The story behind Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days
isn't as well written or clever as the first game, but still provides something better and more interesting than the typical "save the world" plotline.
Years ago, Overlord Zenon cursed Adell's village, turning everyone into demons. For whatever reason, Adell was untouched by the curse, making him the only human left. In an attempt to remove the curse, Adell's mother sacrifices his father and siblings (rather cheerfully, I might add) in order to summon Zenon. The spell backfires and instead of summoning the Overlord, his daughter, Rozalin, is bound to Adell. Neither is happy with the arrangement and the two set out to Zenon's mansion to revoke the contract.
Keeping in line with Afternoon of Darkness, Dark Hero Days includes a lengthy side-story quest. Similar to Etna Mode, Axel Mode follows the once-popular hero through his adventures. The mode is only as strong as its source material, which is entertaining but nowhere near as fun as Etna's story. However, more Disgaea is always a really good thing.
A majority of playtime is spent on grid-based maps that strategy players should be familiar with already. However, where Dark Hero Days differs from the norm is that battles aren't just about achieving victory. You can go through every battle with the simple goal of destroying the opposing army - but by doing so, you're not only missing out on a big part of what makes the game, but it will eventually catch up to you in later, trickier battles. Gameplay is more about getting the most out of every troop movement you can by setting up combo and tag attacks, sometimes doubling or tripling the amount of damage your army can do, as well as earning a significant experience boost for characters. Of course, enemies can earn the same bonuses, adding yet another layer of strategy.
Of course, real world battles are only part of the hundreds of hours you can spend with the game. Between scenarios, you can enter items and fight through different upgrade levels. As you battle through levels, you will also find special characters that you can recruit and transplant into other items, giving the item a stat boost. While in the Item World, you will sometimes stumble across Level Spheres. If a character is holding the Sphere at the end of the match, your item will earn another level upgrade.
In addition to everything included with the PS2 version, Dark Hero Days also comes with a few extras. The aforementioned music shop is joined with a Data shop, where you can purchase DLC characters from different games, like Pram (Makai Kingdom) and Ash (Phantom Brave).