Title: Disgaea 2 PC
Available On: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
Official Site: Disgaea 2
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Where To Buy: Steam
Disgaea 2 is an SRPG (Simulation/Strategy Role Playing Game) that was originally released on the Playstation 2, but recently was ported to PC. Fans of anime will instantly like what’s on offer in this title, as well as the rest of the series.
The plot in Disgaea 2 is straightforward enough. Our main character, Adell lives in a village where everyone is being turned into a monster, thanks to our antagonist Overlord Zenon. Adell is the last human of his town, who has to put a stop to it.
Adell meets up with Zenon’s daughter, Rozalin, and promises to return her safely if she’ll bring him to her father so that he can kill him. Without giving anything away, it’s like watching anime; where the story will periodically stop to feature side plots and then continue as normal between chapters.
Disgaea 2 may seem a bit random at times, but there is definitely some narrative gold throughout. One of the aspects that make this game so good is its ability to shift between serious moments to downright silly ones in just a single line of dialogue.
Speaking of the dialogue, in this version of the game you can switch out to the original Japanese voices, which if you’re playing for the second time, I’d perhaps recommend. Some of the voice delivery in localization is pretty off the mark, which is a common theme throughout the series. I would definitely say to persist for your first play through though as the deliveries as bad as they are, add that campy feel to the game, such as with the old Adam West Batman TV series and Dynasty Warriors 3.
The core game mechanics will feel familiar to those who have played an SRPG such as Tactics Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics or even Fantasy War Tactics. Disgaea 2 has that easy to learn, impossible to master feel to it that makes it worth returning to and sinking, even more, hours in. There’s a lot to learn, but in fairness, the game teaches you a little bit at a time and then gives you a similar layout in order to try it out for yourself.
There are a ton of side mechanics that gives the player a heck of a lot of choices when it comes to clearing stages. You have lifting and throwing, where you can lift your allies or enemies and then throw them across several tiles.
The interesting part is that you can lift up to 10 characters at a time to create a big tower of characters and then unleash an attack that involves all of those characters. Throwing is a useful way to move items around and get characters with poor movement into a desirable position.
Disgaea 2 also sees the return of Geo panels, which are colored tiles that give buffs or debuffs depending on the corresponding pyramid that is on the color tile elsewhere on the stage. It’s complicated, but you can turn a losing battle into a winning battle in just a few good moves utilizing geo panels. Likewise, you can easily lose several characters if you decide to try and remove the geo effects incorrectly.
Trying to consistently work in all of the games combat mechanics can seem a little overwhelming when you consider all of the buffs, debuffs, equipment variables, character strengths and weaknesses, height and distance, and special abilities that will all help determine damage, but it’s okay! You don’t need to master everything (unless you are going to the Item World or the Dark World) where everything gets ridiculously difficult!
The Item World in Disgaea 2 is a randomly generated series of stages that reside within an item in your inventory. By progressing in the item world of your choosing, you level up that particular item which increases it’s stats, making it an even better item.
The catch? You have to commit to completing at least 10 floors before you are given the option to retreat, so biting off more than you can chew can result in a premature game over for you!
The benefit of playing through the item world is that you often find better loot in there than the regular stages, which means you have another world to explore every time you find an item you want to upgrade, leaving you with hundreds of additional hours to sink into the game to grind out the best stats for your items.
Also, there are random events that can completely destroy your chances of survival, such as space pirates invading the world, and when your level 134 Adell goes toe to toe with a level 3287 space pirate, you are understandably upset when you fail.
The mouse controls are a bit off, and I wouldn’t recommend them unless you don’t have a controller handy. You might think that pointer controls for a grid-based strategy game would be ideal, but using the mouse to select a tile is often unresponsive.
There are a few other things to mention feature wise, such as the ability to enter the Dark World and how the hospital works and bribing senators in the dark assembly, but honestly? A lot of these features need to be experienced, as words just don’t do them justice.
Disgaea 2 offers hundreds, if not thousands of hours; anime styled tactics gameplay with too many variables to count. It’s a stellar addition to Steam and I for one am glad to be able to play this game again. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys strategy titles or RPG’s.
- Gameplay: Easy to learn, almost impossible to master. A strategic RPG that may feel slow in parts, but becomes increasingly addictive.
- Graphics: Sprites and anime. Hard to go wrong!
- Sound: A soundtrack so good, that when the game originally shipped on PS2, they gave you a bonus original soundtrack disc. It’s worth playing just for that alone.
- Presentation: Anime styled sprites and bright vibrant color schemes make this game visually appealing.
- Silly, anime styled story
- Countless hours of gameplay
- Awesome soundtrack
- Cute sprites
- Pacing can feel a little odd at times...but that's anime for ya?
- Level cap is 9999? That's over 9000. That would also take a very long time!
Ryan Griffiths is a British gamer, known as a bit of a lone wolf. Retro games are his passion, with newer releases not living up to his expectations. Of course there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to Dynasty Warriors & Total War games.