Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days
Developer: NIS
Publisher: Koei
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1 player
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Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is a PSP remake of the 2006 PlayStation 2 hit game of the same name. All the content from the PS2 version is in it, along with some extras.

The story mode will give you plenty of gameplay, lasting about 35 hours or thereabouts to complete, but depending on your dedication, levelling up each character and collecting all the equipment could take literally hundreds of hours. Disgaea 2 is set in Veldime, where an evil overlord, Zenon, came to Veldime and put a curse on its inhabitants, causing them all to turn into demons. The game has you playing as Adell, who, for some reason, remained human and wasnít cursed. Since then Adell has made it his goal to defeat Zenon and return everyone back to humans. The game starts off with Adell and his Mother trying to summon Zenon, but instead they manage to summon his spoilt daughter, Princess Rozalin. They then set off to find the overlord. Although itís a sequel, the stories are stand-alone so previous experience from the series is not necessary.

The main area you will be spending time in between battles, is the hub world, the village where Adell lives. There are a large number of people to talk to there and it is also where all the shops are located. These shops sell things such as weapons, armour and there is even the Dark assembly, where you can request to create new characters for your team. These can be of a number of different classes, such as thief or red skull magician, which have different abilities which, when used with the right tactics, can create a truly awesome team. You can also try to persuade the councillors in the Dark Assembly to vote for bills which will aid you in your guest, the more complex the bill, the more it will take to persuade the counsellors to vote.

The game consists of lots of battles against Zenonís minions, with a story played out through the use of cut scenes that use the same graphics and perspective as game play, meaning it flows well. The battle system is a grid, turn-based system similar to that if some other RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics. The turns are played out one move at a time, with you moving and using each character individually, up to a max on 10 on the grid at once. You can then command the characters to attack enemies, heal another or use their special attacks. These special attacks range from type to type, affecting different enemies in different ways, with some being more effective than others. It then becomes the enemies turn once you commit your actions and so the cycle continues. These are the basics of the battles but there are a number of other things which could affect the way you battle. One of these is the Geo symbols, which create Geo Panels around them, which essentially means the panels on the grid change colour and have a status effect. At the beginning you will only encounter basic things such as extra defence or 25% more attack but as you progress through the game more advanced Geo Symbols are used, such as warp, which randomly moves your characters to a different grid panel at the end of each turn. These make the battles a lot more tactical, especially as the Geo Symbols can be destroyed, removing both the status effect and damaging anything on those panels, allowing you to rack up huge combos.

Graphics and sound-wise this game canít really be faulted. The visuals are crisp and sharp; with the only problem being the set camera view which means things can sometimes be partially obscured by buildings. The animations between the cut-scenes and battles flow well and helps draw you into the story. Audio wise both the English and the Original Japanese voices are available and the game contains a huge soundtrack, with music fitting all the scenes. There is also a soundtrack shop in the central hub, allowing you to buy more songs to add to the soundtrack.

Overall this is a perfect RPG for the PSP. The battles generally donít last very long and so can easily be played on in the car, on the bus or train but the game has a lot of depth and isnít too short like a lot of portable games tend to be these days. For a dedicated player there could be hundreds of hours of gameplay in it, even after finishing the story there are a host of side missions and new weapons and other items to buy. Itís only let down a bit by some of the battle mechanics being quite complicated to understand, but once you do it becomes fairly easy. There are also a number of mistakes in the spelling and grammar of the subtitles and charactersí speech, from the Japanese translation. These mistakes can sometimes make you miss the humour as the context of the sentences isnít always right. If youíre looking for a long-lived game to play, or just for a portable RPG then this is the game for you.


Best Bits

- Hundreds of hours of gameplay
- Excellent, crisp graphics
- Long soundtrack to fit length of game
- Offers both Japanese and English voices
Worst Bits

- Battle mechanics can become confusing in places
- Spelling and grammar mistakes

by: coolalien

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