If there is one thing Nippon Ichi has been consistently good at, it’s been making a good strategy RPG. When Disgaea was first released upon an unsuspecting gaming populace it took the hardcore gamers by storm and the word of mouth spread quickly. It wasn’t long before we started to see a slew of strategy RPGs, but a sequel of Disgaea was nowhere to be found. Until now that is, and with its impending release I was given the chance at one last look at a near complete build of the game. Everything I knew and loved about Disgaea was back, but with a few more twists and tweaks than what a lot of people are expecting. For the casual gamer this is going to be a standard strategy RPG fare, but for the Disgaea faithful, it’s a game we’ve been dying to play.
The story is focusing on a new character in the Disgaea world, a young man named Adell who is the only human left in the town of Veldime. The rest of the inhabitants have become demons under the curse of the Demon Overlord Zenon and Adell sees it only fit and proper to go find Zenon, defeat him and turn everyone back in to human. With the assistance of his mother he attempts to summon Zenon, with hilarious results. Instead of Zenon, Adell is stuck with his sheltered daughter who hasn’t set foot outside of her home all of her life. She’s not happy, Adell’s not happy, and Zenon’s curse is still in effect. Looks like it’s time for an Overlord hunt. The story is retaining the comedy aspect while keeping the dapper tones that people are used to.
Gameplay is strikingly familiar to the first Disgaea, you’ve got a hub town that is your all purpose shop, hospital, and portal to the various areas that can be explored. The Dark Assembly has returned, this time there is a little bit more that can go towards getting what you want out of the Dark Assembly. If things seem a little out of your reach perhaps a senator needs some alcohol, or a nice shiny gift. Or if things really aren’t going your way you can always apply force. Also if your deeds are exceedingly dastardly, or if you just meet certain criteria, you might receive a subpoena and you’ll have to appear before the Dark Court for your punishment… although being evil in this game is typically a good thing.
Graphically the game is looking a bit better, though the character sprites are still not of a higher resolution the detail to them is noticeable. The characters are colorful and vibrant though are a little lacking in detail. This comes as no real surprise as NIS games have never been a real graphical powerhouse, and considering the number of characters present on screen it’s more than acceptable to me. The soundtrack has received a bit of a reworking with some new tracks and some really cool remixes. The main theme of the first Disgaea remixed to an 8-bit sound is nothing short of awesome, and the fact the NIS is throwing in a soundtrack for pre-orders is a nice bonus.
The game play hasn’t changed much in the three years it took for this sequel to show up. Once you are in an actual fight the battle system has received a few tweaks and surprises. Being able to perform attacks while lifting characters provides an interesting mechanic and the Dark Sun will put a whole new spin on the battles. I for one don’t look forward to being turned in to a Prinny mid-fight.
Disgaea 2 is looking to be the sequel we’ve all been waiting for. It’ll be in stores next week so make sure you head on down to your local game-a-torium and pick this up. It’s shaping up to be the most enjoyable strategy RPG since Final Fantasy Tactics.
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