The new characters are definitely welcome additions to the series: Tira is the aforementioned hottie; she wields a razor-edged hula hoop. Next comes Setsuka, who seems like a demure Japanese lady until you realize her parasol has a sword inside it. Then there's the scythe-wielding muscleman Zasalamel, who actually seems unbalanced. He's much faster than a character with his strength should be.
If none of those appeal to you, there are 21 returning characters (the Owl-headed Olcadan is actually just like an old character named Edge Master, so we're counting him as a returner). And let's not forget the created characters. Being given the option to custom-craft one's own aggressor is great. This feature might not have the level of customization we’d like, but most games don't even have this feature, so this is still a win.