Steam tells me that I have 381 hours in the first Spelunky, but a mere 74 in Spelunky 2. The reason for this is simple: I'm terrible at it to such a spectacular degree that my clumsy attempts in Spelunky 1 look like virtuoso performances by comparison. But perhaps I'd get more into the second game if it were transformed into a Metroidvania.
Thanks to Spelunky: Wrath of Kali, I can find out. Spotted by GamesRadar, Wrath of Kali is a sprawling mod for Spelunky 2 that converts its constantly shifting world into a fully-authored Metroidvania. Created by a "small dedicated team of modders in the Spelunky community," it's currently only available in demo form, with a release planned for later this year, but even that demo looks impressive.
Right now, the demo contains three zones, a unique boss, shortcuts, save game functionality(!), and tantalising "hidden stuff". Plus, the team has plans for more bosses, areas, power-ups, and secret endings in its full release planned for later this year.
Spelunky 2 seems to translate to a Metroidvania rather well: Its myriad upgrades—jump boots, jetpacks and the like—become permanent enhancements that let you reach new zones and overcome new obstacles. There's also a Soulsborne-style healing system now in the form of potions you can refill at checkpoints (checkpoints! In Spelunky!).
I'm eager to see where this goes. I've been meaning to get back into Spelunky 2 for, well, years at this point, but it's never managed to get its hooks into me like its predecessor did. Perhaps this is just what I need. If you fancy trying out the demo, you can pick it up over at Spelunky.fyi. Just remember to pick up the nightly build of Playlunky to install it with.