Disgaea – Hour of Darkness is a strategic RPG. It tells the story of Laharl, the son of the late Overlord of the Netherworld and his quest to establish himself as the next Overlord to rule the demons of the Netherworld. Much to Laharl’s dislike, this turns into a quest to uncover the truth behind some strange happenings after an angel – Flonne – turns up at Laharl’s stronghold. In the end, all realms are involved – demons, angels, and humans. This story is told in chapters, each chapter announced by a story-character and his/her take on what is to expect next, much like on TV: tune in next week to see …
A short word on the graphics: they are nothing to shout about, even some PS1 games might be better, but – is that important? I had fun with Disgaea and I liked it. A lot. That’s important.
What I liked:
- story telling: While the story is nothing too original or unusual, apart from the fact that you’re playing as the “bad” guys, I very much enjoyed the way it is told. There are a lot of funny dialogues and plays with cliches. Most of scenes are just hilarious and made me laugh out loud.
My favourite story character – not because of her fighting skills, but because of the things she says. This picture shows Etna’s announcement of the next chapter. I really like her voice. It fit perfectly for the (often) snarky things she said, IMO.
- “balance”: I don’t know what to call this, but I really like the fact that you can finish the game without bothering too much with the “extra stuff” and levelling up with no end in sight (at least I think this is possible). Time for that, difficult for me to say, because I sure did a lot of the extra stuff while playing, maybe 20-30 hours?
- different endings and “game +”-option
- extra stuff: As I said, there’s no need to bother with that overmuch – but it sure is a lot of fun. Apart from the story characters, which join your party over the course of the story, you can create your own characters. By levelling them up, you unlock stronger versions of them or create a total new class. Then there is the dark assembly where you can make proposals to the senators, e.g. better equipment in the shops, and try to influence them to vote for your proposal by bribing them. Then, there is the item-world, where you can level up your items and collect so-called “statistician” through fighting enemies. Both make your item better, so that a low rank item which was levelled up might be way better than a high rank item which was not (the higher the rank of an item, the stronger the enemies you have to fight to level that item up).
In short: a perfectionists dream.
What I didn’t like:
- extra stuff: a perfectionists nightmare. There’s just no end to the things you can do.
- sometimes the story is a bit sappy. It took me a while to like “Love-Freak” Flonne.
As you can see, I really had to struggle to come up with things for the “what-I-didn’t-like” part. And they’re more niggles than actual complaints. But – I had to come up with something there, didn’t I?
If you like strategic RPGs, go get Disgaea – Hour of Darkness.
Did I enjoy playing this game?
Yes, very much. I’m still playing it in fact. There’s just so much you can do …
Would I recommend this game? Yes (but see above).
Grade: 4,5 / 5
I really am in a slump at the moment. Again, there is not much to tell. Okay, here goes:
- I played some Disgaea and went nuts on the map 9-1. Result: all character with a 3×3 area attack (or something similar like the spear skill “Asteroid Drop”) are now around level 75-80. More levels are possible, but I went nuts and you can only go nuts for so long before you get really nuts.
- I started a few games on Civ III’s Deity difficulty and quit them all due to lack of resources (strategic and luxury). Why is it that all the starting positions of the AI’s have at least some resources near them and I haven’t? Give the human player a starting position with no resources around – is this something coded for that difficulty level? It sure seems like that to me.
What I didn’t do:
- write a review of Jo Beverley’s The Shattered Rose.
I actually had to think a bit about what I wanted to do when I played Disgaea yesterday. The last save game is over two weeks old – it seems that’s a little bit too long for my memory. Ouch. So I just followed the story. I’m currently in episode 7 and I’m not sure if I should go on with the story, subdue some more specialists, unlock some more job classes, or …
On the PC, my Diablo 2 obsession seems to be fading at the moment, meaning I don’t play every day anymore. I guess that has to do with the fact that I like to play amazons and the only amazon (bow) I have is on Hell difficulty (amazon, bow) and has to do the Ancients quest next. There is no chance in – well, hell, that I can beat them (I play single player with only-self found items). The Ancients quest stopped me on Nightmare difficulty, too with this character and I took up Civilization 3. I’m trying with other classes at the moment: an assassin and a barbarian – both act 1, normal difficulty, about to take on the Smith (assassin) and Andariel (barb) but I’m thinking more and more about a game of Civilization 3.