I'm actually surprised how this is rated 8.9/10 and 77.5/100 on difficulty knowing how hard and bullshit it is at some parts lol
Game starts really easy and the first stages aren't really hard to beat, but game gets harder and harder around stages 5 and 6, which (in my opinion) started to have some kinda annoying segments.
Stage 7 was way harder than the other ones and it took me a lot more time to beat than the others. Game was hard and long and I think I would've rated it around 75-80/100 on difficulty if there wasn't an extra stage.
Extra stage started a bit harder than stage 7, although there were some easy saves inbetween. But it did get a lot more harder than stage 7, and when I say a lot it's A LOT. There's a single save that took me almost 13k deaths (game without extra took me 13k deaths) and 16 hours (that's more than the time I spent on the 24 water invert, craziest jump I've ever done by far). That save is definitely the worst and hardest save I've ever played by far and it's the reason why I rated this game 97/100 on difficulty.
To sum up, I would recommend stages 1-7 to people that like grinding hard and long needle saves. I'm sure that if you are capable to beat games like Crimson Needle you can beat this game, although it might feel too hard and bullshit at some points. But no, I definitely wouldn't recommend extra stage to anyone because that save I talked about before is just NOT fun and wayyyyyy (lmao) too hard. I don't even know how the fuck was I able to beat it. This is probably the only thing I wouldn't even recommend to players that are above my skill level.
Aside from the balance issues and some visibility issues with some of the backgrounds and spike sprites, this was a really good game. Would recommend if you're ok with the last stage being way harder than everything before.