Soul Hackers 2: Party Members, Ranked
Soul Hackers 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the 1997 classic that shares the same name (minus the numerical, obviously). Shin Megami Tensei games are always a little bit odd – a smidge occult – but they still manage to stick closely to many of the genre's core tenants. The one that matters for this article, is the Party system.
A good JRPG needs a great selection of characters, and whilst Soul Hackers 2 leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quantity, it absolutely makes up for it with quality. There are four character slots, and four characters to fill them. It’s an easy enough system to grasp, and it makes ranking them all that much easier.
We want to make it clear early that we don’t think there is a ‘bad’ character in Soul Hackers 2. In fact, we like them all an awful lot, and they all bring something unique to the table. However, since we are forced to pick a ‘worst’ character, we have to slot Saizo in here for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Saizo has fairly lacklustre offensive stats which firmly plonks him in the Support category of characters. As useful as they are, Supports are not exactly interesting – even when you consider Soul Hackers' unique mechanics. We wouldn’t leave home without Saizo, mind you as he does what he does very well.
We are a sucker for a character that can do a little bit of everything. You know, that classic Sage character from Dragon Quest, or Red Mage from Final Fantasy. Whilst not as fantastical as those classes, Arrow absolutely lands a similar vibe in Soul Hackers 2. Not only that, you nab Arrow early in the story, making him a near-constant ally in your journey.
Arrow is rocking a hefty health pool, has several supportive abilities and even comes with buffs that help increase his normally lacklustre damage to something close to serviceable. It doesn’t matter what you do with Arrow, he always has something to do, and that decision-making makes him interesting.
Milady is the opposite of Saizo and Arrow. Where those two characters sacrificed damage for utility, Milady is all about killing everything and killing it fast. Milady has excellent offensive stats, and a great toolkit of offensive skills and spells making her a powerful physical damage dealer and magic user.
Her biggest draw, in our opinion, is her access to Almighty damage. Almighty is an element in most Shin Megami Tensei games that more or less bypasses all defences. You use this, you deal damage no matter what. She has other abilities besides this, of course, but we love being able to punch a hole through the hardest of demons.
The protagonist in just about every JRPG ends up being the most powerful character. Whether that be Nahobino from Shin Megami Tensei 5, Demi-Fiend from Shin Megami Tensei 3, or in this case, Ringo. Not only that, but Ringo fills in that same wonderful jack-of-all-trades role we loved on Arrow.
Of course, she does it way better – to the point the two are barely comparable. What makes Ringo truly shine is her Commander Skills. These let her do all sorts of amazing things, such as swap demons, amongst other things. Without Ringo, your party would have no legs, no bite, and would simply fall apart. She is the glue that holds everyone together, and that makes her irreplaceable. Easily top dog.
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