I would say that this is your best game yet! Your effort and passion really shine in this one, especially with the huge arsenal of moves the main character has and all of the little aesthetic details in each stage. I'm also quite impressed with the multitude of stages and gameplay modes! I could see myself getting hours of playtime out of this.
I did notice a few minor issues that I want to comment on:
- There doesn't seem to be a list of controls anywhere. I suppose this isn't really an issue when using a game controller, but it took me a while to discover all the keyboard inputs. I think having all the controls spelled out in a single place would be very useful.
- Walking doesn't seem to be possible with keyboard controls unless you perform a sliding attack and try to move in the opposite direction afterwards. This isn't a huge issue since I usually want to immediately run fast, but I would like to be able to use the walking-unique attacks more easily.
- The burly purple dudes seem to be a little buggy with regard to the combo system. It's possible to get combos on them while they're doing their ground slam attack, and the combo doesn't go away until they land on the ground again. Their combo occasionally doesn't seem to go away at all when they land on the ground, too.
- EDIT: Here's something that happened to me twice, but I wasn't sure if I put in some random key combination that closed the game or not: The game has crashed for me twice so far on Nightmare mode. The first crash occurred after I wiped out on Mushroom Madness, and the second crash occurred after I got hit by a bomb clown at the final showdown. I don't know what's happening, but it seems like your code might be crashing somewhere.
P.S.: Minus 500 bazillion points for using the old Windows fanfare sound!!