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I had kind of lost interest in the game because I had read elsewhere that it was a purely pedestrian affair, and after having played Oniken, I suspected that even that assessment was most likely a bit generous. However, your appraisal has compelled me to try it out for myself. Classicvania fused with Igavania sounds rather intriguing!
Concerning Oniken, the developers stated that they wanted to pay homage to such NES "classics" like the Ninja Gaiden trilogy. Yeah. Although it isn't as shoddily designed as something like NG, it's thoroughly devoid of any kind of inspiration. With the exception of a couple of okay bosses, it fails to surpass any of the games it's paying tribute to and is, at its best, a remarkably bland experience.
This isn't a spoiler per se, but I know your stance on these things, so reveal at your own discretion (it's a mechanical detail that isn't obvious or intuitive, but quite handy to know).