Thank you for the extensive and indepth feedback, I really appreciate the effort put into finding and telling me about these concerns. Now for my responses:
-Upon starting the game, Jack can appear with only one soul slot on his HUD; gathering further souls will stack their combo effects up to three souls. Pressing A or S will eject one of the souls at random, and often two at a time, stacked inseparably upon one another. Transitioning to a new screen fixes the glitch, but ejects two of the souls automatically.
I have had this glitch brought up to me once before, and I think I've gotten it fixed, it all had to do with a big glitch dealing with saving in the shop, from what I know, and I'll continue testing to see if I can recreate it or if it's been solved.
-As in previous builds, running into the sides of certain blocks can cause you to become trapped, rapidly performing the landing & falling animation w/dust cloud. This can be fixed by backing up and normally isn't a problem, except when it occurs in auto-scolling levels like Power Surge.
Ah, this has been a persistent problem for myself, programming-wise, since I have no idea why it's caused. It obviously shouldn't happen, yet it does. I'll have to keep looking for a way to fix this. Any specific places that this occurs where it does cause a big problem? I can do a cheap fix for those, at least.
-Pressing Continue upon starting up the game can still drop you directly into your last level, rather than the map screen. This is not fixed by restarting the game.
See my answer for that first glitch, the problem causing them is supposedly related.
-Sometimes, the "Q to skip scene" prompt does not appear during cutscenes. This sometimes makes them unskippable, other times not.
Ah, that would be my fault for being forgetful and not putting that prompt in a cutscene, I'll look through each of them and see which ones I've forgotten to place in. my bad.
-Even after changing the difficulty to Easy, the game defaults back to Normal each time I restart the game. Considering that quitting the game is the only way to return to the main menu, this seems like an oversight.
Hmm. That would be a big problem. What do you mean here, that it defaults? If you start a game on easy, then save and quit, and then continue, it should still be on easy when you continue, regardless of what you see on the options, once you start a game, it shouldn't ever change again. When you continue, do the map stages actually change back to their normal colors, or are they still all yellow?
-Easy difficulty is EXTREMELY unreliable. Levels such as Wide Open Spaces, Stampede!, Dog Paddle and Slightly Bumpy do not save after completion on Easy difficulty.
That sounds like another oversight on my part. I believe I know what the problem is here, and I'll fix it immediately, shouldnt be too much of a big deal to correct.
-The purple cyclops' tackle ability is terrifying and a great game mechanic, but its ability to knock loose your powers can cause some strange behavior, such as Jack retaining visual aspects of powers or becoming frozen in the red-X'ed 'HIT!' pose for several seconds.
Ah, I know what could be causing the retaining of the visuals, could you tell me which abilities that's occurred with, to help save me the time of having to search through all possibilities? Also I somewhat understand why Jack sometime's freezes, but I've been stumped on how to fix it, I'll try out some things to see if I can get that under control.
-Like before, exiting a previously-beaten stage or dying in an unbeaten stage back to the map can cause the game to save.
Same as the first one, I believe.
-Selecting Continue upon starting the game, the game spawns Jack into a new screen deep into a level (akin to a modern-gaming checkpoint), rather than the map or beginning of a level.
and once again, related to the first problem.
-The dandelion bombers and their payload are often obscured by foreground tree brush in the levels which they appear. Consider making them appear in front of any foreground obstacles, and prevent such damage out of nowhere.
Ah, that's a good idea, I've just changed that so that they're always in the foreground now, never obscured.
-Just a thought: for the Japanese translation, it might be good to localize the text within the cutscenes, like the "CRASH!" in Eclipsus' flashback.
This is a possibility, just for humor's sake.
-The fact that enemies can still damage you by walking over you while burrowed with the Shovel Ability makes its combo powers, such as the Bullet+Shovel or Shovel+Boomerang, utterly useless. Not sure if this is a glitch.
Hm, I'm not sure why I allowed enemies to hurt you while burrowed, that seems like a dumb idea in hindsight. It's probably so that you can't burrow/drill under entire stages to skip past everything, but if you do that, it'd be on you. I'll be fixing that right now.
-What determines which abilities are available in shops? Abilities like Shovel and Bomb do not appear, despite my having used them in a half dozen levels already.
It depends on which big bosses you've defeated. Once you beat a big boss, several shop abilities are unlocked. Obviously, after beating the 5th boss, the entire shop is available. But in this demo, you can only beat big bosses 1 and 2, so not much is available.
-In Riverbank Stomp, some of the crustaceans can come at you from angles too high to jump over and too low to duck under, while trying either causes the current to push you against a cliff too high to go back onto. You have no choice but to take damage.
Hmm. Maybe I can make it so that you can attack them to push them out of the way, or knock them around. They'll still be impervious, but it would take some of the stress out of dodging them, especially in the small underwater tunnels I assume you're talking about.
-Like previous posters, I'd appreciate the ability to pan the screen up and down while standing. In situations like the one pictured below, there are enemies over the cliff I'm on, but I have no idea what or where they are, so all I can do is take a blind leap and pray I don't take damage. Similar games like Jazz Jackrabbit scrolled the screen up or down by holding the duck/look up button for a few seconds.
Don't worry, I've taken this criticism to heart, and I'll be finding a way to implement that in the next demo. It's a good idea, and I'm sure it would be appreciated by everyone.
-This Bellum Crista in Ancient's Playground spawns stuck between the ledge and the ground carving, causing him to rapidly jiggle back and forth. Consider just having him stand still.
For some unknown reason, some Bellum Crusta get stuck on platform edges, I'm not really sure why this happens, but I think I know a way to get that fixed as well.
-Finally, my chief complaint stems from many of the obelisk levels (and the whole game, to a degree) relies on platforming like this to cover vertical distance:
[rest of complaint]
I understand your frustration, and I apologize for it. I agree that that isn't good, and I already know of a fix that would work without me having to restructure any stages in a big way. What if those platforms were all able to be passed through from the bottom, so that you never had to worry about hitting your head above? I think I'll replace every single instance of that situation with pass-through-able platforms to avoid this frustration in the future.
Thank you once again for the detailed and non-sugarcoated criticism and feedback, it helps me to see things that I probably had not noticed before and fix them so that you, the players, have a better experience playing my game with as little frustration caused my my mistakes, rather than the player's.