Heheh, thank you, and sorry for the late reply~!
I've just recently started work once again, as the Big Hiatus is now over and I am making progress on Stage 5-1, the first part of the last level.
(it's slightly difficult)
If all goes well, the next version should be 1.0. Including, not limited to the following, Stage 5, Stage EX, remappable keys, joystick support, actual boss graphics, backgrounds, and more difficulty edits.
This can perhaps be expected within the next six months.
Many people have pointed out the power-ups issue, and the main reason for this is I don't want to have the player become entirely
crippled were they to die in the middle of the section that is scarce in power, such as all of Stage 4, or a boss battle.
If a boss trips you up more than once and your power gets downgraded two stages as a result you're at a fraction of the power and you'll be forced to put up with things for much longer than you would when you were doing well. It's a paradoxical thought, I'm sure, but I can't be bothered to toss out the power system entirely, like it was in the prequel.
I believe that I will remedy this by decreasing your power by a larger margin when you die, and hope that the player has the insight to immediately start bombing everything if they desperately need power again.
Dying currently cuts your power 25%, so I might try 40% or 50%.