Sora, the Kingdom Hearts protagonist, turns out to be a powerful force in SSF2.
In my opinion, he plays a lot like Marth, at least offensively. He has great range in his attacks, fantastic aerials that combo into each other like butter combos into bread, and many ways to punish foes.
For his dash attack, Sora charges forward with the keyblade in an attack that sends an enemy flying upward and towards you when hit with the tip of the blade. Since Sora’s got a fast dash speed and can turn around quickly on the ground, this is a move good Sora mains will be using a lot.
His down tilt is a jab that sends enemies upwards. It has less range and a slower startup time than Marth’s dtilt, but is more for starting combos than deterring foes from beginning theirs or edgeguarding.
His uptilt is a fairly standard upward sword swing that works like all other uptilts seem to work: for racking up damage and controlling the space above your character’s head.
Sora’s side tilt is a fairly slow sword swing that isn’t worth using in my opinion.
If you want to truly be good as Sora, you must not only control the offensive flow of gameplay, but also bring the balance back in your favor if you’re losing by mastering Sora’s deffensive options.
Sora’s got a projectile that’s fairly safe to use at a distance if you’re proficient with it. By pressing side and B, you execute the move Strike Raid, in which Sora throws the keyblade like Link’s boomerang. It can be cancelled mid-flight by pressing B again.
You’ll find Strike Raid is extremely useful for blocking other projectiles and forcing the enemy into awkward positions that you can capitalize on.
It’s also a good tool to dissuade enemies from camping on the stage’s edge when you’re trying to recover- but don’t try this until you’re good with the move, because you will probably fall to your death if you don’t cancel the boomerang-like keyblade in time.
My number one favorite move Sora has is his neutral B: Firaga.
Firaga surrounds Sora with a rotating ring of fire orbs, dealing damage to opponents and blocking projectiles. It’s a very situational tool.
If you attempt to spam Firaga, you won’t find much success, because the move has a lot of startup and ending lag. Enemies will wait until your attack ends and then come in and grab you.
However, if you throw out Firaga when enemies rush you or aren’t expecting it, you will deal a nice 7% damage at the edge of the flames and 15% damage and massive knockback at the inside of the ring (the sweetspot).
Firaga also has high priority, meaning it will block a lot of other moves. And finally, it slows Sora’s falling speed, giving you more time to adapt and recover while knocked off-stage.
You can also slide around with Firaga because it keeps most of your horizontal velocity when you jump and use it in the air, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have precise enough aim to use it as a killing move.
Sora’s smashes are not as good as I would like. They highlight the main problem with this character: he’s got no easy KO moves.
His side smash, you would think, is meant to KO. It’s got a powerful jabbing animation that is usually accompanied with massive knockback. But no, it sucks for killing. I guess if you could find a way to combo into it, the move might be useful. His upsmash kills, but only at very high percents (like 180% with Tails) so it’s not reliable. His downsmash? It does damage like nobody’s business, and is pretty much a reskin of Peach’s downsmash (in my opinion) but again, no knockback.
You can KO with Firaga sweetspotted or with a back-aerial move, but besides that I haven’t found any other ways to KO. If you want to KO, you basically have to creatively combo into these killing moves or pester the opponent into a death off-stage. He unfortunately doesn’t have any spiking moves for early gimps. With Sora, you have to work for your kills.
But the “work” on the whole is made easy by the range, low knockback and speed of Sora’s moves. I feel that Sora embodies SSF2 the most out of any character, at least on video: combos with him are fluid and always interesting to watch. I can’t wait to see what the developers do with Sora in the versions to come.
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