A couple of the characters here are really fun to use. I started with a character named Beat who’s pretty much perfect for beginners (and for racking up points in arcade mode), but when I faced off against a character named Michelle, I knew that I had to try her out for myself. The characters don’t feel hugely different from each other, but there are enough individual quirks to easily figure out who your favorites are. Still, the flaws are proving to be a huge distraction from the gameplay, which is sad because this strikes me as a game that could be a highly enjoyable hidden gem if some of the art, sound, and written dialogue went through a couple layers of polish. As is, though, I find myself playing with headphones off and trying to tune out the two-frame background animations and awkward conversations, and it’s not possible to recommend a game that requires going to such lengths.
I’m not going to unlock everything
I’ve been running characters through the training mode to get a feel for their moves and hitboxes before taking a shot at arcade mode with them, and it’s been decent, but I’m calling it quits because the sound design is starting to give me headaches. There’s really not any real reason to try to finish arcade mode with every character apart from unlocking little in-game achievements and character endings. You can get a sense of how each character plays by watching how the computer uses them against you anyway, and the only characters I haven’t used are ones that never seem to stand a chance against me. Again, the fact that Battle High 2 A+ makes me feel like I’m remotely competent at 2D fighting games is a huge plus in its favor.
Of course, everything being the same as the last progress log means that the challenge mode is still awful. Sometimes it accepts inputs, while other times it doesn’t, and the inconsistency makes it difficult to know whether you should continue the combo or start over. The arcade mode gameplay is solid, but the challenge mode gameplay is finicky to the point of rendering it useless.
Michelle is a beast
Before I talk about how great Michelle is, I want to direct your attention to the conversation at ~4:37 in the video above. Notice that when he says “something in common,” the “something” starts on the top line, only to run out of space and teleport a line down. This is one of the pitfalls of typewriter text that Battle High 2 A+ suffers from a lot during its occasional pre-fight dialogue, and it comes down to coding.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about Michelle. She’s an absolute monster; not only is she fast and great with combos, but her special attack increases her speed even further, allowing her to smother most opponents with a flurry of attacks. This is a game where there are hugely useful characters and those who lack the range and/or damage to be effective, and Michelle is top-tier in every way.