While Kick'n it was a 3d game, all of its gameplay occured on a 2d plane and I was able to use photographic backgrounds and avoid 3d modeling. Gameplay in my current project takes place in full 3d, and I just dropped in the arena environment that my friend Raphael modeled for me. It looks really nice, and is in the process of being textured. We initially took a huge framerate hit until we discovered that all the elements of a model must be merged before export in order for the Xbox to treat it as a single object.
I've completed the character attack and defensive moves and am really pleased with how smoothly the controls are working. There is simply an attack, dodge, and jump button with a trigger for dash, but using these in different combinations will automatically create different cool moves. So its easy and intuitive to do jump attack or dash attack combos.
Last night was my first major playtest and I recieved a lot of great feedback. It was also the first time I was able to test a 3 on 3 online multiplayer match. But most importantly, the playtesters couldn't put down the controllers. I thought we'd test the game for 30 minutes, but they just kept playing and playing for a couple hours. If I can make a compelling single player experience to match the multiplayer experience I witnessed last night, this game could be a winner.