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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: NIS America
Developed By: Nippon Ichi Software
Genre: Strategy RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: September 8, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty











The Disgaea series started as a fan favorite in Japan and blossomed into a series that is enjoyed and respected worldwide. Wither itís a release on the PS2, PS3, DS or PSP, fans and supporters alike flock to the latest installment to see if it carries the true essence of the series and what new and exciting gameplay features did Nippon Ichi Software incorporated into the title. With this in mind, NIS America brings stateside the latest chapter in the Disgaea series on the PSP, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. With a reworked story from the PS2 version, new and enhance gameplay features and the same love and care to detail as we have come to expect from the series, NIS America has yet another bonafied hit on their hands.

The story of Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days starts off in a small, peaceful region of Veldime which was heavily populated by humans. The reason I say was is because an evil Overlord, by the name of Zenon, turned the entire population into demons. However, out of the entire population, only one young boy remained unchanged and his name was Adell. Adell, being a person who loves his family, continued to stay with them until one day Adellís mom tried to summon the Overlord through a sacrifice, only to get his young prissy daughter Rozalin instead. Not liking the Overlordís games, Adell and Rozalin set out on an adventure to find and defeat the Overlord, lift the curse that has fallen upon Adellís people, and if he plays his cards rightÖ fall in love.



For those new to the Disgaea series, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is a turn-based strategy game with battles that play out one move at a time. Each and every battlefield is grid based, similar to the likes Final Fantasy Tactics, and play host to many factors that can change the tide of battle. The most obvious factor would be the flashing Geo Panels that line the floor of the battlefield. Depending on the panel you are standing on, it can alter the status of the character in a good way and a bad way. Another factor that comes into play is the Geo Symbols, which are stones that give the Geo Panels their enhancing characteristics. Whatís cool about the Geo Stones is that if you are able to destroy one of them in battle, you will inflict damage on your enemy if they are standing on a matching color Geo Panel. The final factor I am going to touch on is the ability to throw your teammates or enemies. Some battlefields you fight on have raised plateaus, which require you to throw your fellow comrade to the higher level in order to reach additional enemies. This tactic alone can create some interesting and memorable battle sequences.

Dark Hero Days, like any Disgaea title, can and will be difficult at times. Knowing about Geo Panels, Geo Symbols, and throwing teammates is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much information that you must learn and keep in mind in order to survive each and every battle you enter. Starting off, the battles are simply for the most part because you are learning the ropes. However, once you progress further into the game you will realize that itís no longer a walk in the park. You will find yourself venturing to the hub world in order shop for various weapons and items, healing your fellow comrades, and even venturing on side quests in order to make your team more powerful. Not trying to worry anyone, just letting you know that there is a lot to keep track of within this game in order to venture through the story without hundreds of deaths racked up.



Continuing with the topic of the hub world, this is your place of safety, knowledge and lots of goodies. This is also the home of the Dark Assembly, which governs the game world. Whatís interesting about the Dark Assembly is that you can suggest bills that could have an impact on your quests. In a play on real life, the better the bill, the hard it will be to get passed. So rallying support from Senators will be key in order to have a successful bill. Rounding out the hub world, there is the item world, which is definitely a place to spend time in, however is optional. Every item you come across within the game has its own world which allows players to go into in order to build up your experience and even acquire unique weaponry.

NIS America has a knack for bringing out the good within a console/handheld. When the series made its debut on PSP with Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, it boasts some vivid backdrops and stylized and detailed character sprites. The same holds true for Dark Hero Days. Character animations and environments are nicely done, showcasing the vast color pallet of the PSPís LCD screen. You can definitely tell that Takehito Harada put a lot of effort into making this title visually stunning. Working hand-in-hand with the visuals is an amazing audio soundtrack. Fans of the Disgaea series will be pleased to know that the original Japanese voiceover work has been included within the game. Those who opt for the English voiceovers wonít be disappointed either. The musical soundtrack is also very solid, offering up different styles of music depending on the environment you are traversing.



Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is a fully engaging gaming experience that can last upwards of 30 hours+. However, the fun simply doesnít stop there. Beyond the original storyline for Adell, there are additional chapters with Axel, one of the gameís heroes, as the focal point. There is also the inclusion of the Magichange feature, which was introduced in Disgaea 3 for the PlayStation 3. This feature allows players the option to change monsters that become allies into useable weapons.

When you look at what Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days has to offer, itís a no brainer that this is the meatiest PSP title released to date. For the price point of $29.99 you get a solid and engaging storyline, additional gameplay chapters and features not seen in the original release for the PS2. While many of us are stuck in the present and looking forward to upcoming releases from some of our favorite developers, itís a great feeling to have a developer and publisher like NIS America that reminds us that content and quality far outweighs looks.

9/10


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