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Disgaea D2 | A Brighter Darkness | review | game | Lollipop

Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

(NIS America for PS3)
By Mike Delano

When it comes to the mind-melting complexity of genre-defining strategy RPGs like Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics, I try but ultimately throw my hands up in frustration at the myriad statistics I'm expected to keep track of. But yet, I'm addicted to Disgaea. The series, through its many sequels, is arguably even more complex than those aforementioned classics, but there's no resisting its pull. Sure, its witty writing and lighthearted take on the power struggles taking place in the hellish Netherworld is a lot more welcoming than most fantasy-standard SRPG tales, but it's the elegance of its combat that makes it so addictive. There are so many ways to approach a battle -- from solving environmental puzzles to create chaos on the battlefield, to throwing your units around the map for tactical gain, to aligning your forces based on their affection for each other -- but it doesn't feel overwhelming, just empowering. Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness is very much a for-the-fans game, as it brings back favorite characters and doubles down on the strengths of the series while streamlining the modest ambitions of the last new entry, 2011's Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. The charming story is filled with callbacks and, as always, a tremendous amount of post-game challenges are ready to greet to the truly insane, er, dedicated. So D2 is another members-only event held at the exclusive Disgaea club, but the intimidated should definitely try to sneak in, 'cause once you do, it's easy to see what all the fuss is about.


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