Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Review
Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Nippon Ichi Software
Pub: NIS
Release: October 8, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes

Another thing that is subpar is the lack of character variety. There is a host of characters to be used in the game, but unfortunately, they are re-skinned models of the enemies you defeat and really are in no way visually different from the enemy versions you defeat to unlock their use. I found myself having to use drastic color differences in the characters that I would create in order to be able to tell them apart from each other and the enemies we were fighting. Because in D2, your attacks can also affect your characters if they are within the blast zone of the attack chosen. This made for some very frustrating moments early on in my playthrough.

Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Screenshot

Sound wise, there is nothing overtly stellar. However, there is also nothing that detracts from the gameplay experience. I love the music that plays throughout the opening anime (which oddly, I got a trophy just for watching), and a few of the tracks throughout the game are hummable. Sound effects are run-of-the-mill and nothing fantastic. But they don’t take away from the action. But they also don’t really do anything to add to it. So overall, no real complaints in the sound department, just no real praise either. With a title series as storied as this one is in JRPG circles, I had hoped for there to be just a little more in the sound department to help add to some of the truly epic moments that happen throughout the story.

Before I go ahead and give the final score for Disgaea D2, I would like to take a second and talk about just a few of the overall issues I had with this game as well as some kudos. First off, I would love to have seen a little less grinding and spending time in the Council chambers trying to get them to allow me to do stuff. I feel that these things break up the pacing of the game far too much. I know it’s an RPG, but I just feel like every now and again, things get a little too drawn out as you try to level your troops enough to get past the next big thing. Secondly, I would like to say how much I love the combat system in this game. It is rare that I play a turn-based RPG that I don’t get a little bored with. But at no point throughout my entire gameplay experience did I feel like the combat system was in any way bad or not well thought out. As a matter of fact, I think that if more developers took a nod from this type of combat system, then turn-based games might not be such a drudge.

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Since I am a long-time fan of anime, manga, and a really good Japanese video game (I even modded my SNES so I could play Super Famicom games on it), I think that Disgaea D2 is an overall good game. Is it stellar? No. Did it impress me? No. But it did show me that there are still turn-based RPGs out there that won’t bore me to tears. It showed me that a solid RPG can still be lighthearted and fun–even if the main character is a demon-overlord wannabe who is followed around by an angel and a smart-ass minion who is always saving your butt from disaster. All in all, I feel like this game is a solid journey through the story of Laharl after the events of the first Disgaea. And although it seems a little dated in the graphics and sound departments, the game never really made me want to stop playing. So for all its triumphs and all its faults, I say that if you are a fan of this series, you won’t be disappointed if you pick this game up and give it a go.

By
Travis Huber
Contributing Writer
Date: October 9, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
Sadly, this title looks a little last-gen.
4.0
Control
No issues here. Well thought out and intuitive control system.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Again, sounds are a little dated and flat.
3.0
Play Value
Solid RPG with a classic feel and a combat system that puts the player in control of the action.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Enhanced Customization - The character creation system has been completely revamped to allow for the highest level of character customization in series history.
  • Master/Pupil System - The player chooses the master and the pupil, as well as which skills to learn. Benefits include new skills and higher weapon proficiencies for the pupil. The master gets a stat boost.
  • Geo Panels - These status-altering blocks provide bonuses or detriments to the terrain. Change the tide of battle by skillfully manipulating these elemental icons
  • Reunite With Old Friends and Meet a New Crew - Bringing back the fan favorites Laharl, Etna, and Flonne, and adding a host of new characters as well as a brand-new story.

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