Tactical turn based RPG’s are little bit of a unicorn these days, not too long ago it seemed everyone was making them on the SNES and PS1 era. Final Fantasy tactics is remembered fondly as one of the best in the genre at the time. We had Nintendo’s fire emblem and Advance wars it was a great genre to love. However it is also one that recently seems to of completely been ignored on the grand scale apart from some very specific titles. Whilst there are a lot of indie titles sporting the genre many are not great and most are pretty awful.
Disgaea was a breath of fresh air to the genre on the PS2, a game willing to not take itself serious and create a massive level cap for players, and once Disgaea 2 came out, they went all out a second time.
The game is basically a turn based RPG, one that many people are familiar with, however the big difference in Disgaea is that the level cap is pretty much infinite. Sure you have a soft level cap of 9999, but once you reach that? You just rebirth your character, get bonus stats and do it all over again, the game is the definition of a grind, and for some that is the best thing possible however for others it may not be such a great thing, this is only down to what you as a player enjoy.
Attacks are still overly ridiculous, in some cases earth destroying to deliver between stupidly low or insanely large numbers of damage. Part of the reward of the constant grinding is to see those numbers rise steadily, easily hitting trillions of damage per attack in extended end game after a lot of grinding.
The staples of the series are still found including the item world, adding a whole new level of grinding where you can literally delve into a dungeon of each item you own, adding levels and raising the stats as you go down increasingly difficult floors until you find the floor boss. Choosing to leave or to continue on for more rewards again is a test for even the mightiest grind lover.
The story is as insane as the original though many people were massive fans of the original crew and were upset to see Laharl, Etna and Florne benched in favour of new characters. Honestly the story does feel weaker compared to the first game, and the series as a whole never really got that level of enjoyability from me again, however that is not to say the games are bad in anyway, just this story is not as good as the first, but still a fantastic story in its own right, Adelle is your protagonist this time around, followed by princess Rosselia, it’s a story that throws in a lot of cliché’s into the mix but the improved combat, larger roster of playable characters make up for this in a big way.
The game itself is a port of the PSP game, meaning this version comes with all the content from the PSP game but at a higher resolution than it was previously possible. The original game was full of content and I am pretty sure I still haven’t seen all of what the game has to offer so adding even more to this game is fantastic value.
Graphically the game…is pretty bad, it wasn’t top of the line back in the PS2 days and it certainly has not aged well. Textures are muddy, sprites are low quality and limited in what animation they do have, any 3D that is actually used are mostly very low poly and again pretty bad at that. However if you are buying this game for graphics you either have never bought a Nippon Itchi software game before, or not played an RPG from Japanese developers before. It isn’t a great looking game at all however this is a game that prides itself on gameplay over graphics, and what is their suits the game.
One thing I have to hype up is the amazing musical direction of these games, a instant fan of the type of music found within the Disgaea games, this game is no disappointment, whilst the voice acting is…acceptable I found myself humming along to the music that I have not heard in well over 14 years since the original game release.
Disgaea 2 is a game that will take literal months of time to fully complete, and considering there really is no 100% completion, you could play the game for years depending on your ability to control the grind. Wacky characters, insane attacks and some of the best music in a RPG make this a fantastic game, and makes me real excited to see the rest of this series appear on the PC, 10/10.