Disgaea 3: Review
When Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention was announced for the vita, I was a little hesitant at first. With Disgaea 3 being released back in 2008, I was worried it could be over shadowed by the release of Disgaea 4 on PS3. Being the fan boy that I am, I decided to level up my demons and dive deep into Disgaea 3, so Hard Resets lovely readers can hopefully decide if its truly worth revisiting the Nether World.
For those who haven’t played Disgaea 3, it’s a strategy/grid dungeon crawler that you can (and will) sink hundreds of hours into. I had clocked over a hundred hours already on the vita version, without even scratching into the storyline. This doesn’t mean that the storyline is everlasting, but rather I spent so much time just leveling up, due to wanting to see what characters I could create. After completing the first section of the storyline, which acts as a tutorial, you gain access to the “ Item World”, and this is where I truly feel Disgaea excels as a game.
Each item within Disgaea has demons living inside them. By entering the Item world, you actually enter the selected item, offering you the chance to defeat the demons to transform them into stats. Although this seems simple, the true customization comes by trading the demons onto other items, stacking them up and creating stats that could hit the 99999 barriers. With swords, axes, guns and bows (to name a few), the variety of weapons is astonishing, offering each player a different style of play.
With hours sunken into leveling up that perfect item, choosing who will use it is another task entirely. This is where the customization comes back into play, offering more characters then I could easily count. Each character has sub classes, such as Rogue into Assassin or Gunsmith, which are unlocked by leveling up different characters. On top of these class style characters, you also have demons, which come in all shapes and sizes. The demons all have unique movies, which makes you want to unlock every single one.
So you have the perfect character/demon and the perfect weapon, and this is only scratching the surface. Each move can be combo with other moves, offering new moves. For instance you could use a Sword move combined with a Gun move to create a new move. These new moves aren’t saved, so you have to remember which combos together for the highest damage, but you quickly find your favorites to offer maximum damage.
With so much detail within the battles and customization, it’s easy to see why I had sunk so much time into just leveling up. It never feels like a chore when entering the item world, but rather an experience, one that you never know what might happen. New portals can open in the item world, taking you in different directions, rather then just grinding through to the end. Pirates might attack and pillage your item, or you could pillage their pirate ship – anything truly can happen within these battles.
The storyline within Disgaea 3 is fantastic, offering addictive chapters and comedy that truly shines. You play as Lord Mao, the son of overlord, air to the throne of the Nether world. After Mao’s father tramples his comic and video game collection, Mao decide his father has gone too far and plots to kill him – by becoming a HERO! The main comedic value of Disgaea, is that within the Nether World, Bad is good and good is bad, so to become an honor student within the school that Disgaea is set, you must ignore all your lectures and generally be as evil as possible. When Mao decides to become a Hero, this causes other delinquents to follow Mao and help on his adventure to become a Hero. The characters within Disgaea 3 each have unique personallites, from the Hero who gets turned into a demon – to the chef who cooks himself in food to understand his dishes. Each character is also stunningly voiced, with over the top voice acting which compliments its almost pantomime style comedy. Although some of the voice may not be for everyone, I enjoyed each character, never turning the sound down when a slightly more cringe worthy voice was played.
Throughout this review, I have only talked about Disgaea 3, but does this really warrant buying it for the Vita?
In Honesty, I would say yes. The OLED screen makes the colors pop off the screen, complimenting to the almost comic book style Disgaea is known for. Although I am not a fan of the touch screen, it does work extremely well in combat, which helps move the battles along slightly more fluid. Battles also look more alive, with new animations and character reactions; everything feels like it was built for this handheld rather then ported.
This being said, if you have played through Disgaea 3 on the ps3, this is almost an exact replica, although with the added bonus of all the DLC already included. If you’re like me, who enjoyed Disgaea but never found the time to truly enjoy the depth, the vita version is perfect, offering you the ability to level up on the goes means you may reach that illusive – lvl 99999. To put this in perspective, I have played over a hundred hours, and my highest lvl character is 70, with each level becoming more difficult.
For Fans old and new, I truly recommend Disgaea 3 : Absence of Detention. Although it should be classed as a remake, I can honestly say it’s not only the best version available, but also one of the best games on the Vita at the moment.