Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Disgaea 1 Complete

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 11 - 2018

Back to the beginning.

 
Switch players are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to games now. It is quite amazing to see just how much has come to Nintendo’s newest console since the relatively quiet launch. They are also spoilt in another way, though. Strategy RPG fans were able to play the latest version of Nippon Ichi’s excellent Disgaea series already with Disgaea 5 Complete launching last year. Now, those same fans are able to come full circle, albeit backwards, and play Disgaea 1 Complete, the first, and arguably best, Disgaea game. You lucky Switch owners.

 
d1c1 (Copy)

 
Despite the fact that the first Disgaea game has made an appearance on a whole bunch of platforms, all the way from the PS2 to PS4, and that there are sequels and spin offs all over the place, the Disgaea games are not as huge over here as they deserve to be. I think people are scared of the unknown and, as the series has been running for some 15 years, don’t want to jump aboard part way through. So, in the spirit of trying something new, what better place is there to start than the very beginning. Players new to the Disgaea series can expect a far less complex introduction to strategy role-playing with plenty of reasons to chuckle along the way.

 
The game that made exploding penguins that say “Dood” a lot famous is probably the funniest in the series. For a genre that often takes itself seriously, the Disgaea games always offered a more humorous take on the tactical RPG, and the first Disgaea game was the best in this respect. There is a wonderful sense of self-awareness in the game, where the game will often poke fun at itself and the systems that make it up, including the need to grind a lot.

 
d1c2 (Copy)

 
The story involves a particular demon prince, Laharl, who has missed his father’s death and now wants to become the Netherworld Overlord. What does this mean? Well, building up a party and fighting time and again to move forward. There is a lot of silliness in the story, with some brilliantly daft characters to enjoy along the way.

 
The combat situations are played out on small battlefields viewed from an isometric point of view. The battlefield is separated up into a grid, and players and enemies take turns to move and perform actions. Being the first game in the series, many of the complexities that could be found in the later games are absent here, making it really an ideal opportunity for newcomers. However, that doesn’t mean to say that players are short changed when it comes to tactical options.

 
At the most basic, players will move their characters and perform basic attacks in order to defeat the enemies. Delve just a little bit deeper and you have the chance to gang up on enemies for stronger attacks, and you can also pick up both characters and enemies for bonuses or to throw them somewhere, such as to reach an unreachable area, or to make them explode. There are also coloured tiles on the grid called Geo Panels. These panels can offer advantage or disadvantage to those who stand on them, and learning how to take advantage of these panels, using them for bonuses or against enemies, will become important as the player progresses in the game.

 
d1c3 (Copy)

 
Things can get deeper and deeper too, with various other combos and a mentor system, although further levels of complexity feel like they are part of the natural progression of the game and should come easily to anyone who has mastered the basics and are continuing to invest. And what an investment it is. Players will need to heavily grind in order to stay competitive, and so many hours will be spent in battle.

 
From the castle hub, players will head off through a gate to various different places in their quest for battle, and ultimate glory. However, there are other things to do in the game, such as creating new party members and dealing with a little Netherworld politics. There are also plenty of side quests, including the ones where the player can enter a level within any item of equipment they own, in order to improve that item. Genius and hilarious, both at the same time.

 
For this complete version of the first game, there have been some visual improvements, which are nice. To be honest, tactical RPGs are not known for being cutting edge graphically, and so this 15 year old game doesn’t look in any way out of place on the Switch. There can be issues with the camera, where the player will struggle to get a clear view of every part of the battlefield, but it isn’t too much of a problem. Switch players can also enjoy an extra story mode that has made its way from the PSP version of the game.

 
d1c4 (Copy)

 
Disgaea 1 Complete is a great place to start for players who are new to tactical RPGs, and it is the best place to fall in love with the Disgaea games. For those who are coming off the back of the previously released Disgaea 5, it may feel a little too simple. Either way, it is a great romp through isometric, turn-based combat and silliness. Sure, the grinding may be a bit overwhelming, but it is the sort of game that players will probably commit months too, so there is no rush. pick it up and have fun.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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