Monday, May 30, 2005

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

GGenre: Roleplaying Game / Strategy
Platform: Playstation 2
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Demoncaller777's Description:
A huge hit in Japan , Disgaea: Hour of Darkness follows the misadventures of the young prince Laharl and his rag-tag army as they battle demons and foul creatures for supremacy over the Netherworld.

SRPG at it's finest. >>> by Demoncaller777
I'm not actually sure why I bought this game, now that I think of it, but I know that I am a better person because of it. This game is hands-down the best SRPG (Strategy Role-Playing Game, BTW) I've ever played, and I'm no n00b to SRPG's. Actually, SRPG's are probably my second favorite genre, and I still stand behind my initial statement. This game is that good. You won't find a deeper SRPG. It's actually difficult to get tired of playing this game. I'll find myself coming back to play it months later to find that there is something else I want to do in it. Try a new class, level up a weapon, strengthen a previously weak character, try to beat the game on a harder difficulty, anything. Also, you must understand, I've done everything there is to be done in this game (I.E. beat the final extra boss), and I still want to play it.

Gameplay/battlesystem: If you've ever played Final Fantasy Tactics, you should already be comfortable with the setup. It's a simple grid system, where you move, attack or wait. However, this game is much more complicated than FFT for many reasons, the main being the Geopanel affecting the ground you stand on. It can do anything from make an enemy or an ally invincible; gain more money or EXP, stronger, and many other statuses. You can use the geopanels to make huge map clearing combos, too, which can earn items as bonuses. Besides that, there is the system in which weapons are powered up. To level up any weapon you must go inside it and clear a floor of enemies, or just speed to the gate of every level. Also, there could be enemies in your weapons that help boost the strength of your weapon, and if you kill them, they will strengthen your weapon even more. Weapons are really only for teaching techniques. No weapon is more effective in a situation than another type of weapon. The power of a weapon is really only dependant on the level. There is just too much to talk about in this category for me to put in a single review. Just buy the game. Everything is explained in an easy fashion which is very easy to pick up. Everything clicks. Trust me on this: It'll all make sense when you play it.

Story: The story is not the most impressive part of the game. Don't get me wrong, the story is fantastic, it's just that almost everything else in the game is so mind-blowing that the story is dwarfed. The story in a nutshell is this: Laharl is the new king of the Netherworld. Heaven wants to take out the Netherworld, thinking that they're weaker now that the powerful king is dead. Laharl wants to prove to everybody that he is just as good, if not a better king than his father. He meets many allies and even more enemies on the way, and through teamwork they can win the day! (Note: Teamwork sucks. Laharl himself can easily plow through the entire story without a hitch. Any single character could. An army seems like overkill.) A lot of chapters don't really have to do with the story, but are very fun and interesting, anyway.

Visuals: Now this is the least impressive part of the game. This game features graphics that could have been done on the PS1 at launch. Usually the magic or attack effects would be where they put the visual charm, but not in this game. There is no point in which the graphics are better looking than any other PS2 SRPG. Nippon Ichi has a reputation for crappy graphics, but games that are simply breathtaking. They have their priorities straight, however. This game is so good that graphics aren't necessary to win over the crowd. As I said before: Buy the game. You'll understand then.

Characters: The characters in this game are lovable, original, interesting, and unlike most things seen in any other game. From a young Overlord with a serious ego problem, to an angel trainee willing to do anything to show that demons can love, to a delightfully witty vassal who is always willing to take the King down a notch, to the most egotistical guy on the planet....who really can back it up, but all the main characters keep insulting him, eventually naming him Mid-boss. Also, there are penguins. Well not actually. The Prinnies are sinners who are forced into the Netherworld to work until their sins are repaid. The look like penguins with peg-legs....Actually, They ARE penguins with peg-legs.

Sound: The sound is fine. Not the best, but in no way the worst. They did use a song from the band "Tsunami Bomb" for one level, which I found to be interesting. Some songs are very catchy, but most are forgettable.

Replay Value: There is too much to do in this game. I wish I could put a level higher than 10 on the rating thing for my review, but I can't.

I can't imagine doing everything that could be done in this game, which is saying quite a bit for a SRPG. Once you finish the Story, you can replay the it with your current leveled characters, you can play the extra maps, you can get all the highest level weapons (Including the Godly Yoshitsuna) and level them up, you can get all the classes, moves, weapon levels, characters, then beat all the levels on higher difficulties, and so much more. I can't stress enough. If you want something that you will never get bored of buy this game.

DIFFICULTY: Moderate - Difficult
COMPLETION TIME: 100 hours at least
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: Lv.5200 (With 17000 levels transmigrated)
RATINGS: Gameplay 10; Battle 10; Story 7; Visuals 6; Characters 10; Sounds 7; Replay Value 10

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