Well, okay, with Kirk it was an uneven "exchange", the cloud shooting at him and him not shooting back. The Klingons and V'Ger did exchange fire, though; I like the effects used, but I fear that any "conventional" battle fought there would have fallen victim to scifi visual cliches in the end.
The TMP torp detonation is beautifully in line with the TOS effects, at least with the redone ones. I do hope something like that is used in STXI, too. It could be twisted into "good continuity": these early torpedoes were coarse affairs, blowing up half a planet for the desired effect, and only the ST2-era weapons had reached sufficient precision that engineers could reduce their warheads to the more practical regular cannonballs.
Nothing looking like a torpedo launcher on the Kelvin
, unless the underside of the saucer is more bulged and either shows some tubes or at least has enough of a front profile to allow us to believe in sliding panels.