Review by reomax

Reviewed: 04/14/04

One of the greatest SRPG's ever made.

Disgaea:hour of darkness is a whacked out acid trip of a game complete with exploding penguins,angel assassins,horse Weiner and more crazy-ness than you can shake a stick at . Originally released in Japan in 2001 Disgaea is the love child of Nippon ich,riding the success of La Pucelle: Tactics hit it big with this unforgettable trip to the netherworld.

Story

You start out as a demon prince named Laharl, who has accidentally overslept a few hundred years only to find his father dead and a horde of power hungry demons trying to steal the throne,what self respecting demon would just stand by and let that happen . Starting with only a few loyal followers laharl sets out to kill all that would try to take what is rightfully his(in this case the throne),on the way you will meet a plethora of demented,insane or just plane weird allies and when you need some extra help you could just create an army from scratch to do your bidding.

Gameplay

Now that you have started its time to create some allies,the character creation system is as easy to use as it is deep,to start there are four class's to chose from Male and female brawler(aka:fist users),male and female Warrior( aka:standard sward user),red-green-blue Mage's(aka:standard magic caster),male and female cleric(aka:healer),depending on how much mana spent you will be given X-amount of points do use to begin beefing up there stats,add a name and you are well on your way to creating your fist character.Now on to mana,mana is the means to the end,whether you are creating a super strong character or passing Bills at the black Congress,mana is what makes it all possible. mana like experience is gained by killing opponents ether in a story map or item world,but now I am getting ahead of myself...

Much like most SRPG disgaea's maps are made up of grids that vary in size any were from 2X2(stupid item world) to 164X224 monster maps that take up to one hour to clear and also like most SRPG's Disgaea is turn based,use the cursor to order up to ten characters on the field at one time.Disgaea uses the standard point and click menu driven battle system,from which you can order anything from standard attacks, movement, defense, skills or thowing.At first the battle system seems almost simple but with Hundreds of different skills and spells,thousands of items, a 9999 LV cap(wow!) and twelve class's each with five sub-class's you are looking a large time investment if you hope to unlock everything,mostly due to the incredibly addictive item world . Every item in the game,anything from a piece of gum to the strongest sword,is its own 30-100 floor dungeon,that gets progressively harder(almost insanely hard)with every passing level,on top of that you have the item god to deal with at the 100'th floor.With every level you go down you increase the stats of the weapon/healing item/ piece of armor , coupled with the fact that it takes about four hours to clear a 100 floor item, you have one of the most ingenuous and addictive item systems ever crafted.

Now on to the black Congress,you will learn to fear and hate them over the course of the game,they are a group of your peers(super strong demons)that dictates what you are allowed to do, whether you are trying to open a optional dungeon or getting better stuff to buy at the shop you have to keep them happy,by ether bribing them with items,hoping they pass your proposal by chance or(and my personal favorite) FORCE,but since they are ALWAYS stronger than you,well not always but it sure feels that way sometimes,you will be there ***** for most of the game.

But to do that you will need to get stronger and to get stronger you will need to kill....lots and lots of killing, with a level cap of 9999 and some overly tuff story maps(as well as the item world) you can and will be clearing loads of maps just to gain a few easy levels.
Most of the Uber weapons in the game must be stolen by a super strong thief(of corse that means more leveling up),it all most seems unfair but the reward far out ways the time it takes to gain the necessary levels.

Graphics

From a technical stand point the game looks terrible ,pixilated sprites is about all you get,all the maps look the same, leading me to believe that Nippon ich spent most of there time tweaking gameplay virtually forgetting to add anything that would even resemble a good LOOKing game.But with that sed, the skill and spells look great most have a cool anime flare to them.Its not like RPG are suppost to look all that great and the failure in the graphics department does not hurt the overall game in any way.

Sound

Music has always been a large part of RPG and Disgaea does not disappoint, with the band ''Tsunami bomb'' supplying an exclusive track for the game,other than that the music is a somewhat mixed bag ranging from ''freaking great'' to ''what.....I don't remember music'' but its mostly the ''freaking great'' stuff.The voice acting is....well,not that great.....I don't know why it did not work out..its not that big of a deal and in the end it does not take away from the game in the least.

Play Time

Disgaea is about the length of an average RPG 30 hours to complete all the story maps,but completing everything this game has to offer is a entirely diforant story,to truely do everythig you are looking at 110-150 hours of gameplay*remembers 12 hour uber item world run*.

Final Recommendation

Buy,Buy,Buy,Definitely one of the funnest gaming experiences I have had in quite a wile,even my RPG hating friend found disgaea enjoyable .I mean come on, I have 125 hours on my save file and with my 50$ investment that come's out to 40 cents an hour.The item world alone is worth 50$........you really can't lose.

Summery

+Wild and crazy story.
+Insanely addictive.
+Item world is great.
+loads of item options.
+Exploding penguins.....among other things.
+incredibly Fun.

-Weak Graphics.
-story may be TOO odd for some people.
-Some music tracks just do not fit.
-weak voice acting
-the game has to end at some point....

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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