Why it's HOT?
Cool new characters- Setsuka and Tira rock. The Character Creation mode and the tons of new fighter skills/classes is something I've been waiting years for. The story continues and gets a bit of closure. Graphics and sound are boss, the gameplay tight and accessible. Great stuff all around- I can play this game for years.
Why it's NOT...
Weird A.I. spikes and lulls- sometimes you face Valium-induced zombies, the next moment you face a Psychic Killing Machine. The RTS-RPG Chronicle of the Sword mode is nice but needs a lot of work. Some of the new character classes are a bit too powerful (give me ten dancers and I'll conquer the world!!!).
And what else can I say other than you just gotta love a game that lets you wreak havoc on the battlefield with bikini-clad Samurai Babes. WOOHOO!!!