So I made my review on my first impressions, and was confident in just leaving it there, but shortly after her release, I heard a friend complain about it, describing her as "completely unfun to play". I found this pretty crazy, even knowing how Honey's controls are a bit on the higher-end of required understanding. I felt that maybe I should go back and really give a proper play and review instead of a rushed one.
Now, let me start by saying that I don't share the same opinion. I still think Honey is well crafted and has a lot going for her, but more flaws show themselves as I played. A lot of it comes down to how she needs to use Custom 1. Most characters stray from custom buttons due to the sues that arise from the many different ways to control the game. As a Gamepad player, I use my bumpers for spin and jump, with the left trigger having Custom 1. As a result, my control setup means I basically have to hit the left trigger and left bumper simultaneously or near simultaneously on a constant basis.
There's also all the button combos you need to remember in order to execute your moves, which admittedly isn't a big problem from my perspective - Mario in his 3D outings effectively has 3 action buttons; A for jumping, B for actions like attacking or dashing, and Z for crouching, much like Honey does. Honey's C1 button is also effectively your "use meter" button since its primarily used for the pounce that uses it. However, it does create some odd combination logic when used in conjunction with her other actions.
For example, spin on the ground does the butt bop, which is already an odd move in itself. It has homing properties for no reason I can logically think of (aside from battle?), especially on the ground where you wouldn't even need homing. It makes it jarring to attack enemies, as you home into the nearest enemy and you then go sailing way past where the now defeated enemy was, and awkwardly into a wall at best, or into trouble at worst. The move also completely kills your current momentum, which I suppose is an anti-cheese method to prevent BLJ situations, but since using the butt bop more than once in a chain uses meter, there's already a prevention system for this.
But in midair, spin does... nothing. At all. Not without C1, anyway. No ability, no shield functionality. I can't figure out why that would be the case, it just seems like Honey can't use a shield ability for no reason. While most of SRB2's shields are honestly underwhelming, its still a problem, especially if this character has Battle Mode support, where you are more likely to encounter the actually useful S3 shields. You miss out on potential combos like using the flame shield and pounce for a pseudo "Double Thok", for example. If you're insistent on not having shield on pressing spin, I'd rather it at least be a double tap of Spin.
Honey's midair ability is a stomp move that you yourself admit is more for utility. The midair jump move for just about any other character is a core part of their moveset, sometimes even the only true unique move to them. However, Honey's core moves are mapped to C1, so having stomp be on the most primary of buttons you can have in your jump heavy platform game feels so strange. It's another momentum killing move for starters, even moreso than the butt bop. Its also something you could easily execute on accident, for one reason or another, making the momentum killing far more of a problem. If you ever did do it by accident, it requires your pounce to cancel at all.
Now, lets get down to properly talking about this C1. Custom 1 on the ground has you crouch, where you can do your backflip and pounce, but in midair, while you can do the pounce from there, pressing C1 + jump does... nothing? At all?? If this input isn't being used for anything, why isn't this Shield? Or heck, why isn't this the stomp? I feel like C1 + Jump could be stomp, and then jump in midair could be a shortcut for midair pounce, since midair pounce is a midair action you will be performing a LOT more than players would ever stomp, and I don't see why it couldn't be an easy input for some players.
Although the pounce sends you fast, it also does not account for your current speed, so if you're going faster than your pounce sends you normally, it'll have a speed cutting effect, noticeable with speed shoes, slope play, and possibly momentum mods. I also find it odd that the pounce has no attacking hitbox on it whatsoever, given how the input to spin in midair means that to do a forward attacking thrust in midair, it requires you to have meter, press C1 and Spin at the same time, release, and then re-press spin, in the same game where Sonic presses jump once. Call the Thok overpowered if you must, but its strange just how much more input is required from the player for an action that doesn't seem that complicated. Going off my previous suggestion as midair jump being an "easy operation", you could have a double tap send you into a pounce-into-spin.
So that's how I feel about her core moveset, a very technical character that has room to be easier for users to use. I wouldn't want her boiled down too far, as I still believe there is room for more technically inclined input characters. After all, fighting games have a variety of input types by design, so it makes sense that a fighting game based character would be the same way. It's still an excellent display! But there's still room to do more work here.
As for one more complaint I have, it's with how her meter appears. First, its attached to the character herself, meaning its affected by her position from the camera and her lighting changes. When I made [M A R I A], I made her meters into proper HUD elements that position themselves near the center of the screen, ensuring they would always be present near her and always easily visible, consistently in the same location on the screen while never being in the way, and never requiring you to drift your eye to the side like with the other HUD elements.
I'd recommend doing the same with Honey, and perhaps making it look like a proper fighting meter, and allowing you to visualize the meters actively rise, and blink when ready. I'm not sure if putting them on honey herself was intentional for the same of Battle Mode, so you can see your opponents' meters, but I say it'd be best if that info was restricted to the user, and its pretty difficult to see that at the speed of player movement in battle mode anyway. Opponents will have to read you instead.
And finally, I actually like how Honey has a resource management thing going on, with having a purpose for rings that actually matters. I do find it odd that going Hyper Mode seems to be the only way to trigger the Armageddon shield, and I don't even know if that's intentional. Lacking invincibility is actually neat to me, as it means you can't get too reckless around hazards like spikes or projectiles. It's pretty great to spend rings into going aerial ham for a few seconds.
Even though I rated this a star lower than last time, I still think this mod is a great showing. A lot went into making this character, but i still think some more can be done. I still had fun with this mod, but with some more changes, she could be more accessible to others without compromising her existing abilities.
(Also please look into Persona support, I swear its easier than it looks, Persona support is always a plus in my book, and I just really want more Persona supported characters okay)