[Game Review] Disgaea PC

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2 years ago

The Journey Of The Prince Of Demons Who Strives To Rule 'em All By Exploiting The Battle System, Along With His Vassal & An Angel.

Disgaea PC is a port of the first game in the series, published by NISA. First released on PlayStation 2 as Disgaea Hour of Darkness... This port includes HD graphics (with the old graphics as option.) And extra content. I talked about this game on steemit more than once and finally here's my Review.

Gameplay & Graphics

Disgaea is a turn-based tactical game. In battle you control your whole party every turn. It's quite different than other strategy games (e.g. Fire Emblem & Tactics Ogre.) Disgaea's the iconic Lift/Throw mechanic allows you to move your characters and enemies along the map.

There's also a puzzle aspect in Disgaea. The series exclusive Geo Panels add effects to some positions on the map making this game play like a puzzle.

The stats (levels and equipment) play a bigger role than strategy in this game, so grinding is necessary. You can reach level 9999!! (The main story can be beaten around level 90. Post story content requires insane levels.) Everything can be leveled up! (From characters to items & even enemies.) Leveling items can be done in procedural generated maps called Item World.

The tactical battle system comes with a lot of loop-holes to abuse. (E.g. Only player characters can Lift/Throw. You can abuse your enemies inability to do that.) That doesn't make the battle's easier. The game expects you to abuse these loop-holes and the difficulty reflects that.

Graphic-wise, Disgaea isn't that impressive. (Even when the PS2 version released a decade and half ago, it wasn't impressive.) That doesn't mean Disgaea isn't pretty. Despite using PS1-era-like sprites & low poly 3D maps, the game is awesome to play. The Character Design (and their story art) is so good it makes you forget that they are small sprites with limited set of poses.

Story and Characters

The story starts with Laharl, a demon Prince who slept for two years. His vassal Etna woke him up to tell him about his father's death while he was asleep. Laharl decided to be the next Overlord as the heir of the throne.

At the same time the clumsy angel Flonne was sent to Assassinate the overlord. After her encounter with Laharl, she learned that her target is dead, it was his father and he doesn't care. She decided to prove to him that even demons could love.

The story of Disgaea is a fun ride. It's compromised of Thirteen episodes and will make you journey all over the Netherworld. Sometimes even other worlds. In the first half, every episode is its own story, but it the overarching story takes off in the second half. While short, it doesn't feel rushed. Disgaea doesn't take its story too seriously. When it does, the serious parts stand out.

Disgaea has a bleak premise: The main character is a Villain. Despite that, the story focuses on a lot of positive themes like justice and friendship and LOVE.

All the characters are unique and interesting. They are tropey but all of their quirks are too over-the-top to call them generic! All of them have well thought-out personalities & motivations.

Other than the main trio (Laharl, Etna & Flonne.) There are the cute penguin-like creatures: Prinnies. The rival of Laharl unfortunately named: Mid-boss. Of course I shouldn't forget: CAPTAIN GORDON, DEFENDER OF EARTH.

There's No Fourth Wall

The characters in this game know about the leveling/stats system. In many cases they imply that they know they're in a game. One character is referred only by the name Mid-boss. (Yup, he has a real name, but even the game's interface refer him as such.)

Laharl has that 'main character confidence.' While he doesn't do it in the main story, he's known for abusing his main character privileges. Flonne is an anime otaku. She gets easily excited on concepts like justice and GIANT ROBOTS.

Between chapters there's always "In the next episode" section narrated by Etna. She says things that would be spoilers if it weren't for how much she exaggerates. She also tends to put ANIME tropes in random places in her "next episode" previews.

Oh, did I mention the NPC that rambles about multiple endings?

Etna's Mode & Disgaea PC Extras

Disgaea PC added a lot of improvements. The HD graphics mentioned above. All the content of Disgaea: The Afternoon of Darkness including Disgaea 2 characters (acquired post game) and Etna Mode.

Etna Mode is a what if? Scenario in which Etna accidentally kills Laharl instead of waking him up. The story follows her journey as she tries to become the new overlord and regain her memories.

I thought it was easy to unlock after you finish the game but I soon realized it's tricky to unlock this mode.

For true fans of Disgaea series, post-game content is the real game. The story can be beaten while your party level is on 80-average. After the main story, there are many characters, endings and maps to unlock. To get some of the endings you have to reach insane levels +1000. I only got the the two normal, best and bad endings (because the timeline of the series ) after playing the game three times.

Funny, But Serious When It Counts

Disgaea parodies many things. Almost everything is NOT taken seriously, almost every other thing is taken TOO Seriously which leads to many laughs.

Despite that, some scenes hit the feels. They're tragic, awesome and/or moving that it makes you feel you're right there with the characters.

  • I Highly Recommend this game or any game in the series: the order doesn't matter (Unless the direct sequel "Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness," play this first.) If you're looking for a comedy game that has some deadly serious parts. If you enjoy anime or if you're looking for a puzzle game disguised as pure strategy.

  • I Don't Recommend: for people who can't stand grinding (Unless you're amazing strategist, you'll need grinding a lot to proceed.) and this game takes too much time out of you... The first run will probably take you around 40-60 hours to beat, but if only played the main story without grinding (New Game+ for example) it should take less than 15 hours.

What do you think?

This article is rewritten. The original version was published on Steemit in 2017.

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