I'm developing a 2D platform game where players will carry various weapons (pistols, rifles, RPGs) and I want to keep a pixel art style throughout which will apply to all characters. The characters need to angle/point their weapons at a target pointed to by the player's cursor. I'm aware that one technique is to use anchor points and create bones for arms, position the weapon accordingly. I'm also looking at a tool called Spine which allows me not only to overlay weapons/arms on to a sprite but create a full skeleton and make the character from a whole set of individual parts.
My main question here is whether I should really look into something like Spine or do without it. I'm also wondering whether to build characters from a set of parts (legs, arms, head etc) or have animated sprites for most of the character and then add on arms and weapons. If anyone has experience in this area or has dealt/is dealing with a similar problem I'd really appreciate your thoughts and ideas. Thanks.