Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Review: What a JRPG should be
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NIS shows us tradition can easily hang with the Hollywood blockbusters of the video game world. The best game in the series, Disgaea D2 has humor, depth and story that will keep players entertained for weeks on end.
- Tradition in a blockbuster industry
- Humor and fan service
- So. Much. Depth.
- Musical score is still weak overall
- Quick and obvious story
Being an NIS RPG, Disgaea D2 sticks with the same anime graphics that have been NIS hallmarks for years. Laharl and cast look like they did in the original Disgaea, though grown up a little, and all the basic classes and enemies are cookie-cut from previous titles. Some might call this lazy design, but with the huge cast of distinct, memorable NPC characters, any alternation might alienate NIS' diehard fan base. The anime portraits are gorgeous during cut-scenes, and the battle animations exhibit a familiar level of humor and wackiness. They're also insanely long (typical for the series), which is great for players who enjoy watching a giant, all-consuming moon crash into a single enemy, but thankfully, for those who like quick battles, the animations can be turned off after watching them once.
Music has always been a weak spot for the Disgaea series as a whole. D2 still uses some classic tracks outside of battle to keep a consistent theme going, but on the battlefield, where the music has to be epic, they drop the prinny again. Except for during boss battles, the fight music is generic and uninspired. After hearing the first boss theme, I went to YouTube and put it on repeat instead of listening to the in-game music, and then changed it when I heard the other boss theme. Put simply, the musical moments that are supposed to be epic were thankfully epic, and the non-epic moments were just as non-epic.
D2 hits the player with a prinny bomb to the face with its story. Without ruining any key plot points, it tries to be a lot more emotional than past games in the series. It was interesting and can keep a person’s attention, but the success of the story depends entirely on how much the player understands the characters and their individual nuances. A tear-jerker like The Walking Dead it is not, but it is nevertheless highly creative as it has to keep the same core humor of the series, which is hard when the characters are so extreme in their personalities and ways.