Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
Atlus
Developer
Nippon Ichi
Genre
Strategy RPG
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Comic Mischief, Mild Language, Mild Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Great sound track, voice acting, and spell effects
• It takes you about five to ten minutes to get used to everything
• A lot of replay value

The Bad

• Graphics are very outdated
• No save options in Item World

 
Grade
A

I never really imagined that a Strategy RPG can be this fun. Heck, I was even surprised that I spent over 40 hours into this game the first week I bought it. I did lose at least 15 hours of sleep but I was able to unlock a new class and that alone is very satisfying but sort of useless. I guess what really drawn me into this little cult-classic was it's amazing soundtrack featuring Tsunami Bomb. Again, I was surprised that the soundtrack wasn't its main attraction that kept me playing. It was this simple yet effective and fun battle system.

You basically start off unleashing your mini army of demons (and an angel) to fight off other demons in this little world called Netherworld. You can make team attacks by aligning your team the correct way or keep attacking the same monster with other characters for combos, you then select "End Turn" and now watch the havoc begin. While doing this or other types of spells, you can gain more bonuses after defeating the stage by filling up your bonus gauge. You would think that this game's battle system is very confusing but after spending 5-10 minutes in the tutorial, you're pretty much ready to go level up your characters and become an overlord.

The story is pretty unique. It's not your basic RPG story where boy meets girl, fall in love, then save the day. In Disgaea, you are an anti-hero who must protect his kingship from other "overlord wannabes" trying to take over the Netherworld. It seems not much but as you play, you continue the story of Laharl, the demon world and the angel world.

Like I said before, the main reason I bought this game was because of the soundtrack. Well everything I expected is here. Tsunami Bomb is perfect for this game. Their song is an absolute blast, especially when it's playing during a boss battle. The sound track isn't the only thing good about this game. The voice attacking is truly one of the best I've heard for a video game and works very well especially when funny little comments are made.

The graphics in this game may disappoint a lot of people, but who really cares? Grand Theft Auto 3 was a great game with mediocre visuals and if you enjoyed that because of the spectacular game play, then you'll like Disgaea [I'm assuming that you like RPG's or strategy games of course]. If there's one good thing about the visual aspects of this game, it's the spell effects. Everyone likes seeing 100 foot tall dragons come out and shoot at you with its magic beam or how ever you call it.

Truly, this game has one of the best play mechanics I've ever experience. Maybe it's just me but this is the first RPG strategy game I've played and I was really impressed with the game play. You, as the main character, level-up along with your created army and fight the demon fiends in your world. As you level up your created characters, you unlock more classes of humanoids or better characters of the same class. You then get the chance to customize them with different items (rare, legend or common) to increase their stats. There is also this fun little option with a built-in Senate for you to pass bills - like more expensive or cheaper items, more experience, different types of items, and etc. You also get the chance to bribe the senators to favor your side or beat the living crap out of them.

Replay wise, you'll be playing this game for a long time or even when the sequel comes (that is if there will be a sequel). Leveling up you characters will take most of the time you are playing this game, followed by visiting Item world, where you go level up your items, then finally progressing the story of your kingship. Either way, you'll have fun for a long period and will satisfy your RPG cravings.

All in all, Disgaea is pure immature fun with a story. You will like the comic mischief and the spell effects along with the sound track and voice acting. I simply cannot think of anything wrong with this game other than the visuals. It would have really been great to see computer-generated characters walking around and using that amazing voice acting in the game in cut scenes. It would have really rivaled that which Square Enix has been known for in their games. But who am I to complain - I love Disgaea and it is a shame this game will most likely remain a cult classic.

- - Earl Ferrer

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