YuYu Hakusho 2: Kakutou no Sho is the second of four Namco-developed Super Famicom adaptations of the YuYu Hakusho manga and anime, featuring the delinquent student Yusuke who becomes a spirit world investigator after he passes away. While its predecessor, YuYu Hakusho, featured a combat system that was turn-based and tactical, Kakutou no Sho is instead a standard example of the four-button fighter game model that became popular after the success of Capcom's Street Fighter II.
The game is set during the Dark Tournament arc of the TV anime adaptation, considered the second season of the show, during which Yusuke and his companions take part in a competitive fighting tournament for demons. It features ten playable characters and an additional four secret unlockable characters, which are actually just variations of other characters that appear during the storyline.
The first ten playable characters are unlocked from the offset for the game's battle mode (the single-player story mode limits which character the player can use, but will often provide a choice). The following four, marked with an asterisk (*), are secret characters that need to be unlocked with codes before they become accessible in the multiplayer mode.
- Yusuke Urameshi: The series protagonist. A delinquent who is resurrected after an altruistic sacrifice and recruited to become a Reikai Tantei, or "spirit world detective", to deal with supernatural elements that cross over to the human world. Plays similarly to Ryu, combining distance and close attacks.
- Kazuma Kuwabara: Yusuke's rival and fellow tough guy student. Limited combat prowess and psychic ability, but very durable.
- Kurama: A fox demon who recuperated in the soul of a pregnant human woman and was born as her child, Shuichi. Lost much of his demonic powers as a human, but retains his skill and cunning.
- Hiei: A fire demon with a mop of black hair that conceals his third eye: a "Jagan eye" he had installed to become more powerful.
- Genkai: An elderly martial artist that is Yusuke's mentor and martial arts instructor. Strong despite her age, and can channel vast forces of energy. She can end up temporarily de-aged after using her strongest attack, which requires her to be in her strongest form.
- Suzaku: A former nemesis of Yusuke's, and leader of the band of demons known as the Four Beasts. Can split into seven different forms when fighting.
- Chuu: A mohawked demon that loves to drink and practices a Drunken Fist style.
- Jin: An easygoing demon who loves to fight. He is a ninja with mastery over the winds.
- Shishiwakamaru: An androgynous swordsman who is in actuality a small imp-like demon. Uses a katana that can channel the spirits of the dead.
- Togura 30%: A large and muscular human who is secretly a demon. Became a demon by choice after other demonic forces destroyed his dojo, realizing he didn't have the strength to stop them as a human. Was at one time Genkai's romantic partner, and the two of them won a previous Dark Tournament together. The 30% refers to the amount of power he allows himself to use, as there are consequences for releasing too much at once.
- *Fukumen Senshi: Simply Genkai in her disguised form, which she uses to enter the Dark Tournament incognito to seek out Togura. Fights in a similar way to Genkai, but with a few hidden talents.
- *Shoujo Genkai: A.k.a. "young woman Genkai", the de-aged version of Genkai who is even faster. Both she and Fukumen Senshi are alternate forms of Genkai that can be unlocked for the multiplayer.
- *Togura 80%: A version of Togura that has released more of his power, becoming considerably stronger.
- *Togura 100%: A version of Togura at maximum power, which also makes him appear far more demonic. In this form his strength and defense are considerably higher.