I backed Valdis Story on Kickstarter because it looked like the kind of game I'd want to play: a side-scrolling action RPG. The truth is that it's really closer to a Metroidvania platformer with some RPG elements. Despite its short length I had it installed for a year and a half before I got around to beating it. I just wasn't that motivated to ever play it, for reasons I'll go into.
It is fundamentally a good game though. The soundtrack is amazing, the animations are smooth (though there was considerable slow down when there was a lot of stuff on the screen), and the special effects are much better than you'd expect from an indie crew with hardly any experience. The story leaves something to be desired, but it picks up later on and it's not bad, just lacking in emotion. It does make up for that in epicness and scale though.
The single biggest problem is the controls. Playing on a keyboard my hands would start cramping after just a few minutes of play. If the game were slower-paced I'd say that switching the right hand to mouse controls might be better, but it's too much of a twitch experience for that. And that's the crux of the issue: there's some very tight jumps and timings that have to be made and given that the controls can be glitchy and are just generally a pain to use, the puzzles and fights that depend on those split-second key presses should really have been a lot more forgiving.
The combat itself isn't too hard, especially if you bother to level up at all. When I could forget the pain of the controls it was genuinely fun if I wasn't in the middle of a frustrating boss fight. The game also follows the usual steps of getting easier as it progresses because you have access to more skills and spells and equipment. So the most rage-inducing moments are generally early on.
There's a crafting aspect I didn't get into, but you don't really need to. It seems sort of superfluous and confusing.
The other major issue is just finding the next objective. There is a fast travel system, but it doesn't go to nearly enough places. And when your destination is just a name that doesn't appear on a map anywhere it can take a long time to find where you're supposed to go. Some sort of objective pointer or even a global map would've helped me a ton (there is only a very small local map without any names on it). As it is, the bulk of my play time was probably spent wandering around trying to figure out where to go next.
So if you want an action platformer with RPG elements that depends on twitch skills, I'd highly recommend Valdis Story. It's the best you're going to see in that genre from an indie team. But for the sake of your hands and sanity, bring a controller instead of relying on the keyboard.