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Soul Hackers 2 - Review


Soul Hackers 2 is the newest turn-based RPG that has been released and I was interested in the title when it was announced. I've been falling in love with RPGs recently and wanted to see what the game had in store. This also helped occupy me while waiting for the Persona 5 Royal that is coming out soon at the time of my writing this review. Soul Hackers 2 is a sequel to the Devil Summoner series, which is at least two decades old.


Pros and Cons

Pros

- Good story to keep the player entertained

- Combat is very well done, with many demons to recruit

- Plenty of side quests and dungeons to explore

- The soundtrack is decent for the most part

- Beautiful graphics that are very colorful


Cons

- Risky enemies are a huge problem to deal with, as they can be unavoidable

- Side quests can become repetitive

- Dungeons are bland and uninteresting

- The DLCs are just a waste of money


Story

The story starts out with the birth of Ringo and Figue - they were created by this higher being known as Aion. Aion is a cyber-space super intelligence that created Ringo and Figue to enter the human world. They are both tasked to save humanity and prevent a being known as The Great One from emerging. They both meet Arrow, who is working with Yatagarasu, who protects the capital from supernatural threats. They are rivals with The Phantom Society, which Milady works for. The Phantom Societies' main goal is to summon The Great One with the power of the Covenants. Ringo, Arrow, Milady, and eventually Saizo are Devil Summoners, people who are able to summon Demons and help them fight.


That is only scratching the surface with the story of Soul Hackers 2, it has some very interesting twists to it that make it very interesting as a whole. The characters are all well done, my favorite has to be Saizo who is a freelance Devil Summoner taking on almost any job. His personality was just perfect for me and is honestly just a great character all around. Ringo is another one of my favorites - while her dialogues are up to the player's choice, she was just all-around a great character. The final character I liked was Ash, while she was not in the story throughout and I wish I saw more of her, I kind of just ended up here. She has this gloomy look but is soft on the inside.


The story for Soul Hackers 2 is good, not perfect but good, it’s cliched in a way. While it’s not a bad thing, there are however moments where it does feel like it. As I said, it’s good, just not perfect.


Gameplay

Soul Hackers 2’s gameplay is more simplified than most other SMT games, so if you make a mistake, you won’t be heavily punished for making it. Each character has a certain role they can fulfill; however, you are able to make any character fill any role they want. I do recommend having someone at least fill the role of support to help your team, either by having them do healing/buffing and debuffing, or splitting the roles into two.


Each demon you fight or use will have certain strengths or weaknesses, so it’s best to find out what is the best method to take them all out. I highly recommend having a party with different elements so you can cover multiple weaknesses. Each time you exploit an enemy's weakness, you will build up what's called a Sabbath which is a special attack that will damage all enemies. Only one attack will exploit an enemy weakness per stack, so if all enemies are weak to Fire abilities and you used an ability, it will only count as one stack. However, multiple party members can use the same ability and get a stack from that. You can have up to 10 demons be in the Sabbath. However, the more demons there fighting the less damage it will do, so keep that in mind while fighting.


When fighting you and your demons will level up, and upon doing so they will learn new moves. Though at some point they will stop learning new moves, and that’s a good time to go and fuse them to make more powerful demons. Some of them can be really good depending on what point you are in the game. I highly recommend getting demons who have a lot of resistance, as they can tank most of the abilities you will come across.



There is also a side dungeon you can visit called the Soul Matrix, there you can learn about your party members' pasts and can give them abilities that will help you in or outside of battle. You can also use the bosses as demons to help you fight if you so wish but you will generally be fine with the ones you have at your disposal. There are also a ton of side quests that you can do so if you like doing them, then there is that.


Now that’s all the positivity that Soul Hackers 2 has but it does have a few issues. In the overworld, while exploring dungeons, you will come across normal or rare enemies. Normal ones are these red pixel creature things, the gold ones have rare loot but are harder to take out. Risky enemies on the other hand are something different, they are giant and purple. With the red and gold ones, you can stun them with a slash attack so you can get the drop on it or avoid it but avoiding them will cause more to appear. With the purple ones you can’t do that, so you have to run from them, or you can fight them. However, the enemies will be very high leveled and can take your party out in an instant if you are not careful.



The side quests, while plentiful, do become repetitive as you are doing the same thing over and over again, like fetch quests, taking out enemies, etc. The rewards you get aren’t worth it either so have fun doing a hard side quest for you to only get a mediocre item. The dungeons are also bland and boring, they are very empty and have nothing for you to find in them, no chests nor anything. Except for demons, both your parties and enemies, they are everywhere you look.


Finally, the DLCs are one more thing that isn’t worth your money but instead of talking about them here, I made a video on Soul Hackers 2 that I will leave a link for right here. I go more in-depth into this game so feel free to check it out if you so wish.




Graphics and Performance

The graphics are absolutely beautiful in this game, they are colorful and vibrant, and the character and demon models are also well done and look amazing. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while I was playing, and it ran smoothly at 60 FPS.


The soundtrack is ok for the most part, nothing too groundbreaking. It's not bad by any means but it's definitely not something that is worth remembering in my eyes.



Final Verdict

Soul Hackers 2 is a very fun game that I do recommend trying out if you are interested or are looking for another JRPG to play. Although I would wait for a sale - while the game is good, it’s not perfect but by any means. While there is plenty of content for it, it’s not something I would pay full price for. I’d wait for a 25% or half-off sale, depending on your preference. It just depends on how much money you would want to spend on a game like this.


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