KOF '94-'95 are extremely different to '96-'98, they are almost completely different entities besides 3-on-3 fights. Physics are different, hitboxes are oldschool with strong hitboxes (almost everything crosses up), oldschool invincibility, dodge instead of roll, super high damage per hit, dash and no runs, manual meter building and no Advanced meter, lots of fullscreen projectiles... they are extremely different.
'96 starts to move away from the initial Fatal Fury influences and becomes its own thing tilting things towards stronger rushdown and weaker defense. Most characters had their projectiles become short range semi-pokes, rolls were introduced, hops and superjumps, running, guardbreaking, counters, etc. '97 and '98 feel different enough but are also polished and refined versions of what '96 pioneered.
First, the positives. Presentation is vastly better, stages look really cool, designs look better and everything looks really really nice. A huge improvement.
Now, I feel that the game's intensity has decreased quite a bit. Before, enemies were more aggressive and tried to surround you, now they spawn and kinda hang there. Enemy waves still come too far apart with noticeable gaps in between them further slowing things down. More variety in how they behave and upping their aggresiveness would improve things IMO.
The juggles are still a bit too floaty and damage too low for my taste too. I got to the boss on my first try by launching people and doing upper into stuff into dive with little thought. Rarely I got hit out of the pattern.
Now, I don't want to sound too negative. The potential is definitely there, I love the visuals and the variety of stuff you can do with the combo system, but I think it would be much better with some tuning here and there. Some more gravity to the juggles, a smarter AI, more enemy variety and tighter waves could make this a really good game with this base you have and I look forward to more updates.
Also being able to configure controls would be nice, moving with the right hand is tough haha.
EDIT: Pote actually does put up a fight and requires some strategy, though that also makes the contrast with what came before bigger.