Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Disgaea 4:A Promise Unforgotten

Gamespot Score: 7.5 (Good)

My Score: 8.0

(+)Pros: - Great tactical game play that is still addictive as ever, - Humorous and clever writing that is easy to laugh and have fun with, - Tons of character customization as always, - You can still grind to become ridiculously powerful, - Still has a disgustingly immense amount of post-game content that will literally take you hundreds of hours to complete.

(-)Cons: - Has not evolved much at all, unlike the 3rd game from the 2nd, - Grinding still makes up most of the game.

Gameplay time: From 40 hours to as long as 100 hours+

I remember how I pleasantly enjoyed every "Disgaea" game I have ever played. I didn't play the 2nd game, but the original was a fantastic entry to the series, and the 3rd game only made me love it more. What better to expand my love for the series than playing the latest of the main flagship franchise? "Disgaea 4:A Promise Unforgotten" aims to appeal to the fans like never before. With improved HD sprites, a brand new story and cast of characters, the game is surely an improvement over the slightly under-polished "Disgaea 3". However, how does the quirkiness of "Disgaea 4" stand up to the rest of the series? Will we see another funky main character with weird tastes? Of course we do!

"Disgaea 4" puts you in the shoes of our latest evil hero of the underworld, Valvatorez. Valvatorez is a tyrant lord, a vampire feared by denizens all around the underworld, but because of a promise he made to a certain young woman in the past, he has swore not to drink any blood. And as anyone knows, a vampire without blood, is a weak ass vampire. Valvatorez now lives in the bottom depths of the underworld, Hades, where all weak criminal demons resides. Valvatorez lives on as a prinny instructor, dedicating himself to disciplining and teaching prinnies the right path of becoming.....a prinny. He does so with his loyal vanguard, Fenrich, a werewolf that willingly throws his life for Valvatorez. "All is for my lord", he says. Noticing one day that the netherworld government has been corrupt and that the old demonic ways have changed, Valvatorez sets up to overthrow the government with his group of lackeys! With the power of sardines!

Yeap, the characters are still whacked out as all hell.

As usual with the "Disgaea" series, writing, in game dialogue and voice acting are all humorously top notch. I play all "Disgaea" games in English voices, and hell, I'd slander anyone saying that its bad. Like in the previous game, "Disgaea 4" has great voice English voice actors, and most of all, they are expressive, full of emotion, and funny as all hell when they need to be. Valvatorez seems to have the best treatment here. The core gameplay mechanics of the "Disgaea" universe still remain in tact. You fool around in a "HQ" area where you shop for items, weapons, armor, or simply go to the new campaign HQ (which replaces the classroom system from "Disgaea 3") to rally and set up your characters. After all is said and done you talk to a dimension guide which sends you to the next battle.

And what battles these are. If you are a fan of the series you should already know what to expect. You start off in a base panel where you can deploy up to a certain amount of units, which you move, toss, attack or cast spells with. You move all your units, end your turn, then the enemy moves all of theirs, simple as that. Its still the great gameplay we all know and love, with a little bit of changes here and there. Classes have been tweaked, and a new monster fusion mechanic has been introduced, where you fuse two monsters to make a bigger, super-sized and more powerful one. This can be used for some new strategy set-ups.

Get f**ked.

Like in all previous "Disgaea" games, you are allowed to create side generic characters on your own, in addition with your main story characters. Like your main characters, you can seriously go in-depth with these guys, ALL OUT. You can plan out the stats for them when they are created, then as you level them up, you unlock higher tiers of that generic character type, then you can reincarnate that character to level 1 again for advanced growth when you train them up again. And of course, by training them up, I mean grinding them up to become gods. As you open up more stages in story mode, you will soon find maps that give more EXP than others, then let the grinding begin! Reach 4-digit levels, hit 7 digits worth of damage, that has always been the goal of some players.

The post-game content...god, the amount of stuff here is just nauseating. Fans of the game who go for the post-game story to get cameo characters (most players do this, me included), will be indulged for easily TWICE the gameplay time than normal players who just play for the story. The enemy levels skyrocket in the post-game, making grinding a must. Your characters will hit the 4 digit range before you know it in post-game. That's not even all. Lets not forget the shenanigans of the item world, where you can go on for HOURS just to power up a SINGLE piece of equipment. Or the land of carnage for the hardcore players, to get your perfect rank/stats items. You can easily indulge yourself in the hundreds and hours if you devote yourself to the post-game. 

No cat shall be spared.

For long time fans of the series, this entry will seem a little dry and recycled. If you've always liked the "Disgaea" games, make no mistake, you will love this title just as much as the rest, though there isn't much in terms of new offerings. At least in "Disgea 3", they added the geo block system which added a shit-ton of depth to the tactical combat, in there, there wasn't anything I could remember other than the giant monster fusing. And well, this is as expected of the "Disgaea" games, a lot of grinding is involved. In fact, most of the game itself is grinding. While most fans expect and embrace this, it is a fact that most of the game composes of grinding your guys for future tougher battles.

"Disgaea 4:A Promise Unforgotten" is just as you'd expect from a "Disgaea" game. Insane, in-depth, tactical battles of ridiculous scales. Fans of the series would probably enjoy this one like any other "Disgaea" game, but if you've never liked these games, than "Disgaea 4" will probably not appeal to you as well. Lets hope the next "Disgaea" games give us something more awesome, new gameplay mechanics that'll really knock our socks off. Until then though, Valvatorez is one of the funniest video game protagonists up to date, he'll satisfy your "Disgaea" needs. Look out for "Disgaea Dimensions 2"!

Happy gaming!