Disgaea - Hour Of Darkness: Who bought this PS2 game?

As requested, a new title for the topic. ;) Since it’s already out, and all. Who’s got it, and how are you liking it? With a system this unbelievably complex, I figure there should be plenty for us to talk about, and plenty of questions to answer/tips to share.

Personally, I’m on chapter 4 now - been spending a lot of time detouring to beef up characters. I’ve already got a third-stage brawler and a ronin. Does the manual mention what the requirements are to unlock the Rune Knight class? Right now I’m working towards unlocking it and Prismatic Mages.

Holy crap! I finished the first set of tutorials which are pretty decent and already I can see what you guys were talking about. Love the music so far and the art style is enjoyable. Something about bubbly little demons that turns me on. This is cool, cool stuff.

Dood!

It’s late, but I’m going back for more.

–Dave

Doooooood! <throws bomb>

I bought it today but haven’t tried it yet.

I fall in the same category as Wombat.

Yesterday was all about SC2. Tonight I’ll fire up Disgaea.

I did the demo this afternoon.

First off, I can glimpse I think why folks were raving about the game. There are some great ideas, and great mechanics here.

But.

I mean, ok, I don’t play many console games, but who the hell decided on those voices. AIEEEE! They hurtsss usss, my precioussss! Shudder. Sounds like a day care center filled with laughing gas. Then, there’s the music. First thing I’m doing next time I play is turning it off. Forever.

Beyond that, it’s really intriguing. I’m a bit lost already though. I did the tutorial, no problem (though as noted already the manual suxXors; is there a strat guide?), but I have some questions. One, the shop in the castle has no weapons, so the cleric I created can’t buy a staff, and can’t use a sword (the only “extra” weapon I have). Am I missing something? Second, I went to the first non-tutorial place, some guy’s castle, fought the first battle in the gate, then accidentally selected that same level again instead of the next one in that area. Oops. I quit so I guess I have to do it all over again–can you get back to the castle to save between stages or do you have to clear all the stages of a single location before you can can save?

I’m still puzzling out the Geo-thingies and some of the special combat moves, but the game’s look is a riot. I mean, killer exploding penguin guys? Evil hobbits? Demons that look like Max’s (of Sam and Max) long-lost cousins, and who have names like “Love”? Good stuff.

Wait 'till you fight the Prism Rangers. I mean the Prism Ranger.

There are two shops. One sells weapons, one sells armor and potions. Every time you end a stage, you can hit circle to go back to the castle and save the game. You can play each stage as many times as you want. Once you’re IN a fight, however, you can only win, lose, or quit, you can’t go back to the castle in the middle of a fight. After each fight, though, you can go heal, shop, save, whatever.

The ass hats at Best Buy still don’t have the game on the shelf. The guy I talked to said his computer was showing it as “on order” whatever that means, and to check back tuesday… I really want to be able to put the game on my Best Buy card. I thought maybe I’d just buy it from their website, but it isn’t even listed online!

Greg: I just got my first Prism Mage. I’m busy training her up to use whatever the mega-version of the star attack is. Great fun.

I do like it; looking forward to playing some more today if I can get my work done this morning. But this time, with the music off.

Definitely enjoying it so far (I’m like 3-4 missions into the first real dungeon after the tutorial). Good for scratching that FFT / Vandal Hearts / Shining Force itch.

The “story” and characters are bizarre but amusing.

The combat systems is very well done and plays fast. My biggest beef with it is that the geopanels are hard to see and they need a little more dynamic range in the vertical height of the camera – I’m always having a hard time losing people behind pillars or in craggy areas.

Also minor interface beefs like not being able to see good deltas on your new equipment in the shop (it at least shows red / blue for better worse but you don’t see the old values), not being able to get help on all your stats, etc. Mostly stuff that Square’s been getting right for years, and it’s just sad to see it not quite reach that bar when the rest of the game is so good.

Definitely one of the best tactics RPGs out there, IMO, though for my 2 cents it doesn’t quite compare to FF Tactics (which is kind of sad given that FFT is what, 4 years old now?).

So how much does the story telling get in the way of the gameplay? Vandal Hearts was one of my favorites (Probably second only to FFT in the genre). The second one changed the combat to simultaneous lameness and I think I had to go through 15 mins. of story telling before my first fight. Vandal Hearts I, I think, put you into a fight right when you loaded the game up. As it was pre-FFT, I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

I have quit picking up straight RPGs on consoles because I cannot suffer the stories/cut scenes any longer. I am afraid the same thing is going to happen with my beloved strat/RPGs, too.

Disgaea allows you to skip any story sequence you feel like. :D

And so far I’ve found the story bits pretty funny, and short.

The storytelling doesn’t really impress; it’s pretty low budget. The story itself is cutesy and passably well done. What saves it I think is Etna’s previewing of the next episode. Done in the style of your average anime next episode teaser, it’s some warped version of what’s coming next, with Etna recasting herself as the star.

The pre-battle story is usually pretty bland, as the static portraits talk to each other and sometimes get angry. It doesn’t have much more flow than a storyboard. Ideally, it would be animated sequences or just something a little more dynamic. Maybe they’ll get the budget for that next time.

Did anybody in Toronto get this? I’m still looking for a copy since the local EB took two pre-orders and only got one delivered :x

I know Lee got his. He’s in Toronto area.

–Dave

Gamecentre, Yonge and Bloor. Picked it up Thursday and boy is it fun! Regarding the story, though:

As far as I can tell, you can only skip pre-mission story sequences. The Episode stories can’t be skipped, and they tend to be the longer of the 2 story segment types. That said, the episode stories aren’t really that long.

But who cares about the story!!! It’s fluff compared to the game. I just got to episode 2, and I want to start really growing my characters. But the damn senate is keeping me down. Gonna have to start kicking some demon ass…

Gary

Dooood!