PSA: Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Out Now! Here’s Why It’s Awesome.

Disgaea D2 came out yesterday.  I’ve been playing it for a little over a week and am super impressed with some tweaks to the classic Disgaea formula — tweaks definitely made by individuals who understand the game’s hardcore audience (ahem, this guy).

I realize I haven’t covered this game much leading up to its release.  This was a mistake –I was suffering Disgaea fatigue after Disgaea 4 didn’t really click for me.  Disgaea D2 has renewed my passion for whacking large numbers out of cute sprites so I’m going to share with you some of my favorite changes in Disgaea D2:

  • You can select which character you control when exploring the Overlord’s Castle.  I walk around as my Thief!
    • You may also designate up to two different characters to follow you around (or choose to have no one follow you).
  • At character creation you can select from three different personalities for your unit, which will determine both their voice and Evility.
    • Each generic character (both human and demon) have a total of three different Evilities/Personalities.  That’s a ton of different Evilities!
    • You can change these settings later if you prefer to mix and match
    • Story characters have set Evilities
  • You can select your character’s color palette at creation, and more are unlocked with each subsequent rank (i.e. unlocking the second rank of Thief will unlock an additional color)
    • Story characters have different color options, but I don’t think there is a way to unlock more (DLC maybe?)
  • Rarity values are gone!  Weapons and armor can still be Common, Rare, and Legendary, but you can get a same-rarity bonus without having to match the actual numerical rarity.  If only you knew how much time I spent getting matching rarity Yoshitusnes and Super Robo. Suits in the first Disgaea
  • The Student/Master relationship is easier to control than ever, meaning getting the desired skill on a unit is SO EASY.
    • You no longer need to use mana to level up skills — they becomes stronger by simply using them repeatedly.
    • Weapons Mastery is once again based on usage (more attacks = better mastery). This means your character’s standard attacks aren’t useless like they were in Disgaea 4.
  • The Thief no longer needs to use stealing hands to steal.  Stealing is now an actual skill that levels up, increasing the stealing range.
  • There is no longer an Item Warehouse — all items can be accessed when in battle or in the Item Sea.
  • But my FAVORITE change?  Easy.  Female Laharl:

So yeah, long story short: tons of customization combined with a welcomed return to form make Disgaea D2 a ton of fun.  Look forward to a complete review in the near future!

Announcing Asobee: Dark Souls — A Kotowari Let’s Play

About a week ago I had an idea for a Dark Souls Let’s Play that got me pretty jazzed. I mentioned the idea in passing on Twitter, and the response was favorable, so… I’ve decided to make it happen!  And on the 3 year anniversary of the game no less!

Please check out the above intro.

Here’s the basic idea: a Dark Souls newbie (in this case: Sarah) directs a veteran (in this case: me) through the game up to when the credits roll.  The veteran can’t offer any input on where to go or what to do — the newbie has to figure it out (mostly) on their own.

So what led me to this idea?  Well, more so than any game I can think of, an understanding of Dark Souls’ open world can shorten the game dramatically.  Rather, I want to capture the lost feeling players have when starting with a fresh set of eyes.  You could say that the real Dark Souls starts here.

There are a few other rules to streamline things:

  • To keep things educational, I’ll be taking the reigns when it comes to fighting and the nitty gritty of our character’s build.  Each episode will begin with an update to what I’ve done with the character’s build and why.  As you can probably tell from the intro, we’ve already recorded the first episode and our character is a Thief.
  •  We’re implementing a tip system, in which the newbie can request one tip, the veteran can offer one tip, and the audience can be asked to provide advice — once each per episode.

I’m thinking this will become a series, so we’ve created an umbrella term for all future Kotowari LPs that will follow: Asobee.  This is a play on the Japanese word for play: 遊ぶ (asobu).  Clever, eh?

That’s pretty much it, look forward to the series rolling out every Friday starting next week!

Link’s Outset Shirt QR Code

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This morning’s Nintendo Direct didn’t contain much news that interested me, but it did have an Animal Crossing: New Leaf QR Code for Link’s Outset shirt from Wind Waker.  It was a pain trying to pause the video at the correct times in order to scan all four codes, so I figured I would put them up on my site to help anyone else trying to nab the shirt ASAP.

I remember loving this outfit — dubbed “pajamas” — in the original Wink Waker.  In Second Quest (basically New Game+) you could play through the entire game in this outfit!  While I love the standard green tunic, change can be nice.

The only other worthwhile bit of information I picked up on in today’s ND was that Bravely Default will feature dual audio tracks!  I’m quickly becoming more and more excited for this game:

Square Enix and Nintendo aren’t the most consistent when it comes to offering both Japanese and English audio, so I find this to be a huge relief.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must put pajamas on in both Animal Crossing: New Leaf and in real life.

Friday Link Roundup 9/23-9/27

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Every Friday I make a post containing links to interesting articles I have found throughout the week. If you already follow me on Twitter, then you will have probably seen most of the following links. Don’t forget to like the Kotowari Facebook page as well. Enjoy!

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An English version of the Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes trailer gives us a first earful of Kiefer Sutherland as Big Boss. Not a fan.

Bravery Default intro trailer.  I didn’t know this game had a world map AND an airship!  Do want.

Fascinating video about the creation of a set of armor from Dark Souls II.

You know that Akira song in the first 10 minutes? You know the one. Watch it performed live.

The Gauntlet in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Today I had a good, hearty Tidus-laugh over something only Animal Crossing fans may appreciate, though I’ll try to explain it so anyone can.

You see, in Animal Crossing: New Leaf your town can be the home of up to ten random animal residents.  When one leaves, another (of which there are over 100) will eventually take their place.

I’m of the mindset that every resident should be treated with respect because, just like in real life, you don’t really have control over the people around you.  And yet, abusing unwanted residents (hitting them with a bug net/capturing them in a pitfall trap) is the only real way to force them to leave… While I don’t condone this behavior, I can’t help finding it hilarious.  Maybe it’s because the animals are so oblivious?  I’m not sure…

Redditor user enkur has come up with an especially… elaborate means of inflicting abuse on an unwanted resident.  Here’s the Imgur source, which I am unfortunately unable to embed into my site.

Here’s the story about poor, poor Graham the smug hamster:

Two things to note on what you’re about to see:

  1. X-marks on the ground hide (in this case) pitfall traps, which trap a character in the dirt from the waist up when they step on it.  The captured critter (or human) can only free themselves after no small amount of struggling.  Do this to any resident enough times and they’re sure to feel bad about themselves and leave town.
  2. Digging holes in the ground creates impassable barriers to animals.  These can be used to trap NPCs for hilarity’s sake or to just keep them still.
  3. I lied: one final, yet optional, note — read the captions in a Bond villain voice for added enjoyment.

No matter how many times I read through that, I can’t help but laugh at poor Graham’s misfortune. I hope those of you not savvy to the world of Animal Crossing were still able to appreciate this prime example of digital schadenfreude.