Disgaea 2 - Steam/PC Review

Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories game

A walk down memory lane.

Game Info

  • System: PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Steam[PC]
  • Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software | NIS America
  • Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
  • Release Date: January 31, 2017
  • Pricing:$20.00 [Steam]
  • Rating: T
  • Genre: Tactical RPG
  • Genre: Single Player
  • Official Website: http://www.disgaea.us/d2/

Who it Caters to

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Disgaea 2 is one of PS2’s all time classic tactical role-playing games that saw commercial success at its release, and now it has made its triumphant return on PC. One of the reasons why Disgaea 2 didn’t really get a lot of attention during its earlier days was because the PlayStation 2 had a mammoth library of other incredible titles, and because of that Disgaea 2 was overshadowed by them all. With all of that out of the way the series now has a second chance to bring in new players to the series, while also creating a feeling of nostalgia for those who’ve already dabbled in it. It’s one of the quintessential tactical role-playing games that any fan of the genre should definitely have in their collection.

What to Expect

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Disgaea 2 for PC comes fully stocked with everything you received from the original, but with some added features to stay current. You can choose from over 200 character classes to ensure your squad is versatile and ready for action, along with a brand new system called Dark Court, where the good are punished, while the evil is praised. Making its return to the series is the popular Item World, where you can take your items and upgrade them for more powerful ones. A new attack option called Stack Action allows for more in depth strategy in battle, and can really come in handy during tough scenarios. The UI has been touched up beautifully, along with the option to now use both the keyboard and mouse on your journey.

The most exciting new addition, however, are the three playable characters that weren’t available in the western release of the original which include: Dark Eclair, Gig, and Miabel. With so many fresh features to the game, there’s plenty of new strategies to formulate which only make Disgaea 2 for PC even more enriching and satisfying. If you want to dish out more cash, the definitive edition throws all the content from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories for the PS2, and Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days for the PSP.

Disgaea 2 for PC Official Trailer

Story

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The story retains much of its charm from the original, as Overlord Zenon has cursed the land and now Veldime is slowly deteriorating, slowly turning into a dark desolate Netherworld. The whole world is threatened as now normal beings are being transformed into demons, memories are being erased, but somehow Adell is immune to all of what’s happening. Knowing this he tries to confront the issue his own way but ends up doing more harm than he should, that is until a little help comes his way. Now you must team up with Zenon’s daughter and other strange protagonists in order to restore peace back to the land, but the Overlords are working hard to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Gameplay

So what’s the difference?

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Those who’ve already played and cleared the original Disgaea 2 on the PlayStation 2 will certainly find the experience to be a nostalgic one. With the new additions as mentioned earlier, however, it brings forth a breath of fresh air while still retaining much of the beauty that made the original so memorable. Of course, the obvious change is the fact that now you can play on steam, using keyboard and mouse functionality if that’s something you fancy. For those who want the traditional controller style, you can simply hook up your PlayStation Dualshock controller through USB and you can relive the adventure just like you did 11 years ago. It sounds so ancient when we mention 11 years, but the game truly feels and looks fantastic with all of the upgrades.

Fans of the JRPG genre may find the gameplay to be a bit challenging at first, but the game does such a stellar job of teaching you from the ground up that within 20 minutes of gameplay you’ll be right in there. There’s an enormous amount of strategy that you’ll need to come up with throughout the game, especially with having 200 character classes to choose from. The number at first may seem daunting to newcomers, but honestly, it just adds more depth which is where Disgaea 2 really shines. It’s not just a game that rewards you for simple takedowns and mashing the attack button, Disgaea 2 rewards you for taking initiative to thinking ahead and creating specific setups to trap your enemies. If you’ve played Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea 2 shares a similar direction in that you’ll need to really pay close attention to your moves, and decide the correct course of action for that particular moment.

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There will be times where you’ll spend a few minutes just coming up with a plan because the game will throw curveballs at you. It’s these very curveballs that really bring out the hunger in you because now, you’ll need to sit back, relax, and reevaluate everything you’ve done. You’ll be traveling back and forth to the Item World to buff certain items to help assist you in battle, as well as swapping out characters on your team for specific situations. Hours upon hours will be spent trying to purchase new armor and weapons, learning their pros and cons, then making sure to equip them with the right character to ensure that ability gets the proper buffs it needs.

All of this can be taxing at the beginning and may perhaps turn people away maybe half way through, but we encourage you that if you spent the money to buy the game and try, you might as well work hard for that money and reap the rewards. With there being 13 chapters to venture through, Disgaea 2 is certainly an adventure worth investing time into whether you’re a die-hard fan or not. Mind you there are a ton of hilarious references to classic TV shows like Power Rangers, using the name Prism Rangers instead. These characters can be summoned by calling them on a cell phone, and they immediately come to your aid when you find yourself in a very sticky situation.

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Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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Overall, Disgaea 2 for PC doesn’t really come with any major surprises, which to be honest isn’t a bad thing at all. The fact that Nippon Ichi Software made sure to retain the integrity of the original while throwing in some icing to an already delicious cake, is enough to say that this title is worth every penny. Despite its age, it certainly matured well like a bottle of wine that’s been sitting in the cellar for some time. It doesn’t shy away from what made it so popular but touches up in some areas to ensure a smooth experience for everyone who tries it. We dabbled a little bit with the keyboard and mouse settings just to see how it felt, and to be frank it’s not something we’d play with for a long period of time.

Maybe that’s just our controller bias talking, but generally, a keyboard and mouse setting feels more seamless on titles pertaining to shooters, or games that require looking around a lot. The Dualshock controller is perhaps your quintessential tool to get the best out of Disgaea 2, so we encourage you to give it a shot. The funny Axel Mode is another added mode that basically has you trying to save Axel’s tanking career, and make him popular again. It’s nothing extraordinary by any means, but it’s certainly something you could play after clearing the game for a little fun.

Honey's Pros:

  • Smooth framerate and fluid controls with the Dualshock controller
  • Hours upon hours of fantastic and addicting gameplay.
  • An in-depth story with a wide range of characters to play with.
  • We certainly loved the dry humor and solid dialogue.
  • Tutorials were clear and straight to the point.
  • Keyboard and Mouse option is a plus for those who are comfortable with it.
  • Very little loading time compared to the PlayStation 2/PSP versions.

Honey's Cons:

  • Maybe a bit challenging for newcomers at first.

Honey's Final Verdict:

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There really isn’t much else to say about Disgaea 2 for PC because honestly, it looks and feels fantastic. With so many tactical role-playing games out there that really take you to the next level, it can be difficult sometimes to decide which one you’d enjoy. Disgaea 2 for PC isn’t trying to pull any strings or throw any random DLC(s) at you for added costs, it sticks to what it knows and that’s strategic gameplay, throughout. You don’t need to sift through pages of information to understand what’s taking place, and perhaps that’s the shining factor about Disgaea 2. It doesn’t intimidate you but rather it invites you in and gives you a very detailed tour of what to expect and how things will turn out if you make the right choices. Let us know what you think of Disgaea 2 in the comments section below, and be sure to share our articles on social media to keep the community buzzing!

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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