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Disgaea: Afternoon Darkness PSP Review - -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 8.6
Sound 8.7
Value 8.8
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
Tyrone Williams


Disgaea: Afternoon Darkness

The 2003 PlayStation 2 game Disgaea has finally been released on the PSP that  features engaging gameplay, an immersive storyline and a game that is perfect for the console with its time constraint battles that make it perfect for the portable world.

In its essence Disgaea is your classic strategy RPG where gamers must complete a variety of missions, upgrade their characters and items in an attempt to complete the massive storyline that awaits them.

The game has an extraordinary anime feel to both the basic graphics, storyline and gameplay, however those seeking the latest high-tech graphics may look elsewhere because the title does have the feel of a game that was release several years ago.

The story? Classic anime! It revolves around the Netherworld, a place located in fathoms beneath the sea where a land is cursed and evil reigns supreme. The story begins two years after the death of King Krichevskoy, the ruler of the Netherworld where his son Laharl slept for two years, unaware of his father's death or that his land is now savaged by demons.

With the help of vassal Etna and her underlings, Prince Laharl challenges the interlopers in order to become the true ruler of the Neverworld! Definitely one of those games that is hard to put down.


  • The wait is finally over, we’ll finally know who is the best strategist! With the all-new duel system developed specially for the US fans, Disgaea returns with a bang.

  • If you thought customization is only for characters and weapons, then think again. With Disgaea PSP you can even customize the multi player mode. Changes can be made to the game rules, field conditions, win/loss conditions, and many more. You’ll never again be bored with the same old battle situations!

  • The word strategy takes on a new meaning with geo cubes. By enabling this feature you select 10 geo cubes that have special effects like level up, stop enemy movement, gain the ultimate weapon, and etc. Then from the 10 you chose, 5 are randomly dealt to you and the same for your opponent. You can see the 10 cubes your oppoent selected, but you do not know which 5 they gained.

  • By connecting to your friend’s PSP you can buy or sell your items. However, unlike an ordinary transaction the seller will not gain money or lose their item. You can think of it more as a way to share your item data with your buddies.

  • Exclusively for the Disgaea PSP, a whole new story mode dedicated to Etna has been added. In this mode you will play as Etna and try to become Beauty Queen Ultimate Overlord Etna. If you are able to defeat the game in this mode, an exclusive ending awaits the player.

  • Part of the fun of NIS games is unlocking hidden characters. In Disgaea PSP, you will see familiar faces from a number of previous titles.

  • At Laharl’s castle there is a hidden music shop where you can purchase soundtracks and play them in the item world as background music.

  • The basic flow of the game is kept simple. You open the game with the story that sets the setting. Once you learn your objective you will prepare for battle and fight the enemy.

  • Battles will take place on a grid based field map. Your units will be dispathed and controlled on your battle phase. Once you finish all of your actions, you will end your turn and it becomes the enemy’s turn.

Although not as time consuming as the original PlayStation 2 version, the title still requires a large amount of time, especially in the dungeons which can see one, two and even three hours pass with the gamer blissfully unaware of the fact.

Fortunately, gamers can "sleep" through a variety of these adventures which is also suits the portable market, ensuring that you are not a slave to the PSP and you need to finish the title. This basically lets you put away the PSP!

The magic of Disgaea is the battle system of the title which allows to upgrade your characters and equipment in order to create a battle hardy party to challenge the foes of this strange world.

Leveling items is also a challenge that is achieved through equipment dungeons that not only challenges your characters abilities but allows for some insanely ridiculous and impressive upgrades, provided you go deep enough.

My favorite aspect of Disgaea is the ability to throw your foes large distances across the battlefield which causes a considerable amount of damage and is dashingly entertainingly.

Unlike other games similar to the genre such as the Final Fantasy series, Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, the key to conquering the title is not how powerful your characters are (although this does help) but your own tactics which makes this game so wonderfully diverse.

Graphically, the title Japanese "cute" and feels like a Saturday morning manga cartoon with its overthetop and colorful graphics and characters. Match that with a great musical score and more cute sound effects and there is little to complain in both departments.

In conclusion, Disgaea: Afternoon Darkness is a classic PSP game that will be adored by fans, impressed by newcomers and is fun from start to finish. Great gameplay (provided you love Japanese RPG), a magical soundtrack, Disgaea: Afternoon Darkness is a must have game of 2008!


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