COVID-19 Has Me Playing – Disgaea: Complete, but…

Disgaea is a series that is near and dear to my heart. I discovered the game during Nippon Ichi Software’s PS2 American renaissance when we got inspired original games from the company within the same universe like Phantom Brave, La Pucelle Tactics, Soul Nomad, and Makai Kingdom to name a few notable titles.

All that said:

The MSRP is ridiculous for its age

I was able to procure the game on sale, however, the normal MSRP for Disgaea: Complete is $49.99 and that is glaring given the age of the game. I’m not saying that the game lacks upgrades — I’m absolutely elated with the HD sprite revamps that really pop on High Def TVs, and that it comes with all content from the various iterations of the game over the years. That said, the games “old bones” show through. I recognize that this is subjective depending on the kind of gamer you are, but this is especially egregious given both Disgaea 4 and 5’s superiority in nearly every aspect.

It’s still a great experience though

Now that I’ve said my piece on the price, I can confirm that the game holds up even if it has some archaic systems that have been improved on in subsequent titles. The Item World is as dry as a bone here — though I suppose its “straight-no-filler” essence is actually refreshing. I have to admit that I fell asleep several times while grinding to level 100 within a Common Sword.

This falling asleep brings me to my next point…

Portable is the best way to play these games

I’m a big fan of the Nintendo Switch (if you couldn’t tell by my site), and part of the reason is that I can play console-quality games anywhere generally and suspend them at will (or the system will do that for me if I doze off). Not being tethered to the TV allows you to really dig in to games in a way that sitting at a monitor or tv won’t allow unless you just have that kind of time.

Disgaea is a Strategy-RPG, and those games demand lots of time from you if system mastery is your goal. Time playing in the bed, while in the bathroom, or on a commute add up and will see you maximizing your various troops to level 9999 -> Transmogging -> and repeating this ad nauseum if you want to.

Should you buy?

During the pandemic I’ve found myself with more time to devote to gaming when I’m not working. Disgaea is a game that will suck away that extra time if you let it, so its value for the money is great…if you don’t mind paying full-price for a fresh coat of paint on a nearly 20-year-old game. It has been on sale more lately, so I’d probably wait to get it, but that’s a judgement call you’ll have to make. If you like deep Strategy-RPGs, you can’t go wrong, but keep in mind that there are refined iterations of Disgaea’s game-play loop available in the series’ subsequent entries. The nostalgia factor of the original cast and story are big pluses, and the vanilla item world is as no-nonsense as it gets. Personally I’d buy (and I already did…on sale).

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