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Alternative Names

Makai Senki Disgaea 2 Portable

魔界戦記ディスガイア2 Portable


Nippon Ichi Software



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Release Dates

09/08/09 NIS America
03/26/09 Nippon Ichi Software
02/05/10 NIS Europe

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Review: Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days

By Xavier Griffiths 30th Nov 2009 | 2,372 views 

Dood, where did the last 40 hours of my life go? Only the demon penguins know for sure.

It is fair to say that ports are the bane of gamers for the most part. More often than not, something is lost in the transition from one system to another. Not the case with the Disgaea series apparently, as evidenced by the PSP port of the original, Afternoon of Darkness, and now its follow up Dark Hero Days. Disgaea 2 is hands down one of the best strategy RPGs on the market today. Enhanced with new story segments and features from Disgaea 3, along with all new items, characters and skills.

The world of Veldime has been cursed to have all of its inhabitants transformed into monsters. The main character is Adell, a pugilistic orphan who is unaffected by the curse. His objective is to find and defeat the Overlord Zenon responsible for the curse in order to restore the world order. He hates dishonesty and has a comical distaste for girls. One day while trying to summon Zenon he accidentally summons his daughter, Rozalin. Together this unlikely duo set forth to find Overlord Zenon, though they have different goals. The story is a lot funnier than my description lets on, but more on that later.

It is easy to liken Disgaea 2 to any other SRPG but in fact its breadth of options extends beyond most. Battles take place on grid based maps with a squad of ten characters against a slew of enemies. Each character can move a certain number of units and can use various attacks with their own range and effects. At its most basic, the combat system stands toe to toe with that of any tactical RPG. However, there are so many layered components to the gameplay that make this a title that defines the term hardcore.

For instance, geo panels. Geo panels are specially colored squares that alter the condition of the character standing upon it. Effects range from increasing attack power, to warping to another spot on the map. These can pose quite a challenge and will often put you in the midst of creative battle situations that really test your strategy skills. Features from Disgaea 3 also included like the Item World. The Item World allows you to venture inside any item you possess and battle enemies in order to strengthen it. Then there is the Magichange system that allows you to morph monsters into weapons during battle to perform strong technical attacks. The change is only temporary though and each monster only becomes a certain kind of weapon.

What I like best about Disgaea 2 is the whole suite of complex gameplay options that totally set it apart from any other game on the market. The Dark Assembly is home to many of these options. Here, you can bribe senators to get your way, create new characters, or even petition for tougher enemies.

Adell’s hometown of Holt serves as the main hub for the game world. Everything in the game is accessible from here including the map you fight on, item shop, and hospital to heal your party. The story is broken up into 13 chapters complete with unique locales. One minute you will be fighting your way through a battle tournament and the next trying to nab a nail of Etna’s demonic little finger. The difficulty ramps up quite a bit as the game progresses. Gamers looking for a deep, complex, and challenging tactical RPG experience will feel right at home. The game never felt wholly inaccessible though, even I, a relative newcomer was engrossed with all the game’s intricacies.

Disgaea 2 is funnier than most RPGs, in fact Disgaea 2 is funnier than most games period. The story does an excellent job of moving the game forward while at the same time delivering side-splitting hilarity. Interwoven in this narrative you have the antics of a washed up pop star, Prinny abuse, and some delectable fourth wall breaking. The game even manages hit the right emotional cues from time to time. The characters are quirky and memorable; the perfect company for what is essentially a 30 hour commitment.

Graphically, Disgaea 2 holds up well on the PSP. The widescreen presentation does wonders for this game’s visuals. The hand drawn images used for cut scenes in particular benefit from the transition. The character models are all well animated, though I am certain the sprites could have looked a little sharper. The art style really pops, enemies and environments bloom with color. Flashy animations abound to accompany special moves which you will come to rely on towards the end of the game. The camera angles got in the way at times, and though they can be adjusted they really make the screen uncomfortable to look at from time to time.

Dark Hero Days still brims with the zany musical style the series is known for. There is full voice acting in both English and Japanese. Both are well done but my preference swings towards the Japanese voices.

Disgaea 2 really shines in terms of value. My first play through of the story took me around 40 hours. When you add in the Item World which extends endlessly and a 9,999 level cap, this game is a steal at $30. There are even multiple endings to boot and it will be extremely difficult for you to earn them all. Did I mention there are all new PSP exclusive chapters where you play as the “Dark Hero”, Axel himself? Again, this game is an amazing deal.

All in all I strongly recommend Disgaea 2 to fans of the series or new folks looking to jump right in. NIS have thrown in everything and the kitchen sink into this one and it shouldn’t be missed. You will sink countless hours into this game and be rewarded with a great story and excellent role playing. Port or no port, this is hands down one of the best PSP games of the year.

VGChartz Verdict


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Sales History

Total Sales
1 38,212 n/a n/a 38,212
2 14,255 n/a n/a 14,255
3 8,103 n/a n/a 8,103
4 6,822 n/a n/a 6,822
5 4,935 n/a n/a 4,935
6 3,860 n/a n/a 3,860
7 3,482 n/a n/a 3,482
8 2,976 n/a n/a 2,976
9 2,229 n/a n/a 2,229
10 1,562 n/a n/a 1,562

Opinion (16)

BasilZero posted 31/01/2012, 12:27
Disgaea 2 Dark Hero Days is a port of the Disgaea 2 from the Playstation 2. It has some additional features such as the inclusion of Disgaea 3 Characters as playable characters and a new gameplay feature which was seen in Disgaea 3. Though the game's storyline isnt as dynamic or humorous as Disgaea 1's, fans will recognize alot of easter eggs from the first game and will surely enjoy the slightly different gameplay structure from the original and the predecessor of this game. 9.2/10
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Aj_habfan posted 24/01/2012, 08:24
Pretty disappointed with this game, loved the first one so much - but this one felt like a 1 hour story stretched out over 30 hours. Gameplay is still good which is enough to make it worth a playthrough though. Overall lacking personality and not as good as the first one in my opinion.
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MLight80 posted 22/05/2010, 04:23
This game is awesome!
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Catlana posted 15/01/2010, 07:15
Disgaea Dark hero is alot of fun. I highly recomend to anyone.
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swordplay posted 19/12/2009, 02:50
My most played PSP title! disgaea is my favorite strategy rpg series.
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Rawnchie14 posted 30/11/2009, 04:50
I retract that statement, 140,000 is actually pretty solid for a portable port!
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