There’s been things I really love about Season 3, and things I wish were rectified.
-Tusk, Kim Wu, Gargos, and Eyedol all return to complete the classic KI roster! That’s awesome! All of them have been modernized with unique gameplans, sweet new lore, and some of the better retros in the game.
-Mira! An awesome original character with a really fun moveset and absolutely nutty damage, with the added caveat that she has to watch that she doesn’t kill herself with the self harm the med/heavy versions of specials inflict. Plus, she’s wonderfully designed (one of the best default looks in the game, imo) with great accessories and colors. A wonderful addition!
-The music! I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that Atlus Plug and Celldweller were quite the pleasant surprise. The work they’ve done to follow in Mick Gordon’s footsteps has been awesome. From the blistering speed metal of Gargos to the Castlevania vibes Mora gives, from the streets of Chinatown to Covenant civil war, there’s an awesome collection of awesome tunes.
-Shadow Lords! What looks like an awesome addition to gameplay may be a long time coming, but it looks incredible. An awesome mix of Killer Instinct, X-Com, rogue-likes, and test your luck. The multiplayer component is a neat bonus
-The lack of stages. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over this. There’s so much potential for awesome level design to back up the lore of these awesome characters. Mira’s was even teased at one point that it would’ve been like something right out of Dark Souls, with massive underground cathedrals and ancient stone architecture. That would’ve been the bee’s knees! Even Rash and General RAAM have potential for awesome battlegrounds. While I’m happy to see a boss stage with The Astral Plane, I still wish with all my heart that we could see more. I’d happily take an extended break from character releases to just focus on more stages. I’m kinda fickle like that, but I’ve seen plenty of posts with similar sentiments.
-The ultra music. While the music has been on point and a lot of the ultra combos look good and have decent rhythms, the actual notes don’t seem to be as powerful as they were with Mick. They don’t have as much depth or lasting impact sound wise by comparison. It just feels like it could use a boost.
-Ultimates. This has been requested by a lot of people for a long time. While it’s not the end of the world, it would garner a metric ton of good will if they made it in. This is another feature I’d be happy to take a break from new characters for. They don’t need to be gory or overlong, just fitting for the character and badass to watch once in a while: The way Shago’s works is perfect, an excellent reward for a Supreme victory.
-Still no KI2/GOLD music in Practice mode. This is more of a personal bugbear since I like a lot of the KI2 music better than their KI1 equivalents, particularly Glacius, Fulgore, and Jago. Plus, it would include the wicked tunes from Kim Wu, Tusk, and Gargos, which were stellar!
-The Guests. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the guests. They play well and have plenty of personality, and have a pretty good presentation. They’ve also got some of the coolest accessories in the game, and have certainly helped get the game more attention. It’s just… harder for me to care. There’s not a whole lot of story for me to want to unravel, and 2 of them don’t even have stages. Originally, I never wanted them at all. Now I’m alright with their inclusion, but I feel they’re a bit too plentiful. I think we should be limited to just one more guest in the future. Maybe Joanna Dark, since she’s got history with Rare, but honestly I’m still mostly lukewarm on the whole Guests thing. The ones we have have been really fun to play with and move really well, but something about them just doesn’t click with me the way Sabrewulf or Sadira do.
Honestly having guests kinda feels like fan fiction. I’d prefer to have an original creation that takes influence from other works than to just have the character from that world show up.
Not to disparage the team’s work, since they’ve done more with the guests than I thought possible. I’d just prefer that we limit our guest intake in the future.
-The gwaphics update. Initially impressive, sure. I love a lot of the new lighting. I just don’t notice it much anymore. Props for making the game look better though! I just prefer any new visuals come in the form of accessories, colors, and stages rather than polygons. You know, something that’s still tangible after a few years when the graphics lose their edge.
While there’s been a couple of stumbling blocks this season that’ve put a damper on some of my expectations, I still think Season 3 has gone very well. With Shadow Lords in September and Eyedol incoming this Friday, I’m still fairly impressed. Is it perfect? No. This is the first season I think I’ve actually had major objections to what’s happened with the game. However, the good bits have been good enough that I haven’t paid them as much mind.