Leona Heidern is amongst my favorite women in The King of Fighters series. I find she’s beautiful, is about the business, and is presented within a way that both shows her femininity while showing she’s strong. I think this is also achieved in a way that is all her own without trying to take away the womanly aspect of her, which I find is often done when attempting to show strong women in media.
Leona being in KOFXV points to the possibility of having a “Team Ikari Warriors”, which is composed of herself, Ralph, and Clark. I am curious to how she plays within this game, as I am already hype from the thumbnail and how she looks…hopefully the gameplay is just as good.
Leona does look great! I feel they captured how cool she was, more akin to a cold-blooded beauty than anything else. I feel her eyes, hair, and stance are the main thing that make Leona a “cool-looking” character, and they certainly mastered this.
Her fighting style doesn’t look much different than how that normally is, but that’s not a bad thing within the least. She typically uses her hand as a blade, and it is prevalent in many of her attacks. I also like how it appears she can get multiple special attacks in a single combo in the corner due to her earring exploding after connecting.
Leona is a character I’ve always loved, but I have never played her due to my HEAVY dislike of charge characters. I hate having to constantly keep a charge in order to do her moves, and this is mainly because of it carrying heavy disadvantages to my natural playstyle. You lose charge when moving forward, being side-switched, and it can be difficult to land the just-timing for charges needed in very tight combos so you do not do it too early and get a normal move or too late and whiff completely.
As far as the aesthetic goes, I feel her Neo Max is SUPREMELY uglier in KOFXIII. The King of Fighters XV version of Leona’s Neo Max is the same as XIV down to the angle, and it is still not nearly as good as the last sprite-based version of KOF. I wish they would give more emphasis to her creating the blade and her hair turning red that signifies the awakening of her Orochi blood. I definitely think it should look cooler, but it’ll do for now since it already looks better than KOFXIV just do to the graphics being improved.