Okay, I realize that this version is significantly better than its 1.0 incarnation, but there are still some vital features I believe should not have been overlooked upon the revamping to 2.0. Stuff like this might be forgiven on a budget title, but having paid 40+ good dollars out of my pocket, I think I should be getting a little more for my money.
The following is a list of those features that I believe should have been included. To wit:
* Space Dust. No really, not just the 1-pixel "space snow" in this game that is very hard to see, I mean the space dust that actually helps you see where you're going. A feature like this was present way back in the days of the original X-Wing by LucasArts (I actually own an original CD copy, believe you me). Back then it was just a bunch of 2 or 3 frame animated sprites representing space debris, but it gave you a sense of speed that would otherwise be unavailable in the endless void of space. When you drive a car, the speed at which the scenery is rushing past you lets you intuitively know how fast you're going and which direction you're heading in; such a vital feature is missing in this game. Okay, so maybe the developers wanted a "more realistic" experience, because there aren't any such signposts for us Earthbound creatures in space, but it worsens the quality of the game nonetheless.
Because this game lets you travel in a direction you're not necessarily pointing your craft's nose towards, and because the velocity vector gizmo can be annoyingly hard to find at times, space dust that was more visible and gave you a sense of direction could have greatly helped me get around in this game. A game called Darkstar One, despite being questionably localized into English (i.e., a Thul battle pilot saying "Are you sure you really wanna take a mess with me?"), questionably designed ships that looked like toys, and possessing a rather rudimentary market system, nevertheless implemented the "space dust that lets you see how fast you're going as well as where you're going" very well; the dust was everywhere and became animated into progressively longer streaks as you went faster, so with this feature you could instantly recognize that you were still travelling backwards despite facing in a different direction.
As earthbound creatures, we rely on scenery rushing past us to give us a sense of our speed and our velocity; this is why people looking out the windows of airliners think "we're going so slow!" Implementing a simple visual aid such as the previously-outlined space dust could have greatly helped players of this game.
Of course, that problem isn't helped by the fact that this game needs . . .
* More easily noticeable HUD indicators. Two of the worst offenders include the ones that indicate the direction to your target and your velocity vector indicator. Yes, real-life jet pilots are stuck with the same 3-spoked wheel velocity indicator, but since they are "really there" in their jetfighters, they can use their other senses (like their sense of touch) to automatically tell where they're accelerating, and can easily turn their heads to see just where their target is (not all owners of this game have Track IR headsets).
Because both the target direction and the velocity vector symbols are rather small on high resolutions and can often get lost on the sides of the screen when the target or exact position of the velocity vector lies outside your current field of view, finding either of these can cost precious seconds in a dogfight. If the two had possessed easy-to-identify symbols that rotated around your HUD's reticule pointing in the direction of your target or velocity vector, it would have made finding your bearings relative to your velocity vector or your target easier and less clumsy.
Why put them rotating around your HUD? Because it's near the central point of interest in the interface (where your direct-firing guns are going to shoot). I played a simulation game called "Aquanox 2: Revelation" that possessed this feature, and it certainly made locating the designated target much easier rather than scanning all four sides of the screen for the hard-to-find target direction or velocity vector symbols when either is not in your field of view. Of course, the rotating arrow indicator would disappear when the target or velocity vector is in your reticule.
* More ways to intercept or throw off missiles as a fighter. After being fragged more times than I can count by missile spamming frigates (according to Project Rho's analysis, there's absolutely no point to space fighters when missiles can do the same for much cheapter) because I ran out of decoys too fast, or having my decoys disabled first because some lucky shot hit the wrong place, I believe there really should have been more than just one way to get missiles off your tail. Yes, it may be "realistic" that you can't shoot down enemy missiles with fighter guns, but even real jetfighter pilots can outmaneuver missiles from some distance away. It's something called "game balance" and I'm not sure it's done very well here. It's also very annoying that fighters can't intercept anti-ship missiles with their guns either--I've lost many a friendly capital ship because of this.
* A more convenient target selection system. I still own a copy of X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and it had a very good target selection system that was broken into enemy targets, friendly targets, neutral targets, mission-objective-related targets, a key for targeting the object exactly under your gunsights, and best of all, the spacebar for immediately targetting incoming missiles so you could intercept them with your guns if you couldn't use countermeasures for whatever reason. The current target selection system is unforgivably clumsy at times; often I would try to select what's directly under my reticule only to select something away from it. The current keyboard shortcuts also don't distinguish between enemy and friendly targets, and the "target missile" key sometimes doesn't target a missile locked onto you.
I'll be adding more to this list as I get deeper into the game, but if the developers at Destroyer Studios want to get a sequel to be much more successful and accessible, they will definitely need some of the aforementioned features to do so.