Review by CalypsoPSO

Reviewed: 08/29/03

Finally a sRPG that lives up to the hype; or lack thereof.

Story: You’re a demon, and your daddy has kicked the bucket while you were taking a long nap (2 years to be exact). And while the grown ups are away the kids will play. Many demons have tried to take over power in your absence, and now its up to you to put them in their place. The story has its twists and turns along the way, but it never becomes tired. The way the story is presented is very comical nature, but in all it does not deter from the gameplay, and is in fact a very fresh take in general for a genera that is weighed down with a plethora of games that take themselves to seriously. The first time you hear a Prinny yell ''DOOOOOOD'' while flying through the heavens, I guarantee you will be hooked.


Gameplay: This is where Disgaea really shines. I have yet to see a game with such wide variety of side quests than this one. First and foremost is the ''Dark Assembly'', which is basically who you need to go to to get anything done in this game. You can do anything, from power up your characters, to creating more allies, to powering up the items sold in shops, heck you even have to ask them if you want to raise the power of the creeps in levels, and to go fight bonus bosses. Next is the ''Item World''. You see ever item in the game has its own world within, and the only was to unlock the true potential of these items is to fight your way deeper and deeper into them. Be wary though, as the farther in you go, the harder the enemies become. And if this didn't seem like enough already, you have barely even began to scratch the surface. Every level in the game can be replayed whenever you feel the need. Which is almost always needed with the wide variety of both human and monster job classes, you will constantly find yourself wanting to try new classes almost ever time a new chapter starts. And don't fear about having to unlock everything in the first run through, because Atlus was kind enough to add a New Game+ just for all us completion freaks.


Battles: Another strong point of the game. Disgaea takes the old turn based formula and twists mangles it into what I can only describe as the freshest take on turn based battling this side of Final Fantasy 10. First off is the fact that everyone on your team acts at once, that means that you will have 10 (yes 10!) people to move as you choose around the battlefield however you like. To add even more variety, depending on where your allies are situated, and a variety of other factors, you have a chance to do team attack. Not only does it look cool when you team decided to play a little game a volleyball with the dungeon boss, it actually boosts the damage done! Another new innovation is Geo Panels. These appear on the battle field and give a wide variety of effects to either you or your enemies. If you don’t like a certain Geo's effect, you can always destroy it, but be wary as destroying them sets off chain reactions that can be as fatal, as they are helpful depending on where you are standing on the field. Other innovations are Bonus Points; which are accumulated by attacking, and used to gain bonus items, Throwing; which can allow you to cover great distances, or combine enemies to make 1 powerful enemy, and Special Attacks, which are chock full of eye candy, and powerful if used right! Though is seems like a lot, one of the greatest things is that you do not need to know how to utilize any of these things to beat the game, but to master it, you will.


Graphics: I have yet to see an sRPG yet score well in this category. Disgaea comes very close. The 2-d sprites are beautiful, and Atlus does a great job portraying emotions with them. The still frame 2-d graphics in the story modes are as beautiful as they come. Enemy designs are great, but I have never been a fan of pallet swapping, and this game does it just a bit to much for my taste. The battlefields look like they could of been used in late PSX games, but overall the designs are nice, and you will not be dissatisfied by the way they are presented. Attacks on the other hand were not skimped on. Just imagine Dragon Ball Z times 10, and you will get close to how over the top some of these attacks are. The greatest part is that there is no annoying slowdown that has bogged down some other games in the past. As a whole the graphics in this game are presented very well, and do not detract from the bigger picture at all, in fact in most parts they add to the over-the-topness of this game.


Music/Sound: Personally this is where the game fell short to me. I think the music is a bit to happy for the game. None of the tunes are particularly worth mentioning, and I have yet to find myself humming any of them in my sleep as I do for other games. On that note, the music doesn't ever become too annoying, and blend in to the background well. The English dub is done quite well, and even if you don’t enjoy it you can always slip over to Japanese, if your into that sort of thing. Battle cried can become somewhat repetitious, but, in the same way it is always fun to listen to the ''Doods'', and ''Punks'' before an enemy suffers a humiliating defeat.


Rent or Buy: Buy for sure, a rental is not enough to even begin to get into this game.

Overall 9/10 One of the greatest games I have ever played in my life. If this game is to set the tone for the direction that sRPG's are going to take for the next 5 years, I am very pleased indeed.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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