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Author Topic: Disgaea 2 Impressions  (Read 2880 times)
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Zarkon
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« on: August 29, 2006, 10:13:23 PM »

So, anyone have it yet?  Or will it not hit stores until tomorrow? 

Reports are coming in that preorders from NIS hit as early as Friday of last week.

I can answer questions, as I've finished the review (which should be up tonight or tomorrow).  DOOD!
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 03:22:23 PM »

Well shoot! Since no one else asked the obvious question, I will.

Is it good?
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 03:28:16 PM »

will probably pick it up in the near future, but still banging on Saint's Row for a bit
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 03:32:33 PM »

I'm waiting for my rental copy to come in, as I have a feeling I'll get sick of it after 10 hours or so.
But damn, does it look fun!
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 03:34:03 PM »

I got sick of the first one after 10 hours or so, and never could get back into it for some reason. I find the Atlus gird based TBS SRPGs just tedious and painfully slow (the combat that is), even though I tend to like the stories, the graphics, the characters, and the environments. Its a conundrum.
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 03:38:46 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on August 30, 2006, 03:34:03 PM

I got sick of the first one after 10 hours or so, and never could get back into it for some reason. I find the Atlus gird based TBS SRPGs just tedious and painfully slow (the combat that is), even though I tend to like the stories, the graphics, the characters, and the environments. Its a conundrum.
Wow, I'm way the opposite -- the graphics/characters/environments are shallow fluff to me, to the point I don't care about them at all, really.  It's the mechanics that keep me coming back...
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2006, 03:40:11 PM »

Something happened at about 35 hours into Makai Kingdom where I just couldn't play any more. It got so borning and repetative. However, like I say, I'm hoping I enjoy Disgaea 2 enough to say "I'll keep it!"
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2006, 08:17:26 PM »

Review is up, reading it now..!
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2006, 08:31:15 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on August 30, 2006, 03:38:46 PM

Wow, I'm way the opposite -- the graphics/characters/environments are shallow fluff to me, to the point I don't care about them at all, really.  It's the mechanics that keep me coming back...

I agree.
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2006, 10:06:40 PM »

Well, I just got home with it and the massive Doublejump guide.  Play will be commencing soon!
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2006, 12:06:26 AM »

Quote from: Big Jake on August 30, 2006, 10:06:40 PM

Well, I just got home with it and the massive Doublejump guide.  Play will be commencing soon!
Saw that puppy at the store today (Doublejump guide) - love those DJ guides!
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Zarkon
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2006, 01:14:03 AM »

Is it good, you ask?

How's 94% grab you?
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2006, 02:02:46 AM »

Quote from: Zarkon on August 31, 2006, 01:14:03 AM

Is it good, you ask?

How's 94% grab you?

Very nice review!!
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2006, 02:03:30 AM »

I got the guide, but not the game yet.

I'm dumb.
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Big Jake
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2006, 03:11:53 AM »

OK, Just knocked off after a few hours.  Short version - if you liked Disgaea, this is a no brainer.  You *must* own this. 

Cool, Cool, Cool, Cool!! I played throught the tutorials to see if anything was different (it wasn't, so don't bother), the first chapter, and then gutsily tried a dive on a stick of gum to get three coaches.  The item world was so improved it's not even funny.  In getting to level 10 to beat the item general (who was actually quite weak compared to the other dudes on the floor...), I got to visit a cell phone vendor (bought the phone the summon the Defender of the Earth - however, I haven't got to use it yet.), and visit a fortune teller (improve the item level of the item you're in.).  Once exiting Level 10, I was in a open level with a bunch of friendly monsters, and found out each item has it's own dark assembly where you can influence what stats the item is levelling up.  I will post more once I have a chance; right now I'm off to make dinner.
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2006, 04:28:03 AM »

Quote from: Zarkon on August 31, 2006, 01:14:03 AM

Is it good, you ask?

How's 94% grab you?

Grabs me quite well, thank you!

Now where's my effin' package, UPS??
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2006, 02:11:31 PM »

I almost stopped by Gamestop and picked this up last night. I'm such a sucker.

I WILL WAIT FOR MY RENTAL! I WILL WAIT FOR MY RENTAL!
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2006, 02:45:14 PM »

BUY IT!  BUY IT! biggrin
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farley2k
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« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2006, 04:11:58 PM »

I loved the first one but I just never had enough time to commit to it.  The sequel seems to be even longer...so that means it is out for me. 

I really wish they would put out a smaller version of the game (meaning less to do) for those of us who are wimps when it comes to taking on long games.

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« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2006, 05:26:31 PM »

Dude, don't forget to watch the trailer. We prinnies rock, Dude!
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Zarkon
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2006, 05:33:51 PM »

Yeah, I forgot to note in the review that it's the first ever NIS game with an animated opening.

It also has the English trailer for the Disgaea Anime.
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2006, 05:44:49 PM »

i would of picked this up if it was on the ds..but my tv never had time to play the first Disgaea.
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2006, 06:53:38 PM »

"I really wish they would put out a smaller version of the game (meaning less to do) for those of us who are wimps when it comes to taking on long games."
I haven't played it, but Makai Kingdom is a similar game from the same developers, and it's supposed to be much shorter.
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2006, 07:18:06 PM »

Quote from: farley2k on August 31, 2006, 04:11:58 PM

I loved the first one but I just never had enough time to commit to it.  The sequel seems to be even longer...so that means it is out for me. 

I really wish they would put out a smaller version of the game (meaning less to do) for those of us who are wimps when it comes to taking on long games.


They're (weirdly) putting out a port of the first game on the PSP.
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2006, 11:04:42 AM »

Quote from: depward on August 31, 2006, 12:06:26 AM

Quote from: Big Jake on August 30, 2006, 10:06:40 PM

Well, I just got home with it and the massive Doublejump guide.  Play will be commencing soon!
Saw that puppy at the store today (Doublejump guide) - love those DJ guides!

OT, but yeah I have the one for castlevania Dawn of Sorrow, and it is great.
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2006, 04:35:56 PM »

Disgaea for the PSP?!!  Where the heck do I sign up!!!

Edited to add more exclamation points.  !!!!!!!
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2006, 04:39:34 PM »

You know what would make these SRPGs incredible? Multiplayer!
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2006, 01:31:22 AM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on September 01, 2006, 04:39:34 PM

You know what would make these SRPGs incredible? Multiplayer!

I prefer to play them alone.  Then again, I've never played (or have any desire to try) an MMORPG so maybe I'm alone in this.
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« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2006, 02:00:23 PM »

Man.

Got done working a night of Overtime...see the Disgaea 2 strategy guide, pick it up, notice how f'n sexy it is, purchase it.

What have I done, what have I done.  Grabbing the actual game (heh) tomorrow smile
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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2006, 03:52:10 PM »

I knew you'd cave, TML.  icon_twisted
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« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2006, 10:33:16 PM »

Picked up Disgaea 2 on Thursday, and my main impression after about 4 hours.  Too.  Many.  Numbers.

Seriously, there are about 8 million numbers all over every single screen.  I'm having a hell of a time figuring out what affects what, how this relates to that, and how to best manage my characters.  I need to RTFM again, but this is one seriously complex game.  I've heard the guide helps to explain better, but I'm not sure I want to drop another $20.  Mainly because I'm not convinced I'll like it enough even if I do figure it all out.  I understand the combat basics, but my gut feeling is that because I don't understand the relationships between everything, I'm going to screw something up along the way and seriously gimp my characters.  This is what ultimately made me quit the first game after about 25 hours.

I'm really wanting to like it, but I'm having a bitch of a time figuring it all out.  If I can even get to point of determining how to ask, I might post some questions here.
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« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2006, 02:02:39 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on September 03, 2006, 10:33:16 PM

I'm really wanting to like it, but I'm having a bitch of a time figuring it all out.  If I can even get to point of determining how to ask, I might post some questions here.

That is how I always felt, then I also felt like it was a endless game over trying to level up..with no outcome of it.  Don't get me wrong I love the artwork and the humor, but it also bugged me when the fights were so random and had nothing to do with the story. 

I'm sure i'll play one of the games again, hopefully on a portable.
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« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2006, 01:39:52 AM »

Quote from: weleavefossils on September 04, 2006, 02:02:39 PM

Quote from: Gratch on September 03, 2006, 10:33:16 PM

I'm really wanting to like it, but I'm having a bitch of a time figuring it all out.  If I can even get to point of determining how to ask, I might post some questions here.

That is how I always felt, then I also felt like it was a endless game over trying to level up..with no outcome of it.  Don't get me wrong I love the artwork and the humor, but it also bugged me when the fights were so random and had nothing to do with the story. 

I'm sure i'll play one of the games again, hopefully on a portable.

This is 100% how I felt about the first game.
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« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2006, 03:19:07 AM »

There's a crapload more "high end" content in 2, which is to say, there is now much more narrative associated with the high level (level 100+ game).  The "normal" game can still be beaten with level 40-50 characters, but there is now storyline content/scenarios which cater to the 100+ to probably ~500 (I'll have to check the guide to see what the high-end narrative's cap is).

Ultimately, though, Disgaea 2, like all NIS SRPGs, is a roguelike SRPG.  While there is a story and a goal, they take the back seat to advancing your characters and overcoming randomly generated, often extremely difficult, encounters.
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« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2006, 05:06:46 AM »

Put in another couple hours, and I officially give up.  I don't have the time or desire to fight through the learning curve.  There's plenty of other stuff to play that doesn't require hours of trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing.

It's up in the trading forum if anyone wants it.
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« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2006, 02:06:47 PM »

While the advanced (high-end) game (and how to get there) is very complex, what's so hard about the basics?

If you'd never played any SRPG before, I can see how it'd be intimidating, but short of that, it's all very straightforward, save for perhaps the Dark Assembly and the Item World, both of which you don't have to touch (or barely have to touch) to complete the main story...
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« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2006, 04:30:24 PM »

Quote from: -Lord Ebonstone- on September 05, 2006, 02:06:47 PM

While the advanced (high-end) game (and how to get there) is very complex, what's so hard about the basics?

I get the basics, but I know that without understanding the higher-end stuff, I'll end up in the same boat that I did last time:  25 hours in with characters that are so underpowered they can't compete.

Quote
If you'd never played any SRPG before, I can see how it'd be intimidating, but short of that, it's all very straightforward, save for perhaps the Dark Assembly and the Item World, both of which you don't have to touch (or barely have to touch) to complete the main story...

I've played plenty of SRPG's before (FF Tactics, Tactics Ogre, Stella Deus, Disgaea 1), but I'm just having a bitch of a time wrapping my head around this one.  Here's a few things I don't get:

1.  The whole Master-Apprentice thing.  The way I understood it, new recruits are Apprentices of whichever character 'hired' them.  There was something about the Master receiving some of the skills of the apprentice, but how does that work?  Also, do they somehow share XP?

2.  There was a mention of certain characters being tuned to specific weapons, and that you should only have them use those weapons.  How do you tell which weapon they are proficient with?

3.  Do you gain XP from any action, or only from killing enemies?  It seems that some actions give XP during battle, but some others don't.  Also, is there any XP given to the group at the end of battles?  Is XP given for offensive attacks against 'friendly' characters?

4.  How do characters gain additional spells?  I've been using a couple mages up to level 8, and while their one spell is gaining strength (well, gaining a larger range), I can't figure out how to go about getting other spells.

5.  I don't get the whole item 'resident' concept.  The way I get it, if you beat the resident in the Item World, then you can transfer it into other weapons to make them stronger.  Right?  There was also a rather involved bit of explanation about the residents being lawful or unruly or somesuch that made absolutely no sense at all.

Like I said, if I could figure a few of these things out, I may actually enjoy it.  Maybe I'll pull it off the block and give it another shot.  I really do want to like it.
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« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2006, 04:53:13 PM »

All you had to do was ask, dude.   icon_biggrin

Quote from: Gratch on September 05, 2006, 04:30:24 PM

1.  The whole Master-Apprentice thing.  The way I understood it, new recruits are Apprentices of whichever character 'hired' them.  There was something about the Master receiving some of the skills of the apprentice, but how does that work?  Also, do they somehow share XP?
It's just like Disgaea, if you learned it in that.  If not:

When an Apprentice levels up, the Master of that Apprentice gets a stat boost (I don't have the formula in front of me, but I want to say the Master gets 10% of the Apprentice's base stats every time the Apprentice levels).

Additionally, if you position the Master next to his/her Apprentice, the Master gains access to all the Apprentice's spells.  If you cast any of those spells enough times to level the Master's proficiency with the spell from "0" to "1" (I think it takes 10 casts), the Master permanently learns the spell.

Quote
2.  There was a mention of certain characters being tuned to specific weapons, and that you should only have them use those weapons.  How do you tell which weapon they are proficient with?
If you're creating a character, right below its stats you'll see a horizontal row of icons representing the weapon types, and then a letter after each one.  The letters represent the class's or character's innate proficiency with the weapon on a letter-grade scale (ie, A = best, F = worst).  The better a character's proficiency with a weapon, the faster that character gains weapon skill points, which means he'll master special attacks sooner.

Quote
3.  Do you gain XP from any action, or only from killing enemies?  It seems that some actions give XP during battle, but some others don't.  Also, is there any XP given to the group at the end of battles?  Is XP given for offensive attacks against 'friendly' characters?
There are two ways your characters gain XP - one is by participating in a killing blow on an enemy, the other is by being deployed at the end of the map where one of the bonuses you earned on the bonus chart is +XP.  I'm not sure if you can get XP or spell/weapon skill from attacking/killing your own characters -- in most NIS games you can, though if you do it too much, very bad things may happen (spoiler if I said any more).

Quote
4.  How do characters gain additional spells?  I've been using a couple mages up to level 8, and while their one spell is gaining strength (well, gaining a larger range), I can't figure out how to go about getting other spells.
Aside from the Master learning from his/her Apprentice as I noted above, spellcasting characters gain new spells as their level increases.  The range gain you're seeing is spell skill -- the more you use a spell, the more options in terms of area of effect you get.

Quote
5.  I don't get the whole item 'resident' concept.  The way I get it, if you beat the resident in the Item World, then you can transfer it into other weapons to make them stronger.  Right?  There was also a rather involved bit of explanation about the residents being lawful or unruly or somesuch that made absolutely no sense at all.
If you look at an item with Residents, you'll see a little face next to their name -- it's either angry looking or a big smily face.  Angry = "unruly," or more to the point, it means you haven't killed that specialist in the item world yet.  Happy = "lawful," ie, you've cleaned that resident's clock already.

When you kill a Resident in the item world, its listed level doubles and it becomes "lawful," which means you can order it around, ie, you can force it to combine forces with other "lawful" residents of the same type, creating one higher-level resident, or you can force it off one item and onto another, if you want.

Note that you actually have to manage to kill the Resident yourself, though -- it's a third party in the item world, which means hostiles will attack the Resident and it will attack both hostiles and you.  If the hostiles get the killing blow on the Resident, he stays unruly.  If you get the killing blow, he's subdued.
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« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2006, 05:57:25 PM »

Thanks LE.  I pulled it off the trading block for now, and will try it again.  Knowing this info will be a huge help, so we'll see what happens.

A couple more quick questions:

1.  Is there a way to tell what new spells are upcoming at what level?  It would be nice to see what kind of abilities I can expect from certain characters.

2.  Is there a way to change character 'jobs' (a la Final Fantasy Tactics)?  I remember reading something about it in the tutorial stuff, but it seemed rather complex.

3.  What's the best recruitment strategy?  I was going to pick up one of each character type and just keep building them up, but I'm sure there's got to be a better way than that.
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« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2006, 07:31:52 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on September 05, 2006, 05:57:25 PM

1.  Is there a way to tell what new spells are upcoming at what level?  It would be nice to see what kind of abilities I can expect from certain characters.
Mmm, short of the guide (a must-have, 640 pages!) or a FAQ, no.  Here's a short cheatsheet for casters, though:

-Priest-types get several ranks of Healing spells, the status cure spell, and various defensive buffs.  Their spells' power is derived from the RES stat.

-Mage-types get several ranks of their specific nuke, a couple offensive buffs, and a couple debuffs.  Their spells' power is derived from the INT stat.

Mages ('Skulls') come in four different flavors, which determines what kind of elemental damage they do:
-Red Skulls get Fire-based nukes.
-Green Skulls get Wind-based nukes.
-Blue Skulls get Ice-based nukes.
-Prism Skulls get Star (no element)-based nukes.  (You unlock Prism by advancing to a certain level in the three other Skull colors).

Quote
2.  Is there a way to change character 'jobs' (a la Final Fantasy Tactics)?  I remember reading something about it in the tutorial stuff, but it seemed rather complex.
Yes, but it's difficult to do so.  You have to use a process called "reincarnation" (sometimes referred to as "transmigration" also).  Basically, when a character accumulates a certain amount of mana, he can go to the Dark Assembly and spend 200m to be reincarnated as any other kind of creature you're able to recruit (even higher ranks of his original class).  On top of this 200m cost, you have to pay the cost of making a new character.  So reincarnation is limited to those characters who can afford it.

If you've created a character before, you've noticed the different quality level of character you can make, from "Worthless" to "Genius."  Quality level is crucial for reincarnation, because it determines how much of the previous character's spell and weapon skills gets transfered to the new character.  For example, if you had, say, a Male Fighter with 100 sword skill, and you reincarnated him as a "Worthless" Red Skull, the transfer rate is something like 1%, so he'd end up as a Red Skull with only level 1 sword skill!  You'd really be wasting your character that way.  On the other hand, if you used the best quality, Genius, you retain 90% of your old skills, so he'd be a Red Skull with level 90 Sword skill -- much more impressive.

Your stats do reset to a level 1 character's when you reincarnate, but in your reincarnated form, your stats grow faster than they did in your original form.  If you reincarnate again, they grow even faster, and so on.  Your stat growth bonus is a cumulative number which is tied to your character's level at the time he reincarnates.

For example:

1.)  You get a Male Fighter to level 100.  The Male Fighter experiences basic stat growth.
2.)  You reincarnate the Male Fighter to a Red Skull.  The Red Skull keeps a portion of the Male Fighter's skill levels, based on the quality level of the reincarnation.
3.)  You level the Red Skull to 100.   From 1-100, this character experiences enhanced stat growth (100 levels stored).
4.)  You reincarnate the Red Skull to a Priest.  The Priest keeps a portion of the Red Skull's weapon and spell skill levels, based ont he quality level of the reincarnation.
5.)  You level the Priest to 100.  From 1-100, this character experiences twice the stat growth of #3 (200 levels stored).

etc

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3.  What's the best recruitment strategy?  I was going to pick up one of each character type and just keep building them up, but I'm sure there's got to be a better way than that.
That's a subject up for debate and your personal playstyle and goals.  If you intend to keep every character leveled up alongside eachother, reincarnating when new ranks of their class opens, your way is fine.  It's pretty much the FFT-method of leveling, and it works just fine for the main storyline, but it can get really tedious really fast.  On the upside, you can walk right into the endgame/postgame since all your characters have advanced in step.  On the downside, by the end of the game, leveling characters from 1 to whatever is so easy that it might feel like you wasted time keeping everyone together, so to speak.

If you want to be a munchkin, you need to realize that, no matter how many times you reincarnate a created character, the unique characters are still going to have the most potential power in the game, so you could feasibly use recruits just long enough to get a large enough unique character base and/or let the unique characters learn the spells you want from Apprentices.  The difficulty in this approach would be the fact that many of the unique characters are hidden, so you might have a hard time actually getting to them using only uniques.

If you want the fastest way to unlocking all the classes, you should get only the most 'necessary' recruitable types (Priests, Thieves, possibly take the time to get Ninja and/or Magic Knights) and use them + unique characters to reach one of the many 'powerleveling' stages in the main storyline.  Then you powerlevel this core team to a level where the powerleveling stage is child's play.  Once that's done, start recruiting the classes you ignored before and start taking them to the powerlevel stage with your super-team.  They'll level up fast, you'll unlock the uber classes, and you can springboard onto the next powerlevel plateau, the endgame, or the post-game.

Honestly, my advice to you is just to play the game -- your method will appear, and it will be viable.  If you can keep everyone in step and you're enjoying it, do it.  If Adell is getting the lion's share of killing blows and starting to outlevel everyone, that's fine too, strap your best gear on him and tear shit up.  Most of all, don't be afraid to "exploit."  If you come across something in the game that makes you go "WOW, I could really level/skill up FAST with that!," USE IT!  The game expects you to! 
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