Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Day
One of the premiere names in turn-based strategy makes a triumphant to Sony's handheld.
- Hilarious story with fantastic voice-acting, addictive turn-based combat, wide assortment of characters and classes
- Fixed camera can be a pain, nothing too incredibly new, level grinding can get old
All in all, I'm going to have to strongly recommend Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. Sure, it's plenty more of the same, but when the same was this good to begin with, it's pretty hard to find faults with it. It's funny, it's charming, and it's an absolute blast to play for both aspiring Demon Lords and returning Overlords.
Re-releases are a funny thing. Oftentimes when a game sees a second packaging, it's in name only. Game of the Year editions are notorious for this, regularly slapping an Editor's Choice insignia on the box and toting it at a higher price. With such wanton re-hashing offered up quite frequently in light of solid additions to the title's overall experience, it's somewhat rare for players to stumble upon a game that not only plays better than its same-named predecessor, but also can truly be toted as the definitive version. Without a doubt, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is one of those games.
Down in the Ground
The original Disgaea 2's darkly humorous story and praise-worthy voice acting return in full form, following the adventures of honorable demon slayer Adell and obnoxiously stuck-up Princess Rozalin as they journey through the depths of the Netherworld in hopes of slaying the nefarious Overlord Zenon, but only if they can stave off killing each other first. Dark Hero Days is very similar to NIS America's previous port of Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness . This being the case, the original experience is here in all its glory alongside several PSP-specific upgrades. New to Dark Hero Days is an assortment of new characters, a new storyline featuring everyone's favorite babbling ex-hero Axel, and a few perks that made their debut in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, such as Level Spheres and the Magichange engine.
Disgaea 3, while highly praised by most critics, was also slammed a bit for its PS2-era graphics. While Dark Hero Days won't edge out Crisis Core as one of the best looking games on the PSP, its 2D sprites are still incredibly charming, and feel right at home on Sony's handheld. The classic Disgaea interface flourishes on the PSP, giving players the option to control their allies with either the analog nub or the D-pad. Disgaea's trademark grid-based battles are just as addictive as ever, and integrations specific to Disgaea 2 such as Geo Monsters (Geo Symbols that change positions randomly after each turn) and the innovative Dark Court - an assembly of Prinnies that will assign characters highly-regarded demonic felonies, which are seen as a "Badge of Honor" for the Netherworld.
Your Dark Sanctuary
While Disgaea 2 is certainly a praiseworthy effort in almost every effect, there are still a few less-than-stellar aspects of the acclaimed SRPG. Players are still victim to a significant amount of level grinding in order to transform into a formidable opponent, not to mention collecting massive amounts of Hell (Disgaea's unholy currency) in order to upgrade your weapons, armor, weights, glasses, shoes, and of course, purchase items. Another of Disgaea's downfalls is a repeat offender of the series: fixed camera angles. While the camera works very well for the most part, allowing players to rotate the playing field in four directions, there are still plenty of times - specifically in the randomly generated Item World - where the camera will swing around and block your view of the onscreen action. It's a small gripe, and it doesn't happen often, but when it does it can really hamper the battles.
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