layout gives that clue :) As for the boss, it is not as hard as you think - The key set is ALWAYS the same as is the timing to press them so it may 1 or 2 lives but nothing more.
Also, there's a walkthrough. Everyone can beat this and collect all medals. After I beat the game, the "highscore" had only my name this year. Go play, people!