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Disgaea DS, careful what you ask for because you just might get it!
Feb 23, 2010
by Reuben Gathright
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Rich selection of character classes, customizable armor and weapons, immersive gameplay
Cons:French instruction manual, 3D perspective renderings not as good as PSP version, controls
The Bottom Line: A safe buy for any purist RPG gamer, no other single Nintendo DSi game offers the same replay ability and challenge that Disgaea Afternoon Of Darkness can.
Disgaea Afternoon Of Darkness for the Nintendo DSi Matte Black has captured my full attention since I received it a week ago. Every waking moment of free time has been spent collecting item specialists and battling the zombies in this marvelous little game by NIS America. The dual screens of the Nintendo’s famed console make interacting with this game a snap to interact with quickly. What are the differences between this edition and the PSP game? Read on to find out!
Recommend this product?
Laharl, the star character, has woken from a long sleep to find that he is now the ruler of the underworld. He is being challenged by numerous demons and even angels are coming down to assassinate him. Your goal in this game is to guide Laharl through the trials and tribulations of several story driven battles to help him show his true power. Disgaea is loaded with witty dialogue that will have you laughing as you play along with this unique free form role playing game.
Opps! My instruction manual came inside an English labeled box, written in French! If you can read it, there are 34 pages worth of coverage on topics like the in-game menus and battle sequence controls. While it may seem insignificant to the advanced gamer, the wrong instruction manual does affect new players. For this reason, I deducted one star from my overall rating of this product.
Disgaea is at its heart a role playing game that rewards experience points for defeating enemy characters in a turn based grid environment. From here, you begin to stray off into the never ending world of features and options that make this game so addictive. The monsters and environment can be randomized when visiting the item world so that you never play with the same grid layout. The amount of spells or special powers available to your main character Laharl are near limitless due to the ability to inherit abilities from other players. You can improve the base stats of items or just add to them by assigning specialists. Character powers are affected by the items they equip and their
One of my biggest problems with this game was learning the controls on the Nintendo DSi. The D pad cursor functions are non standard to almost all other games on this platform and will require a little time for you to adjust to. The good news is that 10 hours of play later, I was maneuvering my characters around this game like a professional demon slayer.
While, you can beat the game without visiting any of the sections listed below, utilizing them will add many more hours of entertainment value. From discovering secret levels to unlocking powerful characters, each of these features can be used to tailor a gaming experience that best suits your role playing desires.
The Dark Assembly
Rather than entering cheat codes, we are given the ability to unlock features of this game through approval of a group of monster senators. You can bribe the senators to approve your request for more counter attacks for challenge the opposition to fight to the death in this interesting twist on politics.
The Item World
Disgaea allows you to upgrade any item by completing levels in the Item World. The rules governing how much an item can be upgraded a lengthy but a short summary would say that anything can have its power doubled by completing just ten levels of its Item World. Inside the Item World are random numbers of monsters and even level layouts which makes gameplay very interesting. Your party also gains experience by defeating these monsters which creates a cycle of gaming that can go on for hours.
You can check on your completion rate of the various levels in the game here. The game is loaded with numerous items that also have special rarity levels with them so collecting them will never stop. I keep track of my game play progress in this section of the game and find it useful for getting every possible bit out of my experience.
Mastering Your Statistician
You are going to soon realize that there is more to this game than leveling up your party members or visiting the Dark Assembly. If you really want to challenge yourself and create a powerful group of battle veterans here is a quick guide. You can visit the Item World at anytime in this game. In the beginning, get Master specialists to increase your SP for using board high power spells that are at least 8 squares wide. The larger spells will wipe out hoardes of enemy using just two Red Mages. Now aquire Statiscians (cannot replicate like other specialists) to a count of 300 per character (the limit of usefulness) to rocket up through the levels of your character. Once your entire party is at the security of high levels, you can visit and defeat the Item World of Legendary Items (contain 100 levels) to turn them into powerful weapons or armor.
Disgaea DS uses an orthogonal perspective to guide you around a true three dimensional gaming world. Unless you are in one of the character or item management screens, the game is going to use this perspective which is quite appealing after just a few hours of play. You can adjust the camera angles using either the side panels or the nifty little, menu bar on the right side of the touch screen. The Nintendo DSi does a faithful job of keeping up with me while doing this only causing a slight flicker as you rotate your world map to get just the right view of your battle.
For those looking for special effects, Disgaea DS will not disappoint. The developers utilized every available bit of graphics and color in the limited palette of this platform to bring a visually pleasing experience. I must admit that I turn the special effects off while playing the game because they can increase game play time by over 30 minutes for just 10 levels of the item world!
As a Sony PSP gamer who has been forced into the world of the Nintendo DSi by the broad RPG game selection, I was initially shocked by the graphics in this game. I was used to the higher resolution and increased color depth of the PSP release but soon became endeared to the dual screen concept. The top screen offers a flat 2D grid map view of during battle sequences which helps me find my characters or specialists quickly. To correct my problems with the graphics, I had to increase the screen brightness. My biggest complaint is that some of the layered 2D text in battle modes is shadowed poorly with the weakness of the lack of color depth ever apparent. The compromise is worth it in my opinion because I save about three minutes on every level of the item world by using the top screen.
The sound effects and background music in this game are top notch. The audio has not been compressed and meshes smoothly with your character’s interaction with the gaming environment. The game’s spooky underworld theme is supported by sounds of wolves howling and growling sound effects while moving around the environment.
Make sure you visit the music shop to unlock the extra soundtracks for play during your adventures. The game has many dark symphonic tones that are a pleasure to my ears. I will caution you that full the dynamics of the sound track cannot be appreciated while listening to the stock speakers in your Nintendo DSi. If you really want to enjoy this game, consider using a set of Beats By Dr. Dre headphones so you can hear the high notes and deep rumbling sound effects built into this game.
First, the game has no WIFI features which would let you interact with people on the internet. However you can experience team play with friends within range of your Nintendo DSi console.
Pokemon Platinum is the only other game on the Nintendo handheld platform that can keep my interest as long as Disgaea has. Yet because of the mature subject matter and better graphics, I will play Disgaea for much more. The reason is that I only covered the surface of the dynamic nature of this game in this review. Your characters can level into the thousands and the random acquisition of items make playing the game a truly immersive experience.
If you can look past the quirky graphics, poorly rendered 3D graphics and ghostly text boxes then you will enjoy this port of Disgaea to the Nintendo DSi Matte Black. I am a faithful fan from the Sony PSP and really wanted the ability to play this game without long load times. I got my wish but the result was something that feels like a lot less than it could have been.
In all, I would give Disgaea DS one thumb up and one thumb down.
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