With a few minor-ish tweaks, not only would this be a game that would make me eat my unkind words about Stencyl, it'd be an instant classic. I hope this review doesn't come across as harsh. I'm just offering up my opinions on what I would change in your position.
The graphics are great. They're very reminiscent of old school video games and do a great job of setting the mood.
The sound/music is among the best I've ever witnessed in a flash game. It's creepy as hell and really does a lot to pull you into the game.
The overall story and concept are very original and fun.
Overall this is a very well made game. However, there are a few issues that made it impossible to really get immersed in the game like I wanted to. I'd just like to note, I feel I did everything I could to enhance the experience. I played it in the pop-up window so that I wouldn't have any distractions. I turned off the lights and closed the curtains so it was pitch-black. I put on good headphones and cranked the volume.
If Stencyl even allows it, a full screen option would be amazing. I understand that this may not be possible using a tool kit like Stencyl, so it really didn't have any bearing on how I rated this game. It's more just a suggestion.
The big problem was the controls.
Being a lefty, I found it impossible to even begin to have much of an experience with this game being forced to use the right handed controls. I have to actually think about what my right hand is doing whereas my left hand functions without any thought, leaving more of my attention to the actual game.
I don't know about Stencyl, but in AS3 it's so simple to implement WASD or any other alternative controls that there really isn't an excuse not to. As good as this game is, I decided to remap the keys on my keyboard so that I could see how it would stack up had lefty controls been implemented. It was much much better with WASD.
Sometimes left/right didn't respond when I needed to turn around on the ground. It's not a huge deal, it would just be nice to have a bit better response.
The other problem I had was with jumping. It was very annoying to have the player continually move right/left during the jump. I would suggest changing it so that he only moves horizontally while you're holding the direction down as it would make it less easy to over jump small gaps. The other problem with jumping was that you go too high. I ended up figuring out that you can just tap up to jump with less height, though I would have preferred to have had a shorter jump with the option of double jumping.
I know that it may be said that having the extra height and having to fiddle with direction to prevent jumping over small platforms is a form of difficulty. If that's the case, it would come across as poorly planned difficulty. I would much rather the game's difficulty come from cleverness as opposed to counter-intuitive controls.
All in all, this game is pretty damned good. If you fixed the controls, it would be an amazing game. If you implemented fullscreen, it would be worthy of paying for an offline version.
Great game my only problem though is that the keys don't respwan where you picked them up after you die holding one, I say this only becasue i fell into a spike trap holding one and the key dropped in a place that made it impossible for me to grab it, which means that I have to restart the entire game just becasue of that one problem. Now like I said this game is great but that one thing completely ruined my entire experience, now with that being said I'm giving this game full marks its fantastic, its just been ruined for me and I really don't feel like restarting the entire thing and gong through all of that again.
The artwork was amazing, unlike many games on Newgrounds, even today, hastily put together flash animations and retro games that look more akin to a close up of an MS paint doodle, and are about as intelligent. The story is amazing, giving a surreal look to the vast world you have given your character to explore. And just when I'm about to get bored, you switch up something in the puzzles, or the game, or the player itself, changing the way you play and the emotions involved. The atmosphere is grungy, dramatic and dark, red and black and grey backgrounds complimenting Gyossait's completely white body. The controls are smooth and responsive and the artistic style as well as the atmosphere and story are remarkable, and will be hard to forget, the most memorable moments forever etched into the player's brain, bits scattered about, lost in nightmares...
Level Design (in terms of Artwork)- 10/10
Level Design (in terms of maneuverability)- 8.0/10 *
*Note- The controls were patched, yes, but sometimes the way they interacted within the level was horrid. This is the game's only flaw. It's not distinct, but it IS still there in some areas.
Great job. I'm sure your future works will be nothing short of perfection. I wouldn't mind BUYING this.
Absolutely love this game. Would love even better to get the soundtrack, especially the credits music.
It's got a very deep meaning to it, and I can tell you put a lot of work into this. I would also love to see possibly a sequel or something else like this. It's eerily perfect.
I loved the art! I can't wait to try Stencyl too! I just had one little problem with FPS when I got the key, but I have no idea why that happened. Keep up the good work!