Thanks to NIS America for the review code
Title: Disgaea 2 PC
System: Steam (Mac)
Release Date: 01/20/2017
Combining pretty much everything from the PS2 and PSP versions of the game, Disgaea 2 PC revolves around a man named Adell on his quest to find the powerful Overlord Zenon and destroy him to break a curse placed on the human race. There’s a lot more to the story than that basic summary, but I’m not going to give much away since this is a story-driven game, and I’d rather not spoil it for those who haven’t tried it out.
Visually the game looks really good, especially when you consider how it’s a port of a PS2 game from over a decade ago. The 2D sprites still look sharp after all these years and the battle animations are quick and fluid. Even on the lowest settings of my computer the game manages to look great without heating my laptop up too much, which is a good accomplishment that the port team managed to pull off. When it comes to audio, the game also succeeds at this, having a high quality english dub and some catchy tunes, although nothing that’ll remain in your head until much later on in the game.
Being a strategy RPG, the main goal of Disgaea 2 is to win each battle that comes your way without losing all of your teammates. Upon starting a stage, you can choose to summon from your pool of party members, before commanding them to move around the stage and schedule a command. Like with most strategy games, you have special skills that can be used on enemies, from typical RPG skills like magic attacks and healing spells, to more unique skills like ranged sword attacks and status buffing moves. It should be noted that unlike most modern strategy RPGs choosing a command won’t automatically trigger it; you’ll need to manually execute it to make absolute sure you want to go through with a decision. Depending on where you position your party members in relation to an enemy, you may even get a special team attack bonus, which can lead to some extra damage.
While the game starts off fairly simple, it gets more complicated after the first chapter is cleared, when the game introduces special tiles known as Geo Panels, along with tougher enemies to take on. Some of these Geo Panels can benefit the player if they’re standing on them, with effects such as increased damage output and improved stats, which the opposite can happen, with some that’ll either decrease stats, make the enemy stronger or teleport you all over the place. Usually it’s a good idea to go after the source of the panels, known as a Geo Symbol and destroy them so that way neither side will have to worry about their effects.
When you’re not battling through the main story or the bonus content available from the start, you’ll be in the main hub area of the game, which is right outside of Adell’s home. Here you can choose to change party members, buy items and equipment, upgrade shops and take on the Item World challenge.
It’s a pretty basic area that’s near impossible to get lost in, which makes getting to the next chapter or store you want to go to pretty quick and easy, which combined with the fairly brief menus taken to access the levels makes progression fairly quick if you just want to focus on the story levels, without having to worry about going from point A to B in a giant hub world just to access the next area, although the lack of an overworld may not appeal to everyone.
In conclusion, Disgaea 2 PC surprised me a lot more than I thought it would. Despite the fact that I was never that interested in the competition, (Final Fantasy Tactics) I got a lot of enjoyment out of this game, due to the fast pace of the action and the superb mouse controls making it easy to pick up and play whenever I wanted to. Out of the two control schemes, I found the Mouse controls the best way to play, due to how quick and easy it is to go through the differing menus with a Macbook Pro touchpad and keys.
For $20, you’re getting an absolute steal due to the huge amount of content to play, and combined with some Steam Achievements that’ll take a lot of work to obtain, you’ll certainly get a good amount of content for the price. Hopefully this game getting ported to Mac is a good sign for future Steam JRPGs, since Mac owners often miss out on great games like this! Thankfully, this RPG port is one that was worth the wait. I give Disgaea 2 PC an 8 out of 10.