Acceleration of SUGURI 2 is an arcade fighting game by Orange Juice and Fruitbat Factory. This bullet hell shooter which contains online multiplayer options features an all-female cast of characters from Orange Juice's earlier game releases Suguri, Acceleration of Suguri X-Edition, and Sora.
There are 15 playable characters altogether in this game, each which happens to come across an unknown part of a spaceship or who is woken up by the owner of the ship. They are each attacked by multiple different characters before coming to the ship and confronting the ship's owner.
Short gameplay video of a story mode playthrough on YouTube by TheBlueDragon
Full gameplay video of a story mode playthrough on YouTube by UnexpectedGenreShift
As an arcade fighting game with bullet hell mechanics, this game manages to strike a good balance between being forgiving for players who are new to this style of arcade gameplay and also providing a good challenge from the CPU. At easier difficulties, the CPU will be less likely to use their hyper attacks (a special ability that does a lot of damage or releases a lot of the character's weapons which make it difficult to avoid entirely) and have less health. The CPU will also have sufficient capacity to dodge, avoid and counter various forms of attack the player uses, and also learn from the player's moves changing strategies on the fly to counter the player. Each of the playable characters have varying forms of attack. Some are good at keeping distance from the opponent such as shooting at a distance, using weapons that track and follow the target, setting traps as stationary mines or slow moving projectiles that stay in the area for a long period of time before disappearing on its own. Some are good at cornering opponents or getting the jump on approaching opponents to launch multiple melee attack combos or hyper attacks. At the same time, the game also has a gauge counter that will deplete for each weapon that the character deploys which limits either side from spamming a particular weapon excessively. The game also has a heat percentage that will cause a character to take more damage when the heat counter becomes high. If they spam dodge too much for example, they will take additional damage. This enables both sides to adopt a variety of tactics to make the battles more even although a few characters seem to have a clear advantage over others, where I could get ranks A or S at the end of a battle more easily while others I kept struggling to stay alive and often received rank D. The only negative part regarding the gameplay aspect is that when both characters are far apart from each other, the entire battle screen will zoom out such that it becomes difficult to see which character on the screen is controlled by which player or CPU. It would be nice to at least have a marker above the character's head to quickly show which character belongs to which player. The multiplayer aspect of this game is well-optimized. I tried it with a Steam friend from Europe when I am in Southeast Asia and both of us could join each other's lobby and play without any significant lag. In terms of artwork, it features mecha themes with the usual cute chibi style anime girls that are in Orange Juice's earlier games. Most of the girls will have the usual assortment of futuristic sci-fi weaponry of laser beams, projectiles, missiles, mines, drones or a melee weapon. While a few have more unusual weaponry such as maracas, rocks, ice, chains, feathers, barrels or marbles. Some of the hyper move animation and choreography are also flashy, attractive and well-done.
Arcade mode gameplay videos featuring characters with maracas, rocks and drones on YouTube by Ezioless .A.L
The plot and character background of each character in the game's story mode is at a bare minimum as the focus of this game is still mainly on the arcade gameplay. Yet the game also manages to insert doses of tongue-in-cheek humor in most of the girls' storyline, one of which features a few girls' story arcs fighting each other to see which is the cutest girl out there. (Fue!)
In terms of achievement difficulty, they are somewhere between difficult and reasonable where it took me many attempts and also having to refer to a published community guide for the Untouchable achievement, and at least 20 hours to get all other achievements. None of the achievements require having to play online with another player in multiplayer, which may make this game more appealing for those who prefer to play this game singleplayer or with friends or family members they know well. Overall, this game is recommended for fans of 100% Orange Juice who want to see some of the featured Suguri or Sora series characters go at it in an arcade fighting game with bullet hell mechanics. Maintaining a challenge without becoming impossible to beat, Acceleration of SUGURI 2 is a fun experience backed up with cute chibi anime girls and tongue-in-cheek humour.
The soundtrack DLC Accelerator is recommended when at discount for those who like the featured soundtracks in the game. This DLC also contains 2 Japanese songs with vocals. The DLC Realism and SUGURI the Best are recommended when at discount for those who like an assortment of fast tempo music where Realism contains 4 English songs with vocals and SUGURI the Best contains 2 English songs with vocals. I am also recommending this game because the final boss and unlockable character in this game resembles a cute little witch. Fuee!
Character page of final unlockable character at Orange Juice website