Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
The Sleeper Hit that Launched a Series
Story: This game follows Laharl’s rise to power to become ruler of the Netherworld after he wakes up from a long, long afternoon nap. This game never takes itself all that seriously and when the game does focus on a serious topic it manages to blend it in with this games insanity rather well. This game is sort of screwball comedy that is used for the setup for one of the best turn-based, grid-based strategy games on the PS2.
Characters: This game features a rather large cast of main characters, but the three that are most well known are probably Laharl, Etna, and Flonne. These characters and their interactions are well done for a lot of comedy. The game also offers a character growth for Laharl. The development of the other two characters is a bit harder to detect. Flonne does seem to subtlety change over the course of the game. She seems to down play that love is always the answer and seems to come to accept the possible need for violence in certain situations. Etna does seem to come to appreciate Laharl for who he is and where he seems to be going as a person.
Gameplay: This game is a turn-based, grid-based strategy game. The game does suffer from a few issues though. One of the bigger ones is the fact that several of the monster classes in this game are obviously meant to be magically based, but all of the monster-only weapons raise STR which increases the power of physical attacks. This makes the best spell casters in the game for the most part the humanoid mages or skulls. Another issue is that certain weapons are far more useful for all of the level grinding that you will need to do in this game if you wish to defeat all of the side bosses in the game.
Graphics: This game uses 2D sprite imaging for its graphics. If you can accept this aspect of the game then it is great. The decision to use this was definite style-choice and it works rather well in my opinion.
Sound: The game features several tracks that seem to blend very well with the story and emotions being expressed by the characters. The game also features the song “The Invasion from Within” by Tsunami Bomb. The song is rather energetic and is used for the trailer for the game on the official Disgaea website. The song is also played during one of the main story boss battles and plays during two of the optional side boss battles.
Level Design: Many of the stages in this game are of decent size. They are never so small to feel cramped, but so large that it takes five or six turns to get within attack range of the enemy.
Level Design: 10
the bratty prince laharl becomes overlord of the underworld. his vassel etna and his.....well i would call her his protector, flonne try to save the underworld from the humans as they invade it. it is HALARIOUS and i recommend for teenagers who like adventure and a big can of BUTT-WHOOP!
Classic, similar to Final Fantasy Tactics
I'm frankly surprised that there are so few reviews for this game. This game is a cult classic; it's somewhat of a JRPG but the fighting system is more of a Final Fantasy Tactics (which probably nobody under a certain age even knows about). Basically you place your troops on a good-sized grid and strategically move them about to take out whomever you are currently trying to kill.
This game has 2 stellar qualities above all others: the writing/script and the depth. The writing is dry, tongue-in-cheek funny with some wacky moments that would best be appreciated by someone who enjoys a little Japanese Anime (and the drawing style is HIGHLY Anime-influenced). Non-Anime viewers may find some of the Monty-Python-esque moments a little over the top but I've learned to watch Japanese-influenced TV/Media through a certain acquired-over-time lens.
The depth goes beyond what anyone would reasonably hope to accomplish (which means it's perfect for me; if I enjoy an RPG I want it to go on for a LOOONG time like New Vegas). There is a main-plotline that you follow along with a few twists and turns. There is also the "Item World" where you go into random maps and fight increasingly hard battles, each sortie enhancing the attributes of the weapon/armor/item that you chose to "enter". I believe each weapon has 100 levels (I could be wrong), and considering the hundreds of items available that means you could spend hundreds of hours just making all your favorite weapons into unstoppable relics. The levels of your characters go well into the HUNDREDS, if not even higher (sorry haven't played it in a while) and the different ways you can make hybrid classes, add skills from other classes, enhance your stats through something called the "Dark Assembly"..... it can be a micro manager's dream.
Graphics are so-so for the PS2 era and the sound is pretty good (although any songs you hear for the hundreds of hours you can put into this game will eventually get old) but there is one big disclaimer on this game: If you are a button-masher who needs to play fast-paced action games this MAY not be for you. Short attention spans probably would also have problems. For those of you that like very deep games that just finding all the layers of depth is a challenge than you may like this game. Mixing up skills, equipment, and the literally dozens upon dozens of different classes you can pick from to make up your army all make for a very rewarding game if you can invest the time into it. This about this: this game is older than dirt and it's still going for a higher price (at least, as of the time of this writing) than some next-gen games that came out last year..... so it has to be considered pretty good by at least SOME people, right? If it turns out you enjoy this one there are many sequels including at least 1 on the PS2, so if this looks interesting consider it a small investment for what could be months of enjoyment.
Over a hundred hours of strategy!
Where to begin? The most important part, the gameplay style, holds up to date, being easy to use, functioning, and allowing a large variety of strategies for taking on a situation. Stages make you think about how to got about clearing them and the high difficulty of the latter half of the game only drives you harder by then. The story is a rare perfect mix of humour and serious moments, never taking itself completely seriously but still providing some genuinely touching moments thanks to how well the characters are written. Music? Tenpei Sato outdid himself, and that's saying something. Look some songs up if you have any doubt. And once you complete the 50 hour minimum story (took me 90 on my first go) the bonus levels get insane. For scale, the last boss is level 90. The strongest bonus boss is level 8000. And there are infinite randomly generated stages deep in the item world that have potentially stronger foes, a place where post-game players will spend a lot of time. Still, it's a game that requires dedication, so get ready to spend plenty of time in front of the TV if you want to get through it. I hate to use the words "hardcore gamer" for anything, but the drop down menu is basically limiting me too it. You need free time for this. Things getting too easy? Beat up some senators and make the enemies stronger! There is no limit to Disgaea. It's one of my favourite games to date, and for good reason!
Must Play This Game Before You Die
yes and i am serious this game is so funny and so amazing i thought that games like this never acutally came out anymore and i am dead serious....first of all this game starts off as an demon prince named Laharl which he wakes up after an 2 year long nap and finds out that his dad is dead and while he figures that out but who woke him up Etna an vessal of his gone father he also finds out that demons are trying to take over his dads title! and oh that is when the fun just begins i mean wow it might take an while to figure out how to kill bosses and how to work with the geo panels and such but it sure is worth it....because this game has so many goodies and has lead up to many series its just makes this game the god of all of them and i really love to play this game and not only does it have many bonus dougens and such but it also has mutiple endings in which you have to see in order to believe the whole series so i am saying to everybody who wants an long rpg game and just loves to play it over and over again....buy this game and buy it NEW because this game is just that worth it
Not a bad game
I've had this game for a while and enjoyed it a lot. The main character Laharl is a great level-uper, and the customized party option really makes it fun. The little motion pictured scenes for the plot are cute and fun for all ages I think. Laharl is a bit immature for his age, though you get used to it, you don't even realize it after the first hour of playing.Some people may say it is a very short game, it all depends on how you play. I have had it for 2 months and haven't gotten bored with it yet. Haha. I've chosen to keep repeaing levels to level up. You could do it as you go, or level him up all once to 50 or so. The only thing I don't care for are the controls.The battle isdone by turns. Such as : you go, monster goes, you go, and so on. So if you dont like that kind of style I wouldn't go for this game. The 3 main characters, Laharl, Etna, Flonne, are very funny and entertainging for all ages. I would recommend this game for people who are not extremely picky about what they buy.