Disgaea is one of those niche games that have a very loyal fan base, a game that in reality would never be translated and brought out of Japan if it were to be released today, so when it came out on the PS2 back in 2004, it was a real shock. But translated it was, and it was a surprise hit with RPG and strategy fans alike, adding a fantastic story to an extremely deep levelling system grabbed the attention of those who love to sink hours into levelling up there characters. Not to mention the level cap of 9999, but you can then rebirth your character, to level it up once again, which ends with some stupidly over powered attacks, dealing in excess of 100billion damage per hit, but even that would not be enough for some of the enemies. All of these made the first Disgaea a big hit, receiving many great reviews and being a foothold for the multiple sequels and spin off s that have been enjoyed since.
Of course Disgaea is niche, and if you like strategy games, or RPG’s this is one of the better series to try. The battle system is simple to understand, each level has an overlay of squares, each character can move a set amount, from there you can do a number of different actions, such as attacking or special moves, you move all your characters then end your turn and the enemies have their turn. This is pretty much the basics of the game, there are more in-depth strategies such as group attacks and geo colours in the levels, but you could easily go the whole game without touching these if you didn’t want too.
So all in all it’s been a long 9 years since the original release in the EU for Disgaea, and many fans have wanted a sequel due to the clear Cliff hanger ending, and sequel after sequel Laharl, Etna and Flone repeatedly make cameos in multiple different games, but do not go back to finish the story. So finally we can see how the story of Laharl the self-appointed overlord of the netherworld, with his loyal vassals Flonne and not so loyal Etna. Laharls castle has had a bit of an upgrade since he became the self-appointed overlord, including getting a garden, training dojo, and cheat centre, making it a little harder to get around the castle.
If you are a long term fan of the series, but didn’t enjoy the direction 3 and 4 took with special attacks being bought with mana, and evilities, you will enjoy D2 as it goes back to roots, with you earn special attacks based off how good your character is with that weapon. Normal attacks are also now a viable way to finish off, as the last two games it felt like two much stock was put into special, but this isn’t all that has been changed. You can also now choose to mentor a pupil, any character can become a mentor or pupil, each also get a range of different bonuses for it, the pupils usually get a boost to weapon proficiency, and mentor a boost to stats. You can also go to the Dojo to train your character; at first you only get a few lessons, which all give a boost to a particular stat every time a character levels up. Once you have used each lesson for a while, the lesson will level up, increasing the amount of students that can be enrolled or the amount increased when levelling up, if used right at the start of the game it can give you a massive boost to your characters stat’s.
All the additions, and what has been removed from the previous two games streamlines this game a lot, it removes a lot of the extra grinding that was added in the 3 and 4, and instead makes It much easier to level up your special moves and to lean them too. There have also changed how the create a character works, when you create a character you can now choose their skills, fighters can combo back twice or hit twice with a normal attack. Mages have also changed, there are only one mage now and there skill is what type of magic they can use, you can also chance the colour of all characters meaning you can create a red ice mage.
The story is as most Disgaea games, very enjoyable and amusing along the way, Laharl wants to prove to everyone he is the Overlord now and the story follows him trying to achieve his goal that he started back in the very first game. If you are a fan of Disgaea you will be used to the jokes that are found throughout the story, and the extras that you can do after including the item world.
Disgaea D2 is an extremely streamlined version of what the series has become, this isn’t always bad of course, the first game had a lot of depth already, and some of the extras found in the previous two games sometimes feel cumbersome. The sprites also have been given a bit more of a spruce up, looking great again, but in 2013, no one should have to be looked too much at 2D sprites, Nippon Ichi should take note of games like Rayman. For fans of the series Disgaea is a great sequel, and for new plays it is a good starting point for the more streamlined game play, 4/5 for a fantastic sequel.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.