General advice on how to play and some (hopefully) useful tips and hidden mechanics.
Do not slide too much
Beginners often abuse of slides, first because it's a natural reflex to push a button when panicking and also because one might not be confident in being on time to catch the frisbee by simply walking.
But the risk of sliding in the wrong direction is great and you'll end up panicking even more.
Take a breath and try to focus on the trajectory the frisbee is taking before going for a slide. Also, you rarely have to slide more than twice.
Always reposition in the middle of the stage, ideally a few steps past the service line to minimize the pushback effect induced by supers. Don't just stare at that beautiful throw you just made!
On wide stages (Ring, Junkyard, Arena), you might want to walk away from your scoring zone a tad more since Super Lobs will have the same reach as on narrow stages.
For greater defensive play, it is advised that you refrain from sliding forward and diagonally.
Instead stay close to the starting position in the middle of the stage and move horizontally, then catch discs by walking, tossing or sliding only by going up or down.
Super moves counter-positioning
Super moves, especially Super Customs, often have 2 distinct phases.
The startup is usually slower to allow the opponent to identify the move and react, and then the disc continues and becomes difficult to intercept if you have not correctly anticipated its trajectory.
For instance, Miller's wall-hugging super will take some time to ramp up to the wall, then slowly grind along before boosting its way to the end goal.
Jao's will curve mid-way through the move, Costa's will get more amplitude, Wessel's and Mita's will go up and down but pass by the horizontal line in front of them.
In general, you can leave your baseline and go forward to the net safely if you keep in mind that you should maintain this "mid-way" distance to your opponent in case they throw a Super move. Super Lobs and Super Spins can all be caught at this distance with a good slide if necessary.
Against the computer AI
The Arcade mode seems to use these CPU levels:
- first 2 matches at level 2
- 3rd and 4th matches at level 3
- 5th match at level 4
- first 2 matches at level 4
- 3rd and 4th matches at level 5
- 5th match at level 6
- first 2 matches at level 6
- 3rd and 4th matches at level 7
- 5th match at level 8
Level 1 - 3
Simply focus on intercepting the disc and throw it straight and you should beat the computer. They are slow to react.
If you really cannot defeat the AI at these levels, it probably means you are not comfortable with the buttons yet (maybe try a different combination in the Settings menu) or you have terrible hand/eye coordination (if it is a recurrent problem in other games).
Level 3 should need more movements and variety from your side but don't despair, it will become effortless in little time!
Level 4 - 5
You should see that the AI sometimes seem to react very slowly and doesn't reposition to the center after throwing a disc, letting you some space for an easy shot - provided you can aim and maybe use the adequate curves to reach that gap. If you feel stuck and cannot find a way to score, try the patience game - focus on defense and wait for that window of opportunity to open.
It is possible, especially at level 5, that you begin to feel the weaknesses of your character of choice against others, or on different stages.
Level 6 - 8
Now, that's going to be downright disgusting to most people. To defeat the AI at these levels of difficulty you will need a strong defense since you might have only one opportunity to score during the whole match.
The computer reacts fast and will meet your attacks 99% of the time and use all the moves in the game to test you (well, not a lot of drop shots from what I have seen so far).
Some tricks though:
You can try to force the AI to throw Super Lobs by explicitly going towards the net when they are charging. It's not guaranteed but it's likely they will throw a Super Lob. From there, since you decided on their move, you should be able to counter it (or at least try and repeat)
Score smashes when they still have no Power Toss available. Toss an incoming disc, jump, and try to land a smash. Again, no guarantee this will work but I found that was the most consistent way of scoring against level 8 AI. It might be only 2 points though so get back to the defensive play once you are in the lead.
If you can throw a super, prefer a super spin
Comeback mechanisms can be found in many competitive games to help the player currently losing.
In Windjammers 2, the game increases the time window during which a player can go for supersonic shots or reversals as the score gap grows in their detriment.
(Note: I (Tuxo) initially wrote this section as "Hype-keeping mechanism" for Windjammers 1 because I believed that "in order not to break the pace, the game makes it easy to throw a reversal supersonic shot after you receive a supersonic shot" but it turns out this is probably just a feeling. Thanks to Elezar for the correction and fireball for the explanatory video)
The position in which a character starts each new point varies from a few pixels on the horizontal axis and more so on the vertical axis: each service will therefore be ever so slightly different.
This helps making sure that no character can repeat the same move or has a guaranteed win every time they serve.
Similarly, a character can gain new tricks at service depending on the starting position, especially on bumper stages where a given curve will either hit the bumper on the face or on the side, or even miss it entirely.
Two bonus games are featured in the Arcade mode of Windjammers 2.
After you defeated the first 2 opponents you'll do some training against a pitching machine on the Junkyard stage.
This is a good exercise to train movements (walking & sliding), directional toss and slap shot.
You can simply walk or slide to the discs, but the more efficient way is to break them with a slap shot or a toss (drop shots can also be used) so you waste no time holding the disc. As soon as a disc is destroyed, the machine sends a new one for you to catch.
To score more points, prefer slap shots and toss to gain time, and learn the pattern (it's always the same) to better anticipate and get the no miss bonus.
Score: points for each disc destroyed
Technical Bonus: time you needed to clear the stage
No Miss: granted if you destroyed all discs
Hot Dog Distance
After you defeated 4 opponents and before your fifth and final bout, you will be taking your dog for a walk on the beach.
Throw the disc far away and then have the dog run to catch it, jumping above sunbathing tourists.
It doesn't matter which character you play with, in this bonus game they all throw the disc with the same strength.
After throwing the disc as quick as possible you will automatically take control of the dog.
Jump above all the 7 obstacles - the max distance you can reach will drop after every hit - and after the last one watch out for the hot dog (its position varies and you must get it for extra points).
Finally, have your dog jump at the frisbee before it reaches the ground.
Take care: the timing/positioning seems very different from the original Windjammers game.
Distance: distance traveled
Technical Bonus: granted if the dog caught the disc
Hot Dog Bonus: granted if the dog caught the hot dog