We are addicted to leveling-up. We love boosting stats, learning new skills, and watching our characters grow from wimpy weaklings to powerhouses that can unleash 9,999 points of damage with a single move. And when it comes to satisfying our urge to grind our way towards a god-like state of greatness, the Disgaea series has always delivered. Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days, a re-release of the 2006 PS2 hit, continues the series’ tradition of sucking all your free time away as you battle and build your homemade party into an unstoppable force.
Above: Power-up your characters with amazing attacks like this
Like previous Disgaea titles, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is packed with things to do. The main storyline has you aiding Adell, a gutsy brawler who punches his way through problems and knows no fear. Everyone in his world has been transformed into unsightly demons by the hand of Overlord Zenon. Adell is the only human unfazed by the evil Overlord’s spell, so it follows that he must be the one to destroy Zenon before the transformation becomes permanent.
As you quest towards the final showdown, you’ll find unlikely allies, like the Overlord’s own daughter, Rozallin. You’ll also be able to build and manage a party with tons of members, leveling them up, reincarnating them to make them stronger, and teaching them new skills as you unlock new classes to master. Then there’s the Dark Assembly, a place you can visit to pass bills that will help you and your allies, like better weapons and armor at the local shops. You can even transport your characters into the hidden world within each of your items, allowing you to level-up weapons and armor, further increasing your party’s collective power. With so much to do, hardcore gamers who can handle the grind can pour at least 80 hours into this deep strategy RPG.
Above: The anime cutscenes are also great
Unfortunately, fans who already played through the PS2 version shouldn’t expect any amazing additions. You’ll get a new set of missions that follows Axel, the disastrous ex-television star who wants to win his fame back by capturing his fights on film. This re-release also includes the Magichange system, a battle feature from Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice on the PS3, which allows you to transform monsters in your party into weapons that your other characters can use.
Above: Plus, there are Power Ranger and pirate jokes aplenty
And don’t forget the charm. Characters are full of vim and vigor, spouting memorable quotes concerning the “elegant art of leveling-up,” and how the game’s final boss is rumored to possess “over one billion HP.” If you’re a stranger to Disgaea’s hardcore battle and deep character-building systems, or its irreverent humor that celebrates and satirizes the grindy nature of JRPGs, then Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is a great place to begin. Even fans who’ve already played through the original version should consider this re-release, since long marathons and quick bursts of gaming suit Dark Hero Days’ gameplay so much better than on a console.
Oct 12, 2009