Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Preview
Disgaea is a well-known name to strategy/RPG enthusiasts. Though I suppose we could argue over the exact classification of these games, I prefer to simply refer to them as insanely deep strategy/RPGs with almost unparalleled longevity. If you’ve been a fan of the acclaimed series since the original Hour of Darkness launched nearly a decade ago on the PS2, you’re probably excited about the new Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, which brings back many of your favorite characters and released just last week in Japan. It’s set to arrive in the US later this year, so get ready, JRPG fanatics!
The new title is part of developer Nippon Ichi’s big 20th anniversary celebration in 2013 and is actually a direct sequel to the aforementioned Hour of Darkness. Laharl has been crowned Overlord of the Netherworld but unfortunately, the demons that are supposedly under his control don’t respect his authority. As such, there’s a rebellious group of demons called King Krichevskoy that are trying to usurp Larhal’s hard-won throne. This underground faction also blames their new king for the emergence and rapid spread of Celestial Flowers, which are changing the atmosphere of the Netherworld. The oddly named King Krichevskoy group thinks the angels have brought the Flowers because of Laharl’s recent quest.
Many of the most recognizable series characters will be here, including Etna, Flonne, and of course, the ever-present Prinny. You will likely notice some touched-up designs in Disgaea D2, as screenshots and available media have shown improved detailing and cleaner lines. You can also expect that crazy deep class system to return and with it, the likes of the Warriors (Male and Female), Witch, Healer, Thief, Skull, Gunner, Ninja, Samurai, Archer, Magic Knight, Shaman, Beastmaster, Brawlers (Male and Female), Masked Hero, Onmyo Monk and Celestial Host. We may also see the appearance of Laharl’s long-lost sister, who is called Sicily.
As for other new characters, there’s a female knight named Barbara, a new male demon who goes by the name Xenolith, and a mysterious female angel that Laharl calls “Laharl-Chan.” Your foes will consist of a variety of monsters, including Zombies, Dragons, Pumpkins, Slimes, Catsabers, Great Wyrms, Ghosts, Gargoyles, Alraunes, Mothmen and the Nether Noble. But that’s just a small sample of what to expect, as we’ll once again tackle battlefields filled with a great many enemies. Yeah, you’re usually outnumbered, but that’s where the combo and team attacks come into play. There’s also a new Master/Pupil system, the always addictive Item World, and those pesky Geo Panels. Veterans should feel right at home.
The developers have teased “enhanced customization” and completely revamped character creation, along with a “completely new and original storyline.” A variety of upgrades and improvements can be expected as well, so we should be looking at one of the most accomplished Disgaea productions yet. The addition of special events that trigger between certain characters when specific conditions are met reminds me of Star Ocean: The 2nd Story, and I like the idea. Might as well add to the wacky inter-character stories, right? Lastly, there’s a new weapon type: Book. It’s like a magic-based weapon that lets users summon special spirits to assist.
Yes, it appears that Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness will give those niche fans everything they need and perhaps a dash extra.
3/28/2013 Ben Dutka