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Review: Disgaea 1 Complete

by onOctober 11, 2018
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Disgaea 1 Complete is a definitive edition of one the legendary tactical RPG’s that wowed players 15 years ago when it first came out. Fans of the franchise will surely adore this remaster, as it has improved the game in every aspect, including visually showcasing the adorable quirky anime-styled characters of the game. Disgaea 1 Complete certainly taps into the nostalgia of the dedicated fans who grew up playing it.

You start out as the prince of the Netherworld, son of late overload father, who has been in deep sleep while the Demon World erupted into chaos, each fighting for the throne. The people of this kingdom, however, have absolutely no idea who the prince of the Netherworld, Lahrl is, and therefore he has to make himself known and put himself out there as the rightful heir. He encounters on his way Flonne, an angel, who has a very dark perception regarding Lahrl’s personality as a possible anti-hero.

While the game is visually enchanting to longtime fans of the franchise who will see this as an amazing improvement, Disgaea 1 Complete, in fact, does show its age to newcomers like me. However, the updated 2D camera flaunts this game’s visuals, while the 3D one still staggers making the view of the combat frustrating at times. We will also note that while it seems that Disgaea 5 assets were used for this remake, it also means that the same issue from that remake arises. Text and some elements on the Nintendo Switch version of the game are quite difficult to read, so we recommend you to either play the game in dock mode or go for the PlayStation 4 version.

However, what makes Disgaea 1 Complete shine is its amazing tactical RPG combat in addition to its brilliant sense of humour, going as far as to make the antihero, Lahrl, amusing. At the beginning of the game, you make your way through a tutorial where you will get to know the basics of the game. What is offsetting for newcomers is the amount of grinding you have to go through, since all the stat’s numbers in this game are very high, allowing you to keep working on your character endlessly. Throughout the game, you assemble a crew, a funny one at that, and trek through the map defeating demons with spectacular combo attacks.

When we talk about Disgaea, we immediately have in mind the most iconic characters of the franchise like Laharl, Etna and Flonne. Found as secondary characters in other episodes of the series, and following the similar idea as with Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days, NIS America decided to include a dedicated mode centred around Etna in Disgaea 1 Complete.

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Etna mode was already available in previous versions of the game back on the Nintendo DS and PSP, and is made available by either pressing a cheat code or beating the game and starting in New Game+. In this mode, instead of waking up Laharl early in the game, Etna commits a terrible mistake and accidentally kills the prince. Rather than confessing her crime, Etna will try to pass a Prinny for Laharl, but this plan won’t work as well as she hoped for, and thus discover four alternate chapters of the original game.

In addition to playing Etna as the main character, this mode changes the difficulty: without Laharl, the adventure is definitely harder. On top of that, conversation and some situations are different, which might incite those that never got to finish the game back on the Nintendo DS and PSD to try this out.

The characters in the game are very intriguing alongside a very thrilling soundtrack. The amount of grinding Disgaea 1 Complete takes will not appeal to newcomers, who, however, can play the story without focusing on post-games. Your crew fighting alongside you is created by you using the dark assembly vendor.

Disgaea 1 Complete was reviewed by both Nazih Fares and Sara Basma using a Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 digital download code provided by NIS America. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published (click here for more information about our review policy).

What we liked

• The fun combat
• The quirky characters
• The awesome sense of humor

What is not fun

• Amount of grinding it takes to level up
• Awkward 3D camera motion
• Slightly aged graphics
• Difficult to read on Nintendo Switch handheld mode

Editor Rating
 
Concept
8.0

 
Graphics
6.0

 
Sound
7.5

 
Playability
8.0

 
Entertainment
7.0

 
Replay Value
7.0

Final Score
7.3


Our final verdict
 

Disgaea 1 Complete brings back the franchise to life and gives a chance for newcomers to experience a stellar game that amazed players humour in the days, it does it so with impressive combat, characters and a stellar soundtrack. Disgaea 1 Complete falters graphics wise, still managing to look aged even with the updated visuals and with a system that requires much grinding.

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