So, I'm about halfway through the second episode, and so far I am digging the hell out of this game.
The first trial with Mia was a lot more involved than I thought a tutorial chapter would be, and young Phoenix was quite hilarious. I've heard WONDERFUL things about the fifth episode, too, so there's that to look forward to playing.
To steal from DEAN: What worked: Rikimaru and Ayame: They both rock, and Ayame's a cutie that will slit your throat at a moment's notice. Each has a different story, even though the areas are the same. Also cool about Ayame: