Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Disgaea 3 Review (PS Vita)

Disgaea 3 is a crazy anime-themed strategy game
Written by Drei Medina

As my first strategy game on the Vita, Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention left me with an overall positive impression of the genre. But during my first try I have to admit it was a bit boring.
I thought to myself: Maybe this was because I was playing a Japanese game paired with English dubs?
So after a couple of levels and roughly four hours in I decided to give the game another chance before putting it in my 'doomed games' review list.
This time I chose Japanese dubs in the options and boom! There was instant attraction, chemistry, you name it. Bottomline is, Disgaea was far more enjoyable for me with Japanese dubs on.
It made more sense to me playing an anime-styled game with Japanese dubs and English subs. This made me feel like I was watching a regular anime show.
It was just awkward to put up with listening to squeaky English dubs while reading English subs on a seemingly all Jap production.
No hate though for Eng sub/dub anime shows it's just that Disgaea, in my opinion is more compatible with the Eng sub/Jap dub combination.
And yes, Disgaea 3 feels like watching an anime show since the characters, storyline, cut scenes and chapter introductions are done anime-style.
As for the graphics well it's a bit pixelated. I mean that's how the game's graphics style is. Characters are 2D while most of the background is 3D.
It's not pretty but you wouldn't mind it if you're actually playing it for the gaming experience.
The storyline is really wacky and should not be taken seriously, like how you would expect your typical Japanese comedy shows. It's bearable for the regular anime freak but may prove hazardous for non-otaku gamers so beware!
For Disgaea's core offering which is strategy battles, I had lots of fun especially with combos. The problem is it sometimes becomes too tedious to get through a level.
Completing a level meant you had to solve puzzles with specific character moves so you could kill the enemy team.
There were moments when it took me over an hour to complete a single level and it just became boring. Though maybe I'm just not your average strategy game junkie.
But yes I enjoyed the game with it's anime humor and fantastic Japanese voice acting. It just so happened that in the long run it felt more of a chore than playing a game.
After finishing the main story I've clocked in over 70 hours ingame which included some grinding.
There were still tons to do like level your characters to 9999 (yes that's four figures), unlock characters and finish side quests but for me the game ended when I finished the main story.

The verdict: 7.5/10 [average]

Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is a fun RPG-strategy game which reminds me a lot of watching anime shows. The graphics aren't great but they're bearable and the battles are enjoyable but tend to be too tedious in the long run.
Story-wise, the game shouldn't be taken seriously. Just play Disgaea 3 to have fun and if you're willing to crack a couple of minutes (or hours) in light to heavy strategizing to complete a level.

+ Wacky storyline
+ Cool combo system
+ Anime-like experience
- Gets tedious
- Dialogue tends to be too crazy
- Lacks post-game direction after main story