Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

One More Shining Moment

We try and help you understand Disgaea D2.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: November 9, 2013
Disgaea D2 is too much game for just one man so we called in TPS emeritus Ryan Green to help us explain just what it is about Nippon Ichi Software's that brainwashes fans into pouring their best years into trying to beat that post-game content.


Aram Lecis - Egregious Editor

Ryan, I want to let you know up front my experience with the Disgaea series consists of some time with Disgaea 2 (PSP version), Disgaea 3 (Vita version) and now Disgaea D2. In all those games I've gotten a fair ways in and then put it down with the best intentions of coming back at them again but never to return. So I'm by no means an expert and I've never even sniffed any of the vaunted end-game content where damage is registered in the millions. But I do know my way around Item World and the Dark Council. I know what Geoblocks are and I'm well aware I should never trust a prinny.

So, after delving a bit into D2 (which I gather is somehow a direct sequel to the original game) I'm trying to sit back and gather my thoughts on what separates this game from the others I've played... for one, the item world now appears to be an item sea! That was something I don't think I've seen before. Otherwise it seemed to operate in the same fashion. Did throwing prinnies make them explode in the old games? I don't remember that either...

I suppose my real question to someone like yourself who I know has pressed much further into the story than I have is... what is drawing you in for another 50+ hour run? I know enough of the universe to understand that these characters are all returning and that there are wink-and-a-nod references littered throughout the narrative, but surely there is more than that?

Ryan Green - All Around Awesome Guy

After playing countless Disgaea and Disgaea-dirrivitive games over the past few years (yeah, I’m late to the party but I’ve certainly caught up), I feel this sense of dread when a new Disgaea game enters my system. I get the shakes from not only the anticipation but from the initial plunge into my bloodstream. There is so much to see in those games that anyone that plays multiple games a year and has an active social life or responsibilities wouldn’t be able to handle those games. They are a chore.

At this point, I’ve put in over 80 hours into Disgaea D2, and I was only able to accomplish that much because I had two goals: I want to complete the main story and I want to finally defeat an Item God. Well, I’ve seen the story wrap up, grabbed a few post-game characters, gained more levels than I ever have before, and made it to level 100 in Item World and killed the physical incarnation of my sword.

Disgaea is such an effective drug for me because it rewards you but keeps the carrot just out of reach all the time. Completing each chapter nets you a ridiculous story summaries that deviate from the events of the game, presented as one of those “next episode” anime promos. They make up some of the best writing and Voice Acting in the game because they are so free and random compared to the rest of the game. The nods and the references are nice, but I need a game to have solid writing to be worth playing, or at least a ton of explosions, which Disgaea D2 checks both boxes there. The attack animations are equally as inventive and rewarding; over the top and badass or just absurdly hilarious. They personify each character so expertly, whether they are a named series character or just a generic prinny. If there is anything this series does, it rewards fans with an overabundance of personality that is enjoyable from beginning to end.

So, in short, fan service, from seductive demons to flaming hairballs. They know their audience.

Aram

Well I can't tell if Ryan is drunk or if his brain just melted from trying to make sense of the zany Disgaea story (I think this one has something to do with a garden not growing correctly) but I think what he is saying is that if you love Disgaea this is another Disgaea for you!

If, like most people, you still can't figure out after this what on earth a Disgaea is and why there is such a weird obsession with mint gum then this game isn't going to get you any more into it. As much as I hate to make sweeping conclusions I think it is fair to say at this point that this isn't a series that is going to evolve into something mainstream. They've long since settled into their little niche and they (and their fans) are happy to ride it out.

Now, if you are REALLY into tactical RPGs and you've ignored this series because who the hell could even tell it was a tactical RPG by anyone's description of it then you should know that this is secretly a really deep and complex example of that genre. It might seem anachronistic to mix that sort of zany anime with serious strategy but yeah, that's what you get with this series.

As weird as I think it is, I'm still going to keep playing!

Ryan

Yeah d00d!
The Verdict
7.5

If you aren't already a fan of this franchise Disgaea D2 won't draw you in to its weird world. Series fans will find the familiar here and NIS went out of their way to provide plenty of jokes just for the real fans.

8.0Graphics:

It's really hard to score a game like this on graphics. It's bright, it's pretty, and it also is made up mostly of sprites that are jumped up 16-bit era graphics. Did we mention it can be bright?

7.5Sound:

Your tolerance for the voice acting is going to be directly related to your goofy anime tolerance. At least you can tell the actors are into it. The musical score is decent but I'm not running out for the OST.

9.0Control:

Yeah I mean it is a turn-based RPG. These things are hard to mess up. I took a point off just because.

7.5Gameplay:

There is no denying that Disgaea D2 has a rich suite of systems to interact with and master. It might take months to see everything. However these are the same systems they've gone to the well with quite a few times now.