Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice Review

The Disgaea series has had an interesting past.  The original game came out for the PS2 and became an instant hit and became so popular that it became a rare catch to find.  Eventually a sequel came out with more prints, and the original Disgaea was reprinted and a port of the original came out for the PSP.  Now Nippon Ichi has decided that the next Disgaea should come out for the PS3.  Was the move warranted, or was this something that might hinder the Disgaea base?

If you have played any of the previous Disgaea games, you know that there are wacky characters in your party, and Disgaea 3 is no different.  You are back in the underworld, but this time you are a member of the Maritsu Evil Academy with the name of Mao.  Mao is a fan of anime and comic books and uses this

The Disgaea series has never been a graphically taxing game.  Most of the game has had sprites with a few flourishes of particle effects to show spells.  Attacks used a couple of frames of animations, but everything was very simple.  It worked for what it was though, displaying information as needed.  Not only that, but there were windows that showed the pertinent information to the characters and the land your characters were on.  The graphics could have almost been on the PS1 considering they were sprite based.

However, this is a PS3 game that we are talking about.  Because of that, the bar is set higher.  While the graphics do look a bit cleaner, the graphics still don’t look like they have improved much since the original game.  Disgaea isn’t a game that you pull out to impress your friends as far as the graphical horsepower of the PS3, but it truly ranks at the bottom of the heap.  Nippon Ichi could use some inspiration from Culdcept Saga.

You do have a story, but the cutscenes are done with static photographs.  While the characters are interesting and well-drawn, you expect more than just occasional changes to the portraits.  This would be understandable on the Nintendo DS, but the PS3 deserves something a bit better.

The voice acting is something you will either enjoy or hate with a passion.  The cartoon characters all have high pitched voices.  You might be able to handle it for a while, but they can grate on you after a bit.  While it’s nothing like having every character sound like Minmei from Robotech, it certainly seems like it comes close at times.  The voice acting is done professionally though, which is more that can be said for some games.  At least you can change it to the original voice acting if you want to, which can be entertaining.

The music is playful, with just a hint of darkness.  It almost sounds like something from a perverted Disney movie.  It fits since you are an evil character trying to become a Hero in the most dishonest way possible.  I found it appropriate without being distracting, and it really is hard to find something similar  in the gaming world.

The controls are pretty basic.  All you need to is move your cursor and select menu options.  Sometimes this works well.  Other times, well, the camera can be difficult and not work in your favor.  Part of the reason is that the camera focuses on the square your cursor is on.  Since there are some rather odd height changes, the camera can go up and down with some odd vertigo.  Not only that, but since the play field is on a diagonal, it can be difficult to know which button to hit to go up and to the left.  This can mean several button presses to backtrack and find the cursor and get it to move in the correct direction.

The menus haven’t really changed from their original game.  If it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it, right?  Still, it can take some getting used to that all actions take place after all commands are given.  It will take a lot of commands to perform certain actions, some which you’d think would be easier to perform with fewer inputs.

Disgaea 3 is a difficult game to grade.  If you are a fan of the series, you will be a fan of Disgaea 3.  If you like strategy role-playing games but haven’t played any games in the Disgaea series, then you will probably enjoy it as long as you have plenty of time to put into it.

Before you go out to the battlefield you need to gather your army that you

Disgaea is a game that requires a large time investment.  If you want a game that will allow you to play over 100 hours, then Disgaea 3 will satisfy your requirements.  You need to be sure that you are able to put up with the fact that the game can be slow at first, building your army.  There is a lot of variety in the characters and classes.

If you were hoping to challenge other friends on the PlayStation Network with your Disgaea 3 army, then you’ll be disappointed, because there isn’t any kind of multiplayer play in the game.  While it might have been a nice feature, it really doesn’t fit in the spirit of Disgaea.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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