Soul Hackers 2 is a good deal like Shin Megami Tensei and its more and more popular spin-off sequence Persona. It has the pleasant flip-centered fight, demons we’ve all come to know and really like, and huge dungeons to discover. It also tells a quite entertaining tale entire with a spin on social one-way links, character interactions, and hangout spots. The difficulty is Soul Hackers 2 does nearly all of this worse. It can be a very good game, but it cannot hold a candle to the Atlus greats.
As an entry in a sequence with just a person other instalment from the 1990s — which was remade for just the Nintendo 3DS in 2013 — the selection two at the stop of the game’s title may possibly understandably have some people fearful. Just after all, you might be not going to obtain a GameStop shelf packed complete of Shin Megami Tensei: Satan Summoner: Soul Hackers copies in the yr 2022.
Nonetheless, you needn’t fret due to the fact Soul Hackers 2 assumes no prior information in any respect. Perhaps you may pass up out on a single or two small references (we haven’t performed the initial game either), but this is a standalone story that introduces by itself as if it truly is a new IP wherever all people is a newcomer.
That narrative focuses on Ringo and Figue, two humanoids created by an AI named Aion. This artificial intelligence is created to notice humanity from afar, other than it need to intervene when it learns the finish of the entire world is nigh. One thing identified as the Excellent A single is currently being termed on, and the twosome will have to set a cease to it by preventing objects of electric power called Covenants from falling into the mistaken fingers.
While you start the journey by itself, you’ll quickly assemble a bash of 4, crammed with oddballs and contrasting personalities. Substantially of the tale is character-focused, detailing how the a variety of Devil Summoner factions relate to a person a further and crafting plot twists all around them. The motivations of the antagonist are persuasive as well, with interesting character style producing them a real focal issue for the plot as it unfolds. It can be a neat story common of a JRPG, but it can be not likely to go down as a particularly unforgettable a single.
Cutscenes continue being engaging throughout and the tale does enough to keep matters interesting. On the other hand, they lack the intrigue of a Persona 5 plot place or the gripping mother nature of a Shin Megami Tensei twist. Even though the narrative has its times, it is abundantly very clear Soul Hackers 2 wasn’t afforded the similar kind of budget as Atlus’ premier RPGs. The tale suffers to some degree as a consequence.
So as well do the destinations you might be ready to explore outdoors of dungeons. Throughout downtime, outlets can be rummaged by means of to resource new items and gear, side quests can be finished for reward loot and money, and a bar can be frequented to improve your Soul Amount with occasion customers. These retailers and attractions are situated on extremely brief and slim streets that leave certainly no area for exploration exterior of the random townsfolk you can chat to.
It’s almost as if the recreation recognises there is certainly small point to the cobblestones exterior: you can rapidly journey instantly to each retail store and organization after you’ve got found out them. You can find minimal to do outside the house of battle the only figures you can produce any kind of bond with are your core occasion associates. And even then, they’re minimal to very simple Soul Ranges that boost by means of dialogue responses.
As soon as you do get into a dungeon and rough some demons up, while, Soul Hackers 2 takes a a great deal more positive turn. Its transform-based mostly beat system is a large amount like other Atlus RPGs: it’s truly enjoyment to interact with, super attractive, and addictive to the position where by you might be actively searching for battles. It is really all incredibly acquainted if you have performed new titles from the developer, but it has a system that operates.
The regular variety of magical talents and physical assaults are at your disposal. So as well are merchandise, utilizing your change to block, and trying to escape the scene. Exploiting enemy weaknesses is the important to profitable fights, which are identified by experimenting and examining into the type of abilities they toss back at you. Even though not rather as tricky as a Shin Megami Tensei V, a number of hard encounters await — notably boss fights with one of a kind qualities.
Anything the recreation does otherwise from the relaxation is a new mechanic called Stacking. In its place of getting an further transform immediately after concentrating on an enemy’s Achilles heel, you can expect to build up stacks that variety a single almighty assault after your party users have experienced their go. This provides a new layer of tactic to the encounter whereby you can nick stacks off a more robust enemy — even if it rarely does any destruction — in buy to drain the HP of each demon in entrance of you. Access a high Stacking count and it’s attainable to wipe a whole lineup of foes in one particular go.
With extra depth, the combat procedure doesn’t experience like a rehash of prior Atlus attempts. Though it may well glance almost indistinguishable from the exterior, Soul Hackers 2 results in its possess very little corner that rewards aggression and experimentation with more powerful assaults down the line. Toss in some enemies that can modify their elemental flaws on the fly and you’ve got a demonic pressure that retains you on your toes.
All of those encounters acquire spot in dungeons, which characterize much and away the worst issue about the JRPG. Some of the most uninspired, lifeless, unexciting spots await with recycled corridors and hallways offering an incredibly uninteresting backdrop for the battles at hand. These locations aren’t like your stylised Persona 5 Palaces they are standard shopping malls and shipping and delivery districts devoid of even a hint of personality.
Some new mechanics are launched partway by means of to add a modest trace of complexity, but all they seriously do is make you wander the repetitive and brain-numbing passageways of the dungeons some additional. It are not able to be overstated how truly crap they are. It’s nearly as if Atlus forgot about them right up until the last minute and then hurriedly slapped jointly some belongings. But, of program, that is not in fact the scenario. They were being all developed like this correct from the off.
Even the map utilised to navigate the dungeons is rubbish. Its labyrinthine nature scrawls all above the display screen and manages to get in your way irrespective of staying reasonably translucent on-display. For as pleasant battle is inside of dungeons, just about anything else you do in them exterior of the tale is as boring as dishwater.
It is rather a bizarre contrast, really, since Soul Hackers 2 retains that elegant, colourful character of an Atlus video game in its menus and really significantly anywhere exterior of a dungeon. The streets — as compact as they are — are alive with action and vibes. Stylish transitions seamlessly change you involving cutscenes and gameplay, and the menus in-amongst are stylish and hip. It really is a seriously neat activity to search at in the correct locations, and wonderful character art will make dialogue pop.
Background scenes are the legitimate stars of the demonstrate, however. Shell out a check out to any 1 of the outlets stocking fight supplies and you’ll be greeted by a flat but elegant graphic entire with a shopkeeper just as funky. Atlus is aware of what it excels at in the artwork division, and its most recent lives up to those anticipations most of the time. Why this stylish method was not carried into the dungeons will endlessly remain a thriller.
Soul Hackers 2 is a knowledgeable Atlus JRPG that will tick a good deal of bins for fans of the style, but it falls well shorter of staying that next breakout star from Japan. With dreadful dungeon structure and small else to do exterior of them, it falls upon the engaging fight process and fascinating plenty of narrative to decide up the pieces. It’s by no signifies the subsequent need to-participate in JRPG, but there is certainly just more than enough to Soul Hackers 2 that warrants a playthrough.