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Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

魔界戦記ディスガイア

Developer / Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software
30 January 2003
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness [魔界戦記ディスガイア] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.42 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
188 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#1,677 All-time
#73 for 2003
Rate / catalog Rate / catalog another release
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
2003 Nippon Ichi  
CD-ROM
JP 4 99506 00039 4 SLPS-20250
2003 Nippon Ichi  
CD-ROM
JP 4 995506 000400 SLPS-20251
2003 Nippon Ichi Atlus  
DVD
XNA 7 30865 53005 2 SLUS 20666
Show all 18 releases
2004 Nippon Ichi Koei  
CD-ROM
AU NZ ZA XEU 5 060073 300426 SLES-52458
魔界戦記ディスガイア PlayStation 2 the Best
2004 Nippon Ichi  
CD-ROM
JP 4 995506 000653 SLPS-73103
2007 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Disc
XNA 8 57823 00125 3 ULUS-10308
2007 Nippon Ichi Koei  
Disc
XEU 5 060073 304271 ULES-00999
2008 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Game card
XNA 8 57823 00147 5 NTR-CDGE-USA
2009 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Game card
XEU 5 060121 824218 NTR-CDGP-EUR
2013 Nippon Ichi SCE  
Download
2016 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Download
Disgaea 1 Complete
2018 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Game card
XNA 8 10023 03156 7 LA-H-APNGB-USA
Disgaea 1 Complete
2018 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Blu-ray
XNA 8 10023 03165 9
Disgaea 1 Complete
2018 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Download
Disgaea 1 Complete
2018 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Game card
GB 0 810023 031581 LA-H-APNGB-EUR
Disgaea 1 Complete
2018 Nippon Ichi NIS America  
Download
Disgaea 1 Complete
2020 Nippon Ichi  
Download
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Title
Subsequent games improved on a lot:
The problem with Disgaea 1 is that it felt too much like a foundational framework to build upon. Story maps leave a lot to be desired, either revolving around tedious geo-symbol gimmicks (like scaleX3, silence, invincibility, and no-lifting), or nothing at all. Often stretched out into open areas where enemy placement seems to have been an afterthought. Additionally, chapter-ending bosses tended to be up-scaled enemies or just another encounter with Vyers. There are difficult spikes begging you to grind, but the item world, being as rudimentary as it is, wasn't a satisfying alternative. Here, the enemies are just as strong as they are in the story maps, limiting your ability to clear floors. Worst of all, skill positioning is severely limited, making mages my most used class by far. 

The story is mid(boss):
The story started off promising, and I can say I enjoyed the banter between Laharl and Etna most of all. But the sheer naivete of Flonna really got on my nerves. Mid-Boss, with his fake-Dracula accent, wasn't much better and really overstayed his welcome. Around half-way into the story, it starts revolving around the Defenders of Earth, whom I was hoping would only take up a single chapter; I really started to lose all interest from there. 
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Tarafaeryn 2024-04-28T01:05:56Z
2024-04-28T01:05:56Z
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Title
Forget Metal Gear Solid 2. Disgaea started asking the hard-hitting questions, like if a 12,000 year old demon with the body of a 9 year old can consent.
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Nippon Ichi's Disgaea: Hour of Darkness combines the cheeky attitude of Marl's Kingdom with concepts from Tactics Ogre and maybe even Shin Megami Tensei - but supercharged with an impish acumen and a charming artstyle that had few equals, forming a hyper-eclectic, hyper-irreverent amalgam. Each chapter is conducted in episodes, each one indulging in comical, sometimes narratively pointless ventures that beat Working Designs at their own game - if only in terms of sheer amusement. However, there's a surprising maturity in its writing that leaves enough room for more serious avenues within the plot. Silly sketches, sarcastic wit, and raunchy humor may dominate the show, but in reality are just preludes to the brief flashes of genius contained in its character-building. Despite all the hilarious excesses going on - occasionally the party (and player) gets blindsided by quite poignant, powerfully tragic scenes, thus betraying a soul beneath its sophomoric guise. Moments like these help graduate characters like Laharl, Flonne and Etna (easily the standout) to some of the most memorable in the genre.

Disgaea's tactical RPG combat counterfeits and somewhat updates Tactics Ogre's mission design, class progression, and grinding-as-a-metagame attitude. However - plenty of unique, thematically appropriate features surrounding that format, such as the Dark Assembly, the Item World, etc. Plus inside the format (Geo Panels, Throwing) separate it from its peers. In some ways, it even surpasses Tactics Ogre's training mechanic by placing the emphasis on player-controlled efficiency instead of party balance, boosted in large part by its use-based EXP system and a gradual rollout of skill/spell upgrades. Grinding here is no longer about repeating the same attacks, but around making microscopic adjustments to strategies as characters gain levels and unlock miniature yet meaningful changes. On the downside, a few features like the Item World fall flat in their execution, and the repetition can get a little excessive.

The result is a formidable synthesis of the most amusing, intricate and heartbreaking extremes in JRPGs, that can be as complex as it is flippant, mischievous, and touching.
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I suppose this game has some obvious flaws, but I had a lot of fun with it so let's try to talk about it.

First let me mention why I think the PSP version is superior. First, there's a variety of "nice" things that are cool to have but aren't really a huge deal. Mainly these are the item library thing (tracks all items you've found and some other stats, for autists such as myself who like that kind of thing), the option to play any song you want in the item world (this game has one of my favorite soundtracks of all time but the default item world song is one of the lesser ones), and some extra areas/levels. The one thing, however, that makes the PSP version a thousand times more playable than the original is the option to disable combat animations. The main storyline is bearable enough with animations enabled, but if you want to do the post game areas it becomes an absolute nightmare. A turn that takes a few seconds with animations off can take minutes with animations on. For me, that's enough to make the post game not even worth playing on PS2. The only problem in the PSP version is some items being strangely glitched. This glitch can be exploited to become drastically overpowered, but one can of course simply choose not to use those items at minimal inconvenience.

As for the game itself, it presents as a tactical RPG but in actuality is more a game of character building (think like pokemon or something). The battles are pretty simple and decided more by your character's stats than any strategy on your part. As you might expect grinding is a big part of the game. Some people like that kind of thing of course, and the game is actually very well done when you look at it from this perspective. There's a lot of freedom and depth in the ways you can build your characters and a massive post game in which to take them to ridiculous levels. Play if you like that kind of thing.
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Tombas 2017-01-18T01:04:28Z
2017-01-18T01:04:28Z
3.0
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Catalog

nyanpasu 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-06-04T17:08:54Z
PS2 • JP
2024-06-04T17:08:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mechanicalhearts Disgaea PC 2024-05-28T18:35:38Z
Windows
2024-05-28T18:35:38Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
vibrii 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-05-19T17:54:51Z
2024-05-19T17:54:51Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Amamiya Disgaea: Hour of Darkness 2024-05-15T15:05:52Z
PS2 • XNA
2024-05-15T15:05:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
snow415 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-05-10T21:30:10Z
2024-05-10T21:30:10Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MatteoAmmiragli 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-04-30T03:15:12Z
2024-04-30T03:15:12Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tarafaeryn 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-04-28T01:05:56Z
2024-04-28T01:05:56Z
6
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
longestseason Disgaea PC 2024-04-25T02:07:48Z
Windows
2024-04-25T02:07:48Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
steam
FirstMate 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-04-19T19:22:11Z
2024-04-19T19:22:11Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DirtyRatShit Disgaea: Hour of Darkness 2024-04-03T23:30:55Z
PS2 • XNA
2024-04-03T23:30:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-03-16T18:55:59Z
2024-03-16T18:55:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
QuodDixi3161 魔界戦記ディスガイア 2024-03-03T15:51:34Z
2024-03-03T15:51:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x CD-ROM
Franchises
Also known as
  • Makai Senki Disugaia
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
  • Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
  • Disgaea DS
  • Disgaea PC
  • View all [5] Hide

Comments

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  • Dontrel3030 2017-07-22 21:00:39.805115+00
    It's amazing how many times this game has been ported without fixing any of the major issues that have been fixed in the other entries in the series.
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  • Tarafaeryn 2024-04-29 06:08:14.036011+00
    Forgot how grindy it was just to do the story. Plot is somewhat charming. Item world is real annoying to navigate.
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