Very similar to the Final Fantasy Tactics games. Disgaea 2 is a tactical RPG that is fought on a battlefield full of squares. Yet Disgaea 2 has a few tricks up its sleeves.
Disgaea 2 Story
Disgaea 2 takes place in a Universe where the underworld is ruled over by Overlords. These underworlds have started to merge with the overworlds with the Overlords taking over and infecting normal humans. This turns the humans into monsters who lose all of their humanity including their memories and conscience.
We are introduced to Mother, who tries to summon Zenon. The biggest baddest Overlord of them all. So that her son, Adell can battle with the Overlord and cleanse the World of his influence. Unfortunately, they accidentally summon Zenon’s daughter Rozalin. Who promises to lead them to Zenon in exchange for Rozlin getting home safely.
There is a lot of character development for both Adell and Rozallin. As they learn about what it is to be human or a demon. To the point where both start to question each other and their own motives. Compared to Disgaea 1, I found Adell to be less annoying than Laharl and the same with Rozallin over Etna.
In between battles you are sent to a home base that is full of vibrant characters, shops, and other services you need to complete your objectives. The Dark Assembly returns where you can petition for things such as stronger characters, better shop inventory, and changes to the enemy difficulty. It is mostly used to create new characters, such as the next improved class.
There is also a hospital, which heals your characters both HP and SP for a small cost. A nice feature that has been present since the first game is that the more you use it, the more likely you are to be rewarded with more powerful weapons/accessories. These items are usually far better than your current equipment. Which gives your party a nice bonus when fighting.
You have three shops in Disgaea 2. One for weapons, one for accessories, and one for items. These share a customer level that increases as you buy more. When the customer level goes up you have access to better weapons/armor/items. You can also petition the Dark Assembly to improve the products as well.
To upgrade weapons and items you need to use the item world. These are mini-dungeons for each item where you battle countless enemies. Each level you beat increases the stats by a specific amount. There are also special enemies, that if defeated add extra perks to your items.
Not only does this serve to upgrade your weapons, but it’s also a great way to boost the levels of your party. Especially when welcoming new members to your group. You can do the traditional Pokemon trick of fighting enemies that are manageable for the rest of your party and let the weaker party members deal with the final attack.
The character portraits when they are having conversations are drawn in the manga style. Each character has a unique and crazy look which makes them far more interesting.
The environment is in 3D, and just like their character counterparts, they are unique and vibrant. From temples to the underworld and the item world thought they are quite small. Which is a blessing considering how slow the characters move.
The only downside in Disgaea 2 is that the characters on the battlefield are very pixelated. I’m sure this is a stylistic choice as well as a limitation for it on PSP. After a while you hardly notice.
The animations for the attacks are also out of this world. They’ve really dialed up the anime style for the action. With characters doing back flips, flying, waiting for attacks to power up, etc. You feel like you’re in an anime.
Spiking the Difficulty
The only drawback to Disgaea 2, is the difficulty spikes during the early game. This becomes apparent with the second boss you fight. He wipes the floor with you. Luckily in this instance, the Disgaea 2 foresees this and allows you to save after. You then have to start the game again but with all your party minus any story characters at their current level.
This is a great lesson on remembering to save before each new level that you explore. However, the item world can be very unforgiving. If you don’t have any Mr. Gency Exit items, you then have to make it to the end by using the teleports to the next multiple of ten level. I found the difficulty ramp up even on a level one item.
The item level also poses a problem, during the campaign where you are forced to enter it. You are then locked into only entering the subpoena. You can’t enter the dimension levels or any other item levels. So if your party is weak you have to start the Disgaea 2 from an earlier save. If you remember to save in a different slot for your progress.
Just like the other Disgaea games. I’ve sunk many many hours into Disgaea 2. It is an absolute time sink, but an enjoyable one. They’ve made improvements to the characters and made the home area far more vibrant.
I prefer this to the first game in the series simply for the characters being more likable and being able to watch their growth not just in combat but also in person.
For the most enjoyment and least annoyance. Remember to save often and in different slots. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck and having to restart the game either from a very old save game or from the beginning. But for most veteran RPG players, especially the older RPGs this should be second nature.
I would recommend anyone who likes tactics games like XCOM and FF: Tactics to give this a go.
Like what you see? Click here to purchase the game from HRK
- Beautiful anime style
- Lots of replay-ability
- Interesting cast
- Can get repetitive
- Characters pixelated on battlefield
Operating System: Steam, Sony PSP
Application Category: RPG