New characters, more mechanics, same old Disgaea, more tedium!
While you might spot Etna in the game's cover, and she does indeed become a playable character in the latter chapters, Disgaea 2's story centers around Adell and Rozalin. Adell wants to defeat overlord Zennon and end his curse on humans, which turned them into demons. A summoning ritual gone wrong later and Rozalin, Zennon's daughter, is summoned in his stead. Now Adell will escort Rozalin back to his father.... and then defeat him! The game is peppered with generic animu feel-good scenes about friendship yadda yadda, but it did manage to get a couple of laughs out of me. There's also a few surprising, smart plot twists. All that said, if you ask me, I preferred Disgaea 1 and 3's story and characters over Disgaea 2's. Adell, Rozalin and co. just aren't as interesting as characters, and I didn't see myself laughing as much as I did with previous iterations.
And there's a lot you can do. Besides attacking, using items or defending, units can also use special attacks tied to whichever weapon they are equipped with. Being in adjacent tiles to up to three other friendly units allows you to use hilarious combo attacks. Then there's Disgaea's trademark mechanic: Lifting. You can lift allies or enemies and throw them around, you can even make towers with many units lifting other units! And then attack with said tower! There's a lot to wrap your head around, and I've only covered the surface. There're also Geo Panels, pyramids that can be place on colored panels and thus imbue all the same-colored panels with its attribute, like, maybe 'Heal 20%' every turn, or even 'Enemy Boost x50'!! There truly is a lot to take in with Disgaea, and you will need to learn everything if you aim to reach level 9999 and fight the bonus bosses!
.... Or you can try to min-max its stats by going into the Item World. Talking to another NPC will let you enter an Item's item world, a random 100-floor dungeon of increasing difficulty, the deeper you go, the stronger your weapon will get, and defeating certain, special enemies will raise particular stats of the item. In case you haven't noticed already, if you really want to get most of the game... get ready, because it's gonna be a huge time sink. And it can get pretty tedious.
Disgaea 2 - Cursed Memories is not a bad game by any means, but even simply getting through the story mode required more repetition and time that I wanted to sink in the game. But if you are into convoluted games, with a ton of post game content, Disgaea 2 is right up your alley.
7.5 out of 10