Poor Adell is in a bit of a fix. After the powerful Overlord Zenon cursed his home of Veldime, the teenager was left as the only human in the realm while everyone else had been transformed into demons.
Burning with the desire to return his friends and family back to normal and to stop Veldime from turning into an evil and lawless netherworld, Adell sets out to find and defeat Zenon. Help comes in the most unlikely shape of not just a roving band of powerful (and sometimes monstrous) companions, but also Zenon's daughter Rozalin, who was accidently summoned by Adell's mother.
Adell's quest isn't the only storyline that runs through Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. There's also the chance to play the story of Dark Hero Axel, an exclusive addition to the PSP title. In these bonus chapters the once-popular movie star turned daytime television travel programme host attempts to rediscover his past glory.
Disgaea 2 is full of eccentric characters and scenarios which are sure to bring a smile to your face. It skilfully mixes drama and comedy to offer a memorable and playful story - and for fans of the series, there's the extra appeal of the ever-loveable exploding penguins, Prinnies, too.
Where dark meets light
A beautifully animated introduction sets the tone of Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. Stylish and quirky, you're swiftly thrown into a world of colourful cartoon visuals with an emphasis on keeping things streamlined and fun.
Aside from its excellent animated cutscenes, most of the game takes place in an isometric 3D environment which is equally bright and attractive. Battles, in particular, feature some superb effects, with zooms, panning and vibrant explosions marking some of the more extravagant special moves. It makes the action almost as much fun to watch as it is to play.
While there is a lot of information to digest during your first play of Disgaea 2, there is a helping hand in the shape of comprehensive tutorials to guide you through its intricacies. From levelling up your characters to taking part in the involving mini-game of the Dark Assembly (where you have to convince a band of high ranking monster officials to approve your party boosting requests), everything is given an accessible feel to make sure you're comfortable.
There is even a music shop to listen to some of the game's soundtrack in the background while you explore, rounding off a thoughtful and well presented game.
Need a hero, or need to be a hero?
There's a lot of fun gameplay awaiting you in Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days. Proudly showing off a mixture of turn-based strategy and a dash of role-playing game elements, Nippon Ichi Software's colourful title is deep and charming.
The first thing you're introduced to is interacting with the world around you, buying weapons and equipment for the dangerous road ahead. Talking to other characters can give you valuable insight and offer tutorials on how to handle each aspect of the game, while simple exploration can sometimes reward you with extra goodies for your quest.
Once you're familiar with your party and have learned the basics of preparation, the core of Disgaea 2 opens itself into a smart tactical battle title. Your party consists of several members of various classes and skills - for example, Fighters are good in close range battles and with offensive moves, while Red Skulls are magic wielders and excel at ranged attacks.
Each member takes turns to move around the game grid with a set number of spaces to travel and an action to use (such as attacking an enemy within range, using an item or defending) before that turn ends. Wise positioning and planning are essential, as once your actions are over, the enemy takes its turn to move and attack in an effort to stop you from success.
Combos and special moves are at your disposal, keeping each battle interesting and exciting as your party members chain together attacks resulting in flashy and satisfyingly damaging results. But beware - your foes can do the same to you and dispatch your characters with deadly ease if you're ill-prepared.
With other factors that are introduced as you play, such as the environment altering Geo Panels (which boast effects such as making combatants invincible or warping them to another grid square), the fun and constantly engaging Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days brings addictive turn-based strategy action to your pocket to play anywhere you want.