I spoke with MH directly earlier this year, and the way I understand it, the DryQ Core needs some internal humidity to start to breathe (like Gore-Tex), whereas the DryQ Elite is "always on" and not dependent on internal humidity build-up in order to breathe/vent. So to oversimplify, think of the Core as Gore Tex-esque, and Elite as eVent (which is what they are anyways, just a customized version).
In any case, the new Alakazam has different pocket placement and colours, but the real functional difference is the change between materials on the jacket. The previous (original) model was all one type, but the new one has dobby vs ripstop I believe, to allow for more "give" under the arms. Not worth the price premium in my opinion. The previous Alakazam jacket is excellent, waterproof, breathable, ski-specific, and soft exterior. So it's like a hybrid soft-hardshell.
My only problem with the Alakazam is the sizing proportions. It's longer than the snowtastic but it's also wider. I'm 6'2" and needed an XL. However, if you're a bit slimmer (ie-190 lbs) it's far too boxy. If your body build is more stocky to begin with, then it'll fit great. If you're more athletic/slim, then you'll be swimming in it, and the arms will be too short. I lost 30lbs and had to sell my jackets and find new ones that were more slim fitting with longer sleeves. Unfortunately the MH stuff didn't factor into my options. I LOVE the jackets and DryQ Elite, but the fit was terrible for me after I slimmed down. If it fits you, the previous Alakazam model is an EXCELLENT jacket for the price, highly recommend.