Disgaea 2 - hands-on

It's hard firing up a game that promises close to 200 hours of tactical-RPG gameplay. We cruised through the first six hours and couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the ocean of options at our disposal; loads of character classes, countless, customizable items for sale, a demonic congress filled with surly, mischievous senators... yeah, there's a lot going on. Then why did six hours seem like six minutes of sword-n-sorcery magic?

Because from the moment Adell, the last human in a world full of monsters, accidentally summons a demonic princess, Disgaea 2 bathes you in easy to understand menus, top-quality anime art and a voracious sense of humor about itself. Right away you're asked if you'd like to view a tutorial on how to play the game. Your options are "Yes" and "Hell no!" If that doesn't speak to all RPG fans out there, nothing will.

But before Adell can begin his quest to return the princess (and kill her oppressive father), you've got to recruit an army of warriors that can fight off all the possessed denizens of this realm. Carving this custom army is an ongoing process - you can't just waltz into the Dark Assembly and request troops at will. No, you've got to convince the bureaucrats that you deserve the help (by vote or by force), and once you do, new troops start at level one. Luckily, you're able to replay maps you've already cleared, making leveling up easier. In fact, most of our six hours were spent in past maps, powering up our little penguin monsters and green-haired valkyries.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.