Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days Review

Disgaea has become one of the most popular underground franchises in modern gaming. It had it’s humble start back in 2003 on the PS2, and only through word of mouth did the game see any real recognition amongst the gaming community. Since then Disgaea has gone on to become one of the highest rated strategy RPGs of our time, and for good reason. Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days is a PSP re-release of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. I say re-release, but that really isn’t the proper term. Yes, this is the same game as the original PS2 title, but with a lot more added in. The same core story, characters, and of course fantastic gameplay is still present. However, the developers went the extra mile and once again has given fans an entirely new scenario to play through, Axel mode. That’s what I’ll be mainly focusing on in this review, since the original content mostly remains untouched.

Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days


Fantastic Gameplay
The gameplay here is the same as it was in Disgaea 2, but with even more added on. Last year Disgaea 3 released, and it added a few new elements to its battle system, the big one being the magichange system. In a nutshell, the magichange system allows monster type characters to morph into weapons and fuse with human type characters. It’s a unique system that added some fresh strategy to Disgaea 3, and does the same here. There’s not much more to say, fans of the series can expect everything they know and love about the battle system.


Axel Mode
Axel, also formerly known as “The Dark Hero,” was mainly a minor character in Disgaea 2. Here however, Axel is given the spotlight that he would feel he rightly deserves, in a story campaign of his own. Axel mode takes place before the events of Disgaea 2, and follows the character through his efforts to reclaim his former glory. The writing here is as awesome as always, with characters constantly making fun of each other and themselves. Like all Disgaea games, all the characters here, even the minor ones, have very distinct and memorable personalities. Axel mode alone is reason enough to pick up the portable version, even if you’ve played the original.

The soundtrack here is great. All the original music is back, and in Axel mode there’s even tracks from Disgaea 3. The Disgaea soundtracks have all been composed by Tenpei Sato, and have always had a very unique sound to them. What’s better is that there’s a music shop, which allows you to purchase in-game music to use while in the item world. And of course, the voice acting is top notch. Every voice actor fits their character perfectly and delivers their lines flawlessly. For the ubernerds though, the game does also support the original Japanese voices

Extra Characters and DLC
Up until now, very few PSP games have had much, if any, downloadable content. The only game to really offer DLC is Rock Band: Unplugged. Dark Hero Days however continues this new trend. While none are available at the time of writing this review, Dark Hero Days is scheduled to have added DLC characters such as Pram from Makai Kingdom and Ash from Phantom Brave. Hopefully NIS will offer bonus scenarios down the line as well, like they’ve done with their other PSP game Prinny: Can I Really be the Hero? Unfortunately, I can’t speak on the DLC itself since it is not available, but considering how well NIS has done with DLC for Prinny and Disgaea 3, I have few worries that this would be any different.



UMD Owners stuck.
Ok, so this isn’t really a knock on the game itself. I, like many PSP fans, planned on upgrading to the PSP Go. However, with recent announcements from Sony, doing so would mean losing all my current games and being forced to rebuy the digital versions. For anyone who bought the UMD, so pretty much anyone who owns the game, if you plan on getting a PSP Go, just know you’ll have to rebuy Dark Hero Days.


Editor's Choice AwardOverall, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days manages to be a re-release that’s totally worth the rebuy. The core game remains the same, but the additions and tweaks make it feel like an all-new game at the same time. The game is every bit as good as the original and then some. This is a no brainer; anyone with a PSP (or a future PSP Go) who loves RPGs should pick up Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days.