Huge step backward.
Also, the devs were clearly Fanboys of certain characters that are way overpowered. IE Natsu- fastest character but inexplicably all her combos do 50%+ damage? Really? Astaroth- longest reach and high damage, but also super fast and can chain attacks endlessly? Really? Same with Xiba, Nightmare, and 1-2 others. The rest of the characters are meh.
The story line is awful and there is no other offline modes that offer any extras.