Review by Bigmeatdoay
Finally, a strategy game for and by crazy people!
Ah, Japan. The land of Pocky, cosplay, and the Yellow Submarine. In this magical land, many video games are created by dedicated developers, who work day in, day out, to please your inferior gaming desires. Many of these games come to America. These games range from Zelda, to Final Fantasy, to Mega Man. But, what about the multitude of games that are just way too Japanese to come over to our side of the Pacific?
Unless you are able to read Japanese (I sure can't), you will not be able to enjoy these macabre, innovative, and often downright amzing games.
That, my homies, is why it is such a pleasure to see Disgaea: Hour of Darkness here in America. But let's dive right on in.
All Laharl, Prince of the Underworld wanted was a nice nap. But it ran a little long. Now, 200 years later, Laharl wakes up to find that his father is dead and it is time to whup some ass and defend what is rightfully his from the demonic hordes.
Also featuring exploding penguins, clueless angels, and the newest incarnation of the Power Rangers.
Weird like a beard, man.
The story is a brilliant parody of anime culture, though, as I will mention a few times in this review, the story just ain't another Final Fantasy.
Deal with it.
Learn to love it.
Let's face it, not every game is a Final Fantasy, with flashy cut-scenes and painstakingly rendered bushy tails (looking at you, Zidane). Disgaea is certainly no Final Fantasy in this respect either, and makes no attempts at pretending that it is. As such, the game features simple graphics that, though unimpressive, get their point across. You will be treated to some trippy sprites and spell effects, but that is just about it.
Here, we get to the bulk of the game. The strategy here is deep, deep, deep. Mastering this game is an undertaking I doubt many can bear on their shoulders. But the basics are this: You get a party of ten, and you face monsters and rival demons. At the start, you get basic classes: Warrior, Cleric, Red Mage, Et cetera. But later on, when you level up into the thousands (yes, thousands) you get some especially neat classes. But I won't spoil them for you.
Strategy also features a panel system that influences what your character and enemies do when they stand on certain spaces in the battle grid. This system, too, has oodles of depth if you are willing to think a little.
But that brings me to another point on this game. It can be overwhelming, right from the start. Many gamers WILL be intimidated and quickly give up. But if you are able to work your way through the game until you comprehend it, you will have nothing but fun.
I love Disgaea not because it gets everything right (it doesn't.) I love Disgaea because of what it tries to do differently. This game deserves to be a classic.
Won't you try to love Disgaea too?
*So Happy Together plays in the background*
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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