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Game Info:

Disgaea 2 PC
Developed by: Nippon Ichi Software
Published by: NIS America
Release date: January 30, 2017
Available on: PS2, Linux, macOS, Windows
Genre: Turn based strategy
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Teen for Mild Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
Price: $19.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you NIS America for sending us this game to review!

Disgaea 2 was originally released for the PS2 in 2006 and was released for the PSP in 2009.  All of the content in those games along with enhanced visuals plus keyboard and mouse support is now available in the 2017 PC version.  Since characters from the first Disgaea make an appearance in this title, I highly recommend playing the original game before picking this one up.     

The main character in this title is Adell, the only human living in the netherworld which has been cursed fifteen years ago by the powerful Overlord Zenon.  The curse Zenon placed on the inhabitants caused the humans to lose their memories, conscience, and slowly turn into demons.  Adell doesn’t know what became of his human parents, but he loves his adopted demon family who fully support his quest of defeating Zenon to avenge those impacted by Zenon’s curse.  Luckily, Adell seems to be immune to it.

The story begins with Adell’s adoptive mother trying to summon Zenon (using her children as part of the ritual) and getting his only daughter instead.  Princess Rozalin is very stereotypical with her pampered ways and high demands.  The clash in personalities provides much humor and silly dialogue which is voice acted in cut-scenes.  

Since the princess lived in a secluded mansion, she hasn’t done much fighting and is unfamiliar with the world of Veldine.  Adell is relying on her to bring him to her father who he wants to defeat.  She hopes that he’ll succumb to one of the increasingly stronger demons along the way.  

Disgaea 2 PC
Highlights:

Strong Points: Funny characters, fighting abilities and dialogue; challenging battles
Weak Points: Lots of grinding is required to survive enemy attacks; no way to skip attack animations
Moral Warnings: Sacrifices are made to summon demons; language (b*tch, b*stard, d*mn, hell); sexualized outfits; gross humor

Adell and Rozalin won’t have to fight them alone though.  Along the way they’ll meet some people with interesting backstories who are willing to join their cause.  Several party members are available through the bundled in add-on content called “Summoning Experiments.”     

Like many 3D turn-based strategy games you can deploy a limited number of party members (maximum of ten) and can move and perform an action during each turn.  The number of movement spaces is dependent on the character’s stats and the actions can be consuming an item, fighting, or using a special skill like magic.  After all of the party members have used up their actions, you can end your turn and watch the enemies retaliate. 

Many games have used the ability to counter an attack, but this series has a counter-counter ability that can counter up to four times back and forth!  In fact, many of the special attacks are silly and often drawn out in the cut scenes.  I wish there was an option to skip the fighting cut-scenes because they are tediously long.  As abilities are used more they level up and as the characters gain levels, more special abilities become available to them.

Another returning feature is the Geo Panels which apply various attributes to similarly colored squares they are residing on.  Sometimes the Panels are helpful to either the allies or enemies by giving them a damage or defense boost.  Other times the Panels can be very restrictive by blocking players from crossing them or by granting units invincibility.  Geo Panels can either be attacked (as long as they’re not invincible) or picked up and thrown to another colored square.  

The story mode battles ramp up in difficulty relatively quickly and much grinding is required to be strong enough to advance the storyline.  To level up you can replay previously completed story missions or play in an item world several levels deep to fight numerous enemies and a final boss before returning to your castle.  Successfully completing item levels will increase and strengthen the item’s level.   It should go without saying that the more valuable an item, the tougher the enemies within will be.  It’s nice to have an exit item on hand because there is no telling how many levels deep an item world is and leaving is not possible without an exit item or without clearing the last boss.  If you plan on adventuring in the item world, make sure you’ve set aside about an hour of time to do so.

Disgaea 2 PC
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 71%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 6.5/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

After completing Adell’s story, Axel’s story becomes unlocked and there’s even more enemies and silliness there.  Axel’s starting level is 100 and party members from Adell’s adventure are at his disposal.  I like how Etna from the first Disgaea game is available as a party member later on.  Be warned that there are some battles that are meant to be lost to progress the story.  If you find that the boss has several thousand more defense and hit points than your characters, they’re probably not meant to be defeated.  If you’re struggling to defeat enemies and bosses perhaps it’s time to upgrade your equipment and power level to give your party a fighting chance.

The more you shop at the weapon and accessories stores, the higher your customer ranking will be.  As your rank increases, you can talk to the senators and ask their permission to get more expensive (or cheaper) equipment.  If you have enough favor with them, they’ll grant your request.  If their vote is leaning against you, they can usually be bribed with items from your inventory.  However, if they reject your request, you can battle the senators that voted against you to reverse their vote.  Senator approval is also required when creating decent characters, but if you have some good for nothing characters, you can re-spec them for a fee.

Some of the female characters wear bikini like outfits and flaunt their cleavage and back sides.  Some of the humor takes a sexual tone with several breast (and lack thereof) jokes.  Language is scattered throughout the game, but doesn’t use the F bomb.  Other words like hell, d*mn, b*tch, and b*stard are said though.  Since there are lots of battles, violence is a given but there’s isn’t much blood seen if any.  Magic use is unavoidable since some of the enemies are practically immune to physical attacks and the long range spells are extremely helpful.

If you don’t mind magic use, sexual humor, and language, Disgaea 2 is a fun turn based strategy game that’s bound to entertain you for several hours.  The asking price is a reasonable $19.99 and there have been bundle sales that included both games at a discount.  I look forward to playing more of the series on PC and other console platforms.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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