Roy G. Biv makes an appearance.
I began my game-playing on Day Two of E3 by spending some quality time with Disgaea 2. A new game, however, is not what it felt like; the demo I played felt very warm and familiar to anyone who was a fan of the original Nippon Ichi Software game. After playing Makai Kingdom last year, this game really came as a shockingly wonderful return to the good things that were presented in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.
So, what is familiar? Character and monster designs are simplistic but good, and graphics are only adequate overall, though graphics are truly unimportant to the appeal of this game. Also returning and of major importance: the excellent tactical battle system and the characteristic wit, which was evidenced in just the ten quick minutes I played. It appeared quite nicely through character dialogue and hilarious item descriptions.
The Dark Assembly is back!
As with all NIS strategy RPGs, Disgaea has two distinct parts; a central area with shops, a hospital, NPCs to talk to, as well as the infamous Dark Assembly, a senate of monsters that must be consulted before creating new characters or inquiring about other special requests. By talking to one character, the player can proceed to any of the maps where battles unfold, and where storyline sequences occur, allowing the game to advance.
Specifically, the battle system is a tactical one, in which a player can dispatch a number of units onto a grid-based map screen, a welcome change from the "free-roaming" systems of recent NIS games. Player and enemy teams act in turn; in each turn, every unit can move and perform an action. Also, it is now very easy to cancel commands that have already been input, in case a player decides to change his or her mind.
On the field maps, Geo Panels often come into play, which can influence ally and enemy strengths; this adds some depth to the battle. Furthermore, as monsters are defeated, a bonus battle gauge fills up which allows the group to collect items at the end of battle.
There is so much more to talk about when it comes to Disgaea 2, and at 70% completion, you can be sure that we'll hear a lot of details soon. Watch for this exciting title late this summer!