Author Topic: Disgaea  (Read 3172 times)

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Offline Bastardman

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Disgaea
« on: January 11, 2007, 12:20:51 pm »
Why we don't have a thread on these games yet is beyond me. For those unfamiliar with the series, Disgaea is one of the most bizarre and grind-happy tactical RPGs ever crafted by man.

I say it's grind-happy, because on top of the 100+ unlockable classes (including a full complement of monsters), the game has a level cap of 9999(!), no absolute damage cap, hundreds of pieces of equipment and other items which can all be upgraded many times (yes, even the lowly potion-type items) to exponentially increase their strength, as well as several postgame secret levels and bonuses that require you to have your characters levelled in their thousands, and even when you've reached level 9999, the grinding doesn't necessarily need to end; it's possible to "transmigrate" your characters, starting them again from level 1 but keeping a certain percentage of their stats and learned magic, thus further increasing their potential power.

I'll pull no punches in saying that the characters and plot in this game are completely hollow and a lot of the time pretty annoying, ESPECIALLY if, like me, you find yourself stuck with the horribly voiced English language version of the game. I'm told the US version includes the Japanese language track; unfortunately Koei didn't realise just how bad the English voice acting was when they released the PAL version and forgot to include a Japanese option. But without spoiling anything for those unfortunates who haven't played the game, there are a few strokes of comedic genius here and there and if you were to let the lack of plot or character depth put you off this game, you're probably missing the point.

Disgaea is a great game purely because of how insanely addictive it is. This game can and will consume well over a hundred hours of your life if left unchecked. It offers a 40-hour main quest, numerous bonus quests, hidden endings, and perhaps the game's crowning feature, the 100-floor, randomly generated item worlds, in which you level up your items and obtain specialists, which can be transfered between items, allowing you to customise the stat gains and other bonuses for your equipment.

While the graphics are fairly primitive for a PS2 game (the characters are all represented by 2D sprites), I would be inclined to consider this a good thing; it gives the game its own distinct feel, and the caricature anime character designs perfectly convey the personality of the game. The soundtrack (ignoring the voicing) is incredible. It's extremely varied, comically over-the-top and fits very well with the overall feel of the game. I actually have the entire thing saved to my PC and am listening to it right now.

I only have a few things to complain about. Strategically, the game lacks the depth of games like Final Fantasy Tactics. For instance, you can fire ranged weapons straight through obstructions and units to hit your target, and even though the tutorial missions emphasise that getting the high ground is important, the only advantage height seems to give you is letting you stay out of the reach of melee attackers. On the other hand, the game allows you to pick up and throw just about every type of unit, which has many different strategic applications, such as moving around the map faster by throwing your own guys, or throwing enemies into one another to combine their level and there are also coloured "Geo" squares on many of the maps that have special effects like rendering all units standing on them invincible, or randomly creating hostile clones of units (or, if you get lucky in the item world, sometimes both  :o). Also, in spite of the developers' claims that there are over 150 unlockable classes to find, 5/6ths of these are just stronger, palette-swapped upgrades on other classes, and some of the later classes are so powerful as to render nearly every other class (even your main character) obsolete.

Luckily, NIS was mindful of these problems when they made Disgaea 2, which features a more interesting story, a much more sympathetic cast of characters, better graphics, more strategic options and an even more random item world, in which highly powerful pirate parties will randomly appear and geo panels will roam around the map of their own accord between turns, causing chaos. Although they balanced out the classes so that even the really powerful ones now have big drawbacks (such as not being able to move far, or throw) most of the new character designs are incredibly lame compared to those in D1, and they got rid of the jack-o-lantern monsters. They were my favourite!  :'(

Although those hell hounds are pretty cool...


Anyway, forgive this longwinded post and discuss this game and/or your grinding achievements in it (or if you haven't played it yet, do so now!). At present, I've only reached level 200 in D1 and about level 100 in D2 with my main guys.



Offline ilikesanta

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 01:11:04 pm »
 The Disgaea games are great. I've also played Phantom Brave and Maki Kingdom (or whatever the name is, it doesn't matter to much because it's not as good as the other games IMO) I tend to like Phantom Brave more then the Disgaeas mostly because you can power level/stat boost your characters easier. With things like mana farming and fusion you can realy beef up your characters with powerful attacks and spells. I'm part of the minority with this opinion, most hail Disgaea as God. I just find Phantom Brave a little less daunting.
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Offline Luminar

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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2007, 12:05:15 am »
Damn, i've wanted to play this series, but alas, no sony.

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2007, 07:43:01 am »
Seems interesting... though the graphics look pretty icky.

Does it have the "if your character dies he's gone for ever" system beloved of Fire Emblem?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 02:15:12 pm by LadyM »
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Bastardman

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007, 11:13:33 am »
No, it doesn't have that. All characters can be revived for a nominal fee. In fact, if you die and revive your characters enough times, you're rewarded with free items!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 02:15:24 pm by LadyM »

Offline Uroboros

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2007, 01:28:40 pm »
Im still slogging through Disgaea 1, but the ongoing grind puts me off playing it regularly. For what its worth I might as well take my next chance to transmigrate everyone into ninjas (save for my healer and mage), but im not actually going to do that. :P

I actually thought the english voices are alright. At least, perfectly suited to their roles. They dont quite roll some of their lines off well enough, but their voices alone suit the characters. A little hammy, but that just felt like part of the game itself. My guys are just slipping into their 40's, and its already taken me ages to get there (mostly due to beginning transmigration far too early, in too many characters, then having to level them back up again). With all the grinding going on, you slowly stop seeing the battlefield in terms of combat and strategy, but just where the experience will be going, and how many repetitions of certain skills/spells you can squeeze in between the vital manuevers. I expected more life from Disgaea, personally. Its there, but the lengths of combat and grinding just break it up too much. Then again, I think I already killed these kinds of games from my heart after I overplayed Tactics Ogre, and still never completed it.

The music? Yeah, that had plenty of life, but there wasnt enough variation. The repetition starts to burrow a little hole in your head after a while, especially when you're comparing the stats of your equip pieces. I might have felt compelled to download it, but every now and then I go for a little grinding session in hopes of getting closer to clearing the game, so its not a good idea.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 01:32:26 pm by Uroboros »

Offline Bastardman

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 01:23:28 am »
Yeah, ninjas are cool. Except when they're worn down to about 5HP and they keep dodging your Heal spells...  :-\

I find the best way to level during the main quest is to make sure at least one of characters (probably Laharl) is powerful enough to take on a high-level item world, and then have your low-level guys tag along, so that they'll earn experience from the bonus gauges. If you're lucky enough to end up on a floor with Invincibility panels, you probably won't even need to dispatch your higher level guys.

My biggest gripe with the leveling in Disgaea 1 is that the only way to gain experience during battle is by killing things, so healers tend to have a very hard time leveling up. This is another thing they fixed in D2; using support abilities will also give you experience.

Offline Uroboros

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2007, 02:38:26 am »
Yeah, ninjas are cool. Except when they're worn down to about 5HP and they keep dodging your Heal spells...  :-\
Hah, yeah, I normally keep a few healing items for that purpose, though my ninjas are a good five levels above my others, so they're normally fine, just moshing the real threats and weakening the others.

Quote
My biggest gripe with the leveling in Disgaea 1 is that the only way to gain experience during battle is by killing things, so healers tend to have a very hard time leveling up. This is another thing they fixed in D2; using support abilities will also give you experience.
Excellent. I only have one priest (I really should start to train another one too), but I deliberately had her create a firemage vassal early on, learn its basic fire spell, then removed her. Once she started to climb up in INT, she was a great backup mage. Thankfully my main mage (starmage, soon to transmigrate into a prism-mage), is further down the line of vassal command. With a little forethought in unit positioning, i've managed to get people to learn its spells and pass them back down the chain of command until they reach my priest. Between Laharl, my two ninjas, my mage and my priest, I should be able to clear the better part of my next chapter, but then it'd just open the level gap even wider.

So, which monsters do you think are worth investing in? Its pretty hard to tell without knowing how they turn out later on. Currently have two prinnies, a scarecrow, a living suit of armor, a catgirl and a succubus, all in basic form, but some are ready to tranmigrate in the next re-levelling run.

Offline Werechicken

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2007, 08:02:53 am »
I got fed up with the constant leveling up I had to do, the item upgrading was clever, but just too repetive
What have you got against intellectual midgets? They're quite smart little guys as far as i can tell.

Offline Bastardman

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2007, 11:06:47 am »
So, which monsters do you think are worth investing in? Its pretty hard to tell without knowing how they turn out later on. Currently have two prinnies, a scarecrow, a living suit of armor, a catgirl and a succubus, all in basic form, but some are ready to tranmigrate in the next re-levelling run.
The only monster I have in D1 apart from the plot characters is a Corpse named Karlov. I'd advise against the Zombie line of monsters, since this guy is probably my least useful party member. They just can't hit hard, have sucky abilities and even have trouble getting to the enemy because of their low number of move panels.

I've heard the Galactic Demons are good, with their absurdly high defenses, but they have even fewer moves than the Zombies... The coolest ones IMO are the Scarecrows and Nosferatu. I keep meaning to get a Scarecrow but I'm waiting until I've killed enough of the 6th stage Scarecrows to make them affordable.

Oh, in case you weren't aware, Maderas and Hoggmeiser are basically carbon copies of the Nosferatu and Nether Noble lines of monsters. But why they decided this was a good idea is beyond me. As I see it it completely removes any incentive to create those characters, since you essentially already have them.

I got fed up with the constant leveling up I had to do, the item upgrading was clever, but just too repetive
True. After a while it just becomes a matter of killing everything in one go using massive geo chains. The item world is a lot more random in the second game.

Offline ilikesanta

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2007, 02:44:01 pm »
That's why I like Phantom Brave more, Geo Panels can become too much of a chore, and the Monsters in PB can hold real weapons and are not just confined to "monster weapons," making then a lot more useful. There is nothing funner then a cat killing people with a fish or a slime killing people with a log bazooka!
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Offline Urb

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Re: Disgaea
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2007, 07:41:06 pm »
Dunno i never liked it much..only board type RPG game i ever liked was final fantasy tactics for the ps1..i dident even like final fantasy tactics advance
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