Disgaea D2 Review – The Netherworld the second time around

disgaea-d2-artwork-7The Disgaea series has already spanned four (main series) titles, with each game focusing on a brand new cast of characters set in an alternate netherworld. While previous characters have appeared in some form (unlockable or dlc), one thing is certain, in Disgaea you can expect a lot of comedy, action, grinding and an army of prinnies.

Disgaea D2 is a direct sequel to Disgaea Hour/Afternoon of Darkness where Laharl has called himself the Overlord, with Etna planning to overthrow him. Flonne has become a “Fallen Angel” after harming other angels. The game begins as Flonne is trying to plant some heavenly flowers in the netherworld, and Laharl and Etna enter and destroy Flonne’s flower garden. The adventure continues as Laharl tries to make everyone accept him as Overlord and Flonne tries to spread love around. What ensues is a young girl calling Laharl her older brother, a man who knows Etna’s past abd strange problems happening around the Netherworld. Disgaea focuses on a tactics-style battle system where you can have a set number of characters on the field at anytime. If you lose all your characters it’s game over, and once you complete the map you can revive and heal your characters at the hospital. Your characters start at a base panel and can move based on your movement stats. On the field you can attack opponents or activate skills (they are based off your weapon skills). Disgaea introduced team attacks, and if you have compatible characters surrounding your attacker, your team members can join in the attack and cause a fun attack animation.

You automatically recruit story characters (also DLC characters), and for the rest of your army, you create a character from a choice of multiple classes that feature both humanoid and monster-type characters. By creating characters you start with single classes, where you can level them up and unlock stronger classes. Monsters, however, are unlocked by fighting specific monsters and defeating them (you can add them to your team). Previous Disgaea games required you to reincarnate your characters into the next class by upgrading them and restarting their level to one. The benefits of this allowed your characters to gain extra stats, but D2 skips all that rather than reincarnate, which is still there. You can spend your mana to upgrade them to the next class, giving them stat boost. This works for all your created characters, so getting a high powerful army is made simpler.

Some of the additions to D2 include a ride mode where when a monster and humanoid character is nearby, the humanoid character can ride the monster. This will unlock powerful double team attacks. The Tower techniques have been improved with characters having some hilarious techniques, like the hamster wheel and slam dunk. You can freely choose who is the main character and following characters on the main map page. The original map from the Disgaea game has been expanded with new areas including a training area allowing your characters a training style. You can add stats based off of what class you pick for them, and the best addition in my point is the cheat shop. The cheat shop allows you to change how you play the game once unlocked. You start the game with 100% across the board by gaining experience, money (HL), mana, and weapon experience.

1376417_10202087174400899_917227051_nI’ve put about 58 hours on the game, completing the main story once with the normal ending, traveling down 40 levels in a rare item in the item world, and hijacking about 5 pirate ships as I aim to be “King of the Pirates, and while only at level 458 I still have way more to do in the term on game content.

A large amount of time was focused around leveling up my team before completing the final boss, and even after to complete the optional missions to recruit characters. D2 is probably the fastest Disgaea game to level up, thanks to the cheat shop. I had set to 250% exp and my enemies at a harder level. My level 1 character can reach level 60 in a single map and repeat). Once I get to reach around level 800 and get the tough unlockable characters, I plan on playing the game again for the good ending, or wait for the DLC characters to get released since there usually are quite a bit from the Nippon Ichi universe of games.

Disgaea D2 is one of those quirky JRPG titles that is over the top and silly you can’t help but enjoy. Aside from the grinding, you get plenty of jokes and puns while the game expands on some very popular character. I am really happy that Nippon Ichi went back to Laharl, Etna and Flonne as the main characters and gave them a new story. Their moments together are funny, silly, dumb and even very touching. It’s funny that they took a formula that worked and improved on it. Some of the stories seem familiar if you played the first game, and while none of the other characters from the first game appear, the game itself is fun and enjoyable. This is a game any JRPG fan should definitely play whether you played the previous games in the series or not. 1376325_10202087174640905_1427933857_nSince Disgaea 3, the series graphics have just been amazing. The 2.5D anime art style from NIS team kept me interested. The Disgaea series has always had an amazing soundtrack with very memorable songs that just stick in your head, and it’s the same with in Disgaea D2. While a few of the songs are reused and improved for D2, it only raises the nostalgia factor. Hey, you even get an idol song from Laharl-chan. Disgaea D2 also features dual audio tracks where you can select to play the game with the voices in either English or Japanese. d2_premiumNIS America is releasing Disgaea D2 in three different editions: A Standard edition that includes a 2-disc soundtrack in paper sleeve along with a graphic print for $49.99 (you can purchase at any game retailer). You can also head to the NIS America website to pick up the exclusive Limited Edition which includes a full-color hardcover art book, a 2-disc original soundtrack with jewel case, and a collectors box which houses 2 petite figures (Etna and Flonne) and 5 Collectors Art Cards for $84.99, and lastly the Limited Edition + Strategy Guide which includes a Prima strategy which features a DLC code for Disgaea 3’s Raspbery. The Limited Edition plus the hardcover guide is already sold out online but the guide is sold online for $34.99.

Grade: A-

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.