I've had problems with the jumping routine. Lala felt the most responsive. The other two felt unprecise, floaty, and unnecessarily hard-to-predict to me; in slightly varying ways, and with different effect because of the different environments and goals.
Replaying Cheril, i find the main culprit to be that it seems to be using accumulated acceleration when jumping, just like when running. This leads to an exponential rise curve, which could work great for rocket propulsion or hovering or maybe a mid-air jump/float function, but feels unreliable and wrong during a standard off-ground jump. It's as if the gravitational pull is switched between above and below depending on the phase of jumping. As an side effect, jumping becomes hard to predict, a feature which gets worse with one-hit deaths and abundant risks of falling to another screen and having to climb your way up again.
I'd set up upwards momentum as a one-shot set CONST at the condition "jump button pressed = true". Then, i'd possibly have timer (A) count # of ticks before gravitational deceleration starts eating away on the momentum. To get some control, i'd let timer (B) count down from the effective max length of the jump button being held. If [jump] is released, timer B is set to 0. Both need to be 0 in order for deceleration to start (essentially your standard falling procedure). A has a shorter time setting than B. Alternately, with a different conditions framework, the timers could be baked into one timer. The set value of these two timers + the value of CONST + the rate of deceleration/gravity + max gravity can then be tested back and forth with different values until jumping feels more precise and predictable, relative to the stage layout and enemy placement. Note that being the developer and having played the level time and time again obscures how the game mechanics feel for the target audience. It needs to feel good without having routines, prior knowledge, muscle memory and so on, which can be tricky as a one-person team to estimate.
If time is on the horizontal axis and movement on the vertical, it looks something like (1) or (2) but should probably be more like (3):
jump_curves.png [ 595 Bytes | Viewed 205 times ]
In the case of Wo Xiang (according to my memory), the inverse-gravity/accumulating momentum is double trouble, even if the "floaty" effect felt a little less pronounced than in cheril - precision is key when you position yourself to bounce off an enemy, yet i have difficulty getting the timing right positioning myself, because it takes me too much time to get there, and time to fall down. It doesn't feel responsive to me. The way i'd have it would be the jumping to be quick enough to make bumping enemies in the beginning a relative piece of cake without too much practice or having to think about a hard-to-pinpoint delay in the jumping scheme, and then progress the difficulty in the form of enemy speed and/or maneuvers. A sharper turn from jumping to bumping may help define the movement. Additionally, i feel that pressing down should be a complementary mode of bumping; though that's a minor side note.
I think the TLDR of it is that 1) the base difficulty shouldn't come from the jumping mechanism itself, but rather from what level/enemy design challenges the mechanism is meant to surpass, and 2) Jumping momentum should be a uniform curve, unless there's special circumstances.
These points are from a personal user perspective, of course. And all that said, the platforming challenge gets fun to me after a while, when i've taken the time to adapt to the controls. But that's possibly an if
, because that's a threshold you need the user to get over on the first play. Had it been cartridge-only times, you'd bought a physical copy and would feel the need to get the most out of the game by adapting to the physics, but in download free to play-times in a sea of entertainment, controls that take some time to adapt to are accompanied by the risk of losing audience based on the first minute impression.
Edit: I hope this is helpful, and not just critical. I'm aware i have the maybe too common trait of being able to bring up things i percieve as a space for improvement, but have a harder time bringing up the stuff that i percieve as good to equal proportions.