Some of your problems with the game may come from the fact that it's an Early Access game. Since it launched, they've added more content and done other tweaks and adjustments.
Right it is only $20 after all. It is still on my wish list because I'd like to get it some time.
A control scheme so basic that not having it just seems odd to me. Wonder how long playthroughs are now.
I just re-installed the first one on my Playstation.
You are bound to love Earthbound.