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Disgaea: Afternoon Of Darkness

Author: Geoff Larsen
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Nippon Ichi 
A few years back SRPGswere in short supply – in fact you were lucky if you got one release pergeneration. All of that changed a few years back with the release of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness on the PS2.Disgaea opened the world’s eyes to how deep a game could be mixing addictivegameplay with over-the-top humour. The game single-handedly propelled developerNippon Ichi from its place as an obscure unknown to one of the industrymegagiants almost overnight. 
Four years later Disgaea makes its way to the PlayStationPortable for those who can’t stand to be away from the game for long periods oftime. 
For those new to the genrea SRPG is basically a more tactical RPG, a game based more on deployment andstrategy than simply having the biggest sword. Before Disgaea hit the scene the genre was pretty much restricted to the Shining Force series, Final Fantasy Tactics and the thenJapan-only Fire Emblem. Disgaea and its prequel La Pucelle Tactics took the genre to new heights though with reasons to playthe game beyond its storyline. Developer Nippon Ichi are known for making indepth games that focus more on involvement and gameplay than graphics andspecial effects, so one should be warned that if you are looking for a gamethat pushes the limits of your PSP you should probably look elsewhere. 
Disgaeatakes place in a version of Hell known as the Netherworld. Players are put incontrol of a demonic overlord who after a two-year nap awakens to find hisfather dead and his kingdom in ruins. The overlord is joined by a cute demonwho is out to seize his position and a kind hearted angel who has been sent toassassinate him… plus it features exploding penguins. 
The PSP version is anaccurate conversion of the PS2 game with all the content of the originalappearing in the port. On top of this all the voice work for the game has beenredone and extra scenes have been thrown in for good measure. A newsingleplayer mode following the protagonist’s sidekick has been developedexclusively for the PSP as well as an Ad-Hoc multiplayer mode which is a firstfor the series. 
If one were to do astraight play-through of the singleplayer mode it would last approximately 40hours however there is enough optional content to last over 300. If that stillisn’t enough for you there is the option of powering your characters up tolvl.9999 which reportedly takes about as many hours as there are levels. As thebiggest and arguably most entertaining title on the console Disgaea is a must-have. Although a slewof excellent SRPGs have already been released this year Disgaea easily takes the throne as the king and you should bow downbefore it today.