Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

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It’s been about a decade since we last saw Laharl, Etna, and Flonne as featured members of the main cast in a Disgaea game.  While the sequels have attempted to match the heart and humor of the first installment, they’ve been unable to bring back the charm that the cast so brilliantly delivered in the first game.  Now, ten years later, we receive a long-awaited reunion with Laharl and company.  Does Disgaea D2 match the original’s efforts?

 

While I adore the off-the wall humor and the heartwarming stories of Disgaea, I’m indifferent to the ceaseless leveling.  Ultimately, the stories pull me through when I reach boredom after the umpteenth time through a map.  However, as much as I dislike grinding,  I am deathly in the love with the first Disgaea’s characters and plot, and I’ve been waiting long to return to them.

 

DEVELOPER:
Nippon Ichi Software

 

PUBLISHER:
Nippon Ichi Software
NIS America

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
20th March, 2013

 

Unfortunately, the writing in D2 pales in comparison to that of the original.  The plot is too simplistic, and many of the characters from the original game are missing.  Gordon, Friday, and Jennifer are not to be found here.  I was hoping that the game would grow on me and I’m start liking the new characters, but that hasn’t happened.  Instead I’ve been left with a game that’s heavy on grinding and weak on story and charm.

 

But that’s just me.  Anyone who comes to Disgaea for the grinding, micro-managing extravaganza will surely leave satisfied.  There are a bevy of new features here to help make sure hardcore strategists won’t be bored customizing their army.

 

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One of the more interesting additions is mounting, as characters now have the ability to climb on top of monster units.   The monsters effectively serve as extra buffers for the units that ride them.  They’re also able to lend their stats and skills to their riders.  If you have squishy mages, for instance, having them mount some dragons will allow them to cast their spells, while riding relatively safely on their backs.  Additionally, when enemies are defeated, both characters will receive experience.  This new feature adds incentive to create monster characters.  While before they were just fodder, now they can actually serve as worthwhile members of your team.

 

Character creation has also received an overhaul.  Now characters are fitted with personalities, traits that affect their voices and how they play.  When creating a character, you’re given the option of choosing three different personalities for your unit.  Depending on which personality you choose, your unit will have a different color and evility.  The evilities act as unique stat traits.  Your healer may be granted the ability to only use 50% SP for her skills, for instance.

 

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Needless to say, newcomers might just find themselves lost in the system.  As always, Disgaea isn’t really interested in helping new players adjust to its high level of difficulty, and D2 is even more difficult and complex than its predecessors.  Anyone who appreciates easy to manage systems and streamlined gameplay should stay far away from this game.  But anyone who’s looking for a game that will last them hundreds of hours as they level their characters into the thousands doesn’t need to look any further.

 

 

 

 

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