Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Review: Disgaea D2

Disgaea is celebrating it's 10th anniversary and company Nippon Ichi Software's 20th anniversary this year with the release of it's new game Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. Following the story of much loved Demon overlord Laharl from the first game. He carries on forcing his supremacy on all the demons of the underworld who frankly don't take him seriously.

Based several years after the first set of games, the demon crew have grown older and outfits are skimpier, but Laharl remains power hungry. Little does he know he will not win the favour of his subjects with brute force only. He is determined not to live in the shadow of his father's legacy. We begin with Flonne ranting as Laharl and Etna crash in her flowerbed, a celestial Yuie flower blooms despite not supposing to in the netherworld. The main plot revolves around this flower.

Now the rebellion gets involved, Grosso pointing the finger at Laharl for having relations with Celestia after the flowers op up at an alarming rate around the netherworld. We have new villains and with that a new demon type; Sea Angel - cute but deadly at the same time. Of course you have to fulfil certain requirements to obtain certain classes which is part of the fun.

Gameplay in Disgaea D2 remains loyal to the original Disgaea mechanics. There is however a new Monster Mounting feature that replaces Magichange from Disgaea 3 and 4. This allows humanoid characters to ride on top of a Monster allowing the humanoid character to attack on top of the monster while the monster takes damage from opponents, acting like a shield. Characters can also build relationships with each other and their compatibility is determined by a heart scale of one to five. It also affects the strength of collaboration attacks used when Monster Mounting depending of the relationship established between a humanoid character and a monster character.

The graphics are still 2D animation but you can change the camera angle now in the newly renovated Overlord castle. Instead of being confined to three rooms you have a labyrinth of place you can explore and talk to the amusing demon vassels under Laharl's command. The soundtrack is fresh but with original tracks following the original characters bringing nostalgia.

Cameo in the game include past favourites Asagi, returning from previous games. The game's trophy list also revealed that most of the Disgaea 4 cast (Valvatorez, Fenrich, Emizel and 'Vulcanus') will return, along with Axel and Petta (who actually uses Zetta from Makai Kingdom in his Book form as a weapon).

You are also given a new weapon type - a book which seems to act as a second magic based weapon and allows users to summon spirits to damage their targets. The game also features a new Demon Dojo that allows players to train the individual stats of their characters; this is great if you want to train your healer as she fights with a book, which makes her attack better.

Disgaea D2 is a beautiful sequel to the original Disgaea series with lots of great dialogues, cameos and improved graphics. Essentially the same dynamics but with new game mechanics, seamless blending of character movement on the map not just animated sprites. A great addition to the Disgaea series - it would make any JRPG fan or demon happy.

Interesting facts

  • This is the first Disgaea game to be a direct sequel in terms of plot.

  • You can change the colour of the main characters.

  • It is the second game that does not use the series' signature logo.

  • It is also the first Disgaea game without an "Ultimate Class" for reasons unknown

  • It is also the first game in the series where it solely uses HD sprites so the graphics have developed but kept to the original style

  • The same skull and chair have switches behind and open a hidden door.

  • American’s got DLC when pre ordering ie. Fuka, Desco: Two main characters from Disgaea 4, Overlord Zetta: The main protagonist of Makai Kingdom, Adell: The main male protagonist from Disgaea 2 and many more.
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