Instead of having a Sonny 3, I’d rather see a Sonny 2.5 with updated gameplay fixes. Most of the fixes have already been proposed, but i’ll list them in order of importance, basing on my experience as a player.
1. Control over your party members: seriously, the main disappointment to me. It’s fine you got a slightly better “control” over your party members, but that’s not saying much. Most of the time, they don’t do what you expect them to do, and sometimes they’re more of a hindrance than a help (like Roald using silence on the Baron when you’re trying to Disrupt his focus). If you think that would make the game easier, then review boss strategies, because frankly, having no control over your party members is not the right way to make a game more challenging. There’s a difference between challenging and straight out frustrating.
2. Timer on Heroic: when people will realize than adding time limits on everything doesn’t add challenge, but annoyance? It doesn’t help either than most enemies induce statuses which require some reading, but no, you don’t have time to read what they say because there’s a time limit. It’s stupid. I had to restart battles a gajillion times because i had to read induced statuses, or simply because i had to plan what to do.
3. Skill balance: i believe this needs no introduction. While I liked the addition of three different skill trees, we all know that there’s only a handful useful builds. Some skills are so blatantly overpowered in combo, Shadow Blend/Agile Exposure/Withdrawal being the most ridiculous. And let’s not talk about the 4-turn stun. Others just don’t make the cut to possibly being useful. Why would you use Enrage, boosting damage dealt and received by 80%, while Aglile Exposure does basically the same thing, but better. Also, you’ll probably don’t want most enemies to deal 80% damage on you, because you have a serious chance to get ohko’d, unless you went for a vitality build. Casting buffs on your teammates is completely worthless since they are not reliable at all, see point 1.
4. Optional bosses: just bleh. Zone 7 bosses made me realize that getting the Legend achievement is a complete waste of time. The only two bosses that actually were interesting were the Time Bomb and the Twin Guardians. I admit I used the Shadow Blend combo on my Legend run, but seriously, if you have to deliberately nerf yourself in order for the game to be challenging, there’s something wrong, see point 3. There’s no voice acting as well: which it is not really necessary, but it feels like they rushed up the last two zones (and probably that’s what they did. I have an older version of Sonny 2 which doesn’t have Zone 6/7 nor achievements.).
There are also some minor things that could have been improved, like the unncecessary overabundance of elements. Why even add cosmic or earth element if you don’t have any earth or cosmic skills? And physical shouldn’t even be an element, should be the class of the attack! I can imagine a physical fire attack, but this way you could have an attack based on your instinct which is physical element. Doesn’t make much sense to me.
The original sonny 1 was simple, but entertaining. Sonny 2 was overly complicated in some of its parts, and definitely less entertaining. This doesn’t mean i don’t like it, just that’s worse than the first one, which is disappointing, because there was so much room for improvement.