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Disgaea DS
Disgaea DS
Published by AlloftheAbove
Author review
Average N/A%
Smilie Waluigi Disgaea DS

There can be no doubt about it. Disgaea DS is undoubtedly
hardcore. One of the deepest RPGs anywhere, let alone on
the DS. It's a demanding game hidden under a deceptively
cute exterior which reveals new facets even tens of hours
in. In fact, the game's biggest strength could also be its
weakness. Much of it - humour, options, menus, ideas - is
uncompromising in its presentation, and patience is required
to get around it.

If this is the first time you've considered playing a traditional
Japanese RPG, you should know that you've probably
picked one of the trickiest to get your head around. Though,
that's not to say that you shouldn't bother with this game.
Not by a long shot. One you become accustomed to it,
you'll find that Disgaea isn't rocket science. ...More like car
mechanics. Once you get the hang of it, it can be profitable.
When you put the time into it, you can keep playing it
almost indefinitely.

I played a little of Disgaea when it was on PS2, and from
what I remember, that game has been entirely shoehorned
into this little plastic cartridge. That's a brilliant effort, but I
think some concessions could have been made to its new
home. While the tutorials are thorough, they're a bit like
sitting through an algebra lecture. You just drift off after a
while and you find yourself having to refer back to technique
guides later on, so it might have made sense to rejig the
tuts in order to make them more appealing. It's a minor
fault, though.

The top screen, too, which houses the map, is basic and can
almost be ignored for all the use it is - and when you're
wandering through the hub world, it just stays blank.
Considering all the information that is packed into the
bottom screen, I think the screen above could and should
have been put to much better use.

The basic gameplay works like this: You explore the hub
world, buying items and talking to characters to get a
background story and some gameplay hints and tips. Then,
you stop through a doorway leading to one of countless
battles set across an isometric grid. Turn-based, these
battles can be fought using one party member at a time, or
using the whole lot. You can assign commands and save
them all up until the end of your turn, or execute them as
you dish them out. Experimentation is really the key here,
as coupling characters up and trying out different attack
sequences yields varying results, and of course you can do it
as many times as you want. The replayability value,
something seemingly forgotten about by most games
developers, is immense.

Just when you think you've figured out the battle system,
along come the geo symbols to throw another proverbial
spanner into your mindworks. It's a game within a game,
which can be ignored if you wish, that adds yet another
layer of strategy. Each map has a number of coloured geo
panels - friend and foe, for better or worse. They can also
be destroyed, taking out anyone standing on the
corresponding blocks. Get all that? Good, I'm not even sure
I did.

There's so, so much more in this game. Honestly, although I
lost about half of you readers by the second paragraph, I
could go on for hours without even having scratched the
surface of one of the game's many layers. Even days of
playing it yourself won't. It's a lot to take in. But it's hella fun
giving it a proper playthrough. Just be sure to have your
headache tablets at the ready!

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By Megas75 on 01-19-2011, 10:07 PM
Nice review, I've been wanting to play these games for a while
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By Holysnap on 01-29-2011, 07:18 AM
sounds interesting but definitley not my type of game. i can barely handle rpgs at the best of times...and this just seems a bit too deep for me
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