The name “2nd Squad” suggests that it’s the same game with different characters. Nope, ST2S is pretty much an entirely different game from the first. The same basic game play applies, but there aren’t too many similarities from there. The A button still acts as the character’s primary weapon, with the same “lock-on” shooting. There’s been one odd change though, and it’s that the functions of the B and C buttons are switched. The B button now activates your character’s special attack, and the C button is the defensive move. I say “defensive move” because the rolling has now been replaced with jumping. Jumping is completely invincible too, and you have the added bonus of actually being able to move around in any direction, unlike rolling which forced you in the same direction. The only other change is that the D button is no longer used
because Team Mode is now gone. Yes, one of the coolest things about the original Shock Troopers is missing, most likely because there are only four characters to pick from. Each character is pretty individualised in terms of normal shot type, special weapon type, and speed… but unfortunately, the characters aren’t “well-balanced” either. Basically, the male characters Leon and Toy are far superior to the female characters Angel and Lulu. This is due mainly in part to Leon and Toy having special weapons that destroy all bullets on the screen. And that becomes a lifesaver later on, especially on the last battle. (so… many… reflecting… lasers…)
Other changes to the game? You can now get into vehicles (tanks, jeeps, and mechs) to mow down enemies. You can even “charge” up your shots in the vehicles to unleash more destruction (and earn more points). Item pickups are slightly different now, as all of them must be obtained from enemies… and rarely will you get the special weapons that were so prominent in the first one. Instead you will receive the usual points, bombs, and letters for a strange “spelling” system that’s unique for each character (don’t worry too much about it, it has little effect on the game).