Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness is a direct sequel to the first game, Disgaea Hour of Darkness for the PS2. The game takes place several years later, as Laharl still struggles with being the Netherworld’s Overlord. Why? The other demons deeply despise and disrespect him. He, along with his vassals Etna and Flonne, are on another quest to prove Laharl is the ultimate ruler. This is essentially the same plot from the first game, but with different characters and subplots thrown in for good measure. It’s not enthralling, but the writing is comedy gold, which thankfully makes up for the overall weak plot.
Play a Disgaea game before? Then D2 won’t surprise returners. For the newbies out there, Disgaea is a strategy RPG similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. What’s unique about Disgaea is the way it turns these standard mechanics on their side. Whether it’s the ability to create characters, being able to throw allies and enemies around for quick movement, mounting monsters, or the insane number of combos and special attacks. Not a lot has changed in terms of innovations, but the battles are still as fun and addictive regardless. It lends itself to both rookies and hardcore veterans, but for the beginners out there, here’s an accompanying tutorial via ReActionExaminer.
The game’s anime aesthetic is colorful, unique, and the sprites look and animate beautifully. Unfortunately the design is still rather simple especially in the levels. Music is a mixture of old tunes plus a few new ones, which is both good and bad in their own way. And on sound, the returning voice cast, as well as the newcomers, are great, if not somewhat hammy and cliché in terms of anime tropes. And needless to say, as with every Disgaea game, it offers literally infinite hours of gameplay.
Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness is like a nostalgia trip. For fans, this is a great sequel to the game that started it all with enough tweaks to keep them satisfied. It’s still one of those games that won’t appeal to everyone, but hey, that’s like saying Dora the Explorer is not for everyone. D2 is a great, solid experience that stays a little too close to home.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review code for the game. This article was originally published on October 3, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.