Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is the latest re-release in the line of Strategy RPG titles. Of course, this is my first time playing through a Disgaea game and one of my first Strategy RPGs ever!
Going in, I had a small idea of what to expect. I had played a little of the Vita release of Disgaea 3, though never made much progress in it. Disgaea games hardly take themselves seriously at all, but within them there is a deep system that requires some major thinking. Though I found as I got further and further in the story, it actually started getting a bit more serious. There was still that small sense of humor in there, but it definitely became more serious. Also, they spent about 75% of the game building up to one plot point… only to throw 5 others at you right in the last few chapters.
At first I found it a bit hard to wrap my head around all the concepts in Disgaea 4. Heck, near the end I don’t even think I ever actually grasped them all. I did quite enjoy that it actually made me have to think though – even if I did have to pull out a strategy for the last few missions.
Along with the main story you have a massive host of other things you can do. The biggest one is the Item World. Here you can use an item out of your inventory (or warehouse) and enter a dungeon that has randomly generated floors. On these floors you can have random events happen such as pirates attacking. Be warned of these pirates though, they tend to be way higher level than everything else on that floor. While the enemies might be say level 20, the pirates that come out might be somewhere around level 70. For the unprepared, this can bring about a swift death.
Also within the Item World you can find “mystery rooms.” You never know what you will be heading into. Some just have chests, others have optional fights, and then there’s ones with stores. One floor I ran into, I kept talkin to the main guy there and then suddenly he was like fine, let’s fight! Looking at him, he was oh… Only level 8000 or so. No problem for my level 40’s right? There was a swift game over, followed by frustrations involving the loss of progress.
Unfortunately, while you’re out there collecting items, be prepared for them to start heading into your warehouse. Your inventory has a cap of 64 items and nothing stacks. Think Legend of Dragoon here. This made for some annoying inventory management and often forgetting I had gotten some new piece of equipment as it was buried in my warehouse (which, by the way, has a cap of 999 items).
For the trophy hunters out there, be prepared for a grind. Disgaea games in general, or so I’m told, are just extremely grindy. Disgaea 4 is no exception. I had to spend several hours grinding, and even near the end I was a bit underpowered without abusing certain strategies. Even after beating the game there is a whole other grind you can start on – leveling items, clearing the X-Dimension, and so on. All of these are, of course, tied to trophies, so have fun! Additionally, you could even choose to completely restart the story and maintain your current stats, sort of like a New Game+ mode.
Disgaea 4 features a host of endings you can experience, and not just ones at the end of the game. You can experience them throughout the game if you game over to certain missions. I found this out the hard way on a mission I (at first) thought was unwinnable. Thankfully I had made a save before entering it! Lesson learned, always be sure to save before every mission, or at least make very nice use of the Retry or Return to Map World options. Of course, you can’t do this in the Item World, but you have other ways to escape from there (pending you have a character with a turn ready).
Should you be having issues with dying, or just want to give your stats a boost, you can choose to reincarnate. This will reset your level back to 1 but, depending on how much mana you spend, you can bring over a certain portion of your current stats. You gain mana by defeating enemies, though, from what I found, it takes a bit of time to actually build up a decent amount. Well, at least at the “lower” levels. Once you reincarnate you lose all your mana so be sure to spend any excess before you actually do so!
You can also use your mana to purchase and upgrade new skills, obtain evilities, or hold the senate to pass bills. These bills grant a wide variety of things, including the cheat shop, playable character senators, and upgrading your shops. Evilities are your passive abilities, and depending on the character you can have (from what I’ve found) 2-4 equipped at one time, with one spot typically taken up by one you can’t remove. Skills, both the purchase of and upgrade of them, are very valuable on your quest to the end of the game and beyond. Needless to say, mana is very valuable and you will need a lot of it.
Graphically, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited looks very much like Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention. Musically, the game sounds quite great, though the music was a tad too loud until I adjusted it down from the default setting. Overall though, it looks and sounds great for a Vita title.
In the end, I very much enjoyed my time playing Disgaea 4, well at least most of it. I had some complaints about the game like the fact it has a regular inventory limit, but the humor throughout most of the game and the deep combat made up for it. As someone who typically doesn’t play Strategy RPGs, I would very much recommend this game to others. I plan to one day head back to Disgaea 3 and work through it again, especially now that I’ve finished Disgaea 4. I did the same thing pretty much with Persona 4 and then returning to Persona 3 to complete it, so that’s saying something.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited Review Score
I would like to thank NIS America for providing me with a copy of Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited for review. If interested, you can purchase Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited from Amazon or the PlayStation Store.