With one 25-year-old game, Soul Hackers was not a series that many players expected to see again, yet even though the surprise sequel is not groundbreaking, Soul Hackers 2 is a fun enough game that’s a worthy addition to the series. Offering familiar combat mechanics, the story is an alluring one due to the wide cast of characters and interesting science-fiction themes about what humanity is.
While it’s a sequel, Soul Hackers 2 is better thought of as a reinvention of the earlier game. You play as Ringo, who along with his partner, Figue, is sent on a quest to protect the earth from destruction. During the game, you’ll learn about the value and shortcomings of humans.Unfortunately, Soul Hackers 2 is not without its flaws and during the game, you will likely encounter some plot holes that make no sense at all.
8/8 Iron Mask
A member of the Phantom Society, Iron Mask is a Devil Summoner and leader of the C project, which was created to destroy the world as we know it. Iron Mask also creates Zenon, a demon.
Even after discovering Iron Mask’s identity, Ringo freely provides Iron Mask with details about the quest to save certain humans to avoid the arrival of the Great One. If Iron Mask is Ringo’s enemy, it makes no sense why Ringo would share this confidential information because Iron Mask is likely to use it against him. What’s further confounding is that Ringo has not even exchanged these details with people she considers to be on her side. Ringo has absolutely no reason to give up this information so easily to the enemy.
7/8 Figue’s Last Minute Change
Once Iron Mask is finally beaten and Raven killed, Figue chooses to create a humanity-wide Soul Hack to remove the possibility of any conflict. The problem is, there’s not a believable amount of motivation for her to turn evil.
Soul Hackers 2 is a complex storyline and its developers were likely looking for a quick and easy way to end the tale. In the rush to conclude the game, this development feels rushed. This sudden change in a character who has been a protagonist up until this point is a confusing one that is not nearly explained enough. As a result, you finish the game with a diminished appreciation of Figue as a character.
6/8 Arrow’s Shirt
A Yatagarsuian Devil Summoner, Arrow fights alongside Ringo in Soul Hackers 2. A moral and upstanding fellow, Arrow often fights with Milady due to his conscience. Tragically, Arrow is later assassinated and shot in the head by Kaburagi. Ringo then soul hacks Arrow and brings him back to life.
The problem with Arrow is related to his clothing. He has a target on his chest, with text below it reading “bulls eye”. It remains uncertain why a character who is assassinated during the game would be wearing a bulls eye. At the very worst, this is highly illogical. At the best, it’s a case of not subtle at all plot commentary from the game’s creators.
5/8 The Phantom Society
The Phantom Society in Soul Hackers 2 is an evil group focused on summoning the Great One and enemies of the Yatagarsu. The Society controls the Anami City government and is alleged to have wide roots throughout the world. The group reportedly even has enough power to run a whole country.
You’d think that the Phantom Society would be filled with countless members. In Soul Hackers 2, though, the only members of the group you fight against are Iron Mask and Zenon. Given how big the group is supposed to be, it’s remarkable that you never end up fighting any of the others, besides a couple side quests and the very beginning of the game. This seems like a lost opportunity to explore more dark recesses of the shadow organization.
4/8 Limited Demons
In Soul Hackers 2, Ringo has the ability to summon demons. These call on various strange abilities to help feed on humans. Soul Hackers 2 allows people to call on and collect demons digitally.
There are a limited number of demons in the game, and you cannot have more than one of the same demon. This gives the illusion that there is only one of each demon in the game’s universe, but one demon that you have can introduce you to the same demon. This is confusing and does not make sense regarding what demons exist in Soul Hackers. This seems like an issue that should’ve been better explained by the creators before the game was released.
3/8 A Christmas Memory
After you beat the first Subway Line 14 boss, you receive a quest, Christmas Memory, from Ako in Shinsando who is searching for her childhood and first love. To continue the quest, you should then visit with Arrow, who is the person she seeks. You then should go back to Ako and finish the quest.
This quest feels half thought out. If Ako and Arrow have such a powerful connection, why does Arrow not try to create a relationship with her? Perhaps Arrow wants to avoid bringing Ako into his dangerous life, but Arrow runs an orphanage and likely brings all sorts of kids into danger by doing that. Arrow’s decision to send Ringo back to tell Ako could even be described as a cowardly move. It remains uncertain what Arrow’s motivation for addressing things this way is.
2/8 Demons Don’t Fight Beside You
Demons are one of the most problematic things in Soul Hackers 2. The game’s conventional combat-style isn’t one of a kind, but it’s plenty of fun. When demons are placed in the fold, however, things grow confusing.
Enemy demons show up in battles against the player, but for an unknown reason, your demons cannot fight beside you. This becomes even more confusing when one considers the other Megami Tensei games that utilize demons. These other games like Persona and Shin Megami Tensei let demons fight beside players. There’s never a good reason given why Soul Hackers 2 players are not presented with this feature.
1/8 Why Isn’t Figue Smarter?
Figue is a character that often performs in ways that are difficult to understand. Figue is Ringo’s older sibling and supposed to be wiser than her, but this is often not the case at all. Figue is also supposed to have superior intelligence, but her behavior is often childlike and poorly thought out.
One example where Figue acts poorly is when Figue first takes control of Mimi. When Milady comments on how Figure acts, Figue shouts at Milady and loses her temper. This is just one of several examples of Figue acting poorly in the game. If Figue is supposed to be smart and above everything, why is she letting her emotions take control? Is there something at work that explains all of this or is this just the result of a poorly fleshed out character?
NEXT: Questions We Still Have After The End Of Soul Hackers 2