disgaea

Game: Disgaea 4 Revisted by Aisha Anime

Disgaea 4 Revisited

Platform: PS Vita

Publisher: Nis

Price: £29.99

The fourth in the series, Disgaea is back with quirky weapon descriptions and cheesy jokes which we love it for. This game does not take itself seriously and laughs at itself as we follow the topsey turvey Netherworld. Using old school RPG fighting methods similar to that of Final Fantasy Tactics, where strategy is key to winning.

The PS Vita remake is an enhanced port of the 2011 PlayStation 3 title originally named A Promise Unforgotten. The Disgaea games, in my opinion work best on a handheld console as it is easier to grind through stages to level up items/weapons whilst sitting on the train than focusing your free time at home on it. Also the updated version is worth investing in because of all the new additions and changes including extra music tracks, new character classes, DLC and new scenarios !

disgaea4 official art

We are now following a new set of characters – this time we follow a vampire protagonist who is interestingly enough no one in power but a mere Prinny Instructor. He has been landed this role after losing his former strength after a foolish promise (made 400 years ago)to not drink human blood again – and substitutes his blood lust with sardines.  This plot filled me with joy meaning the iconic Penguin demons lacky’s are now an integral part of the story.

When the government orders the mass extermination of all Prinnies, Valvatorez sets off with his loyal vassal, Fenrich, to stop the madness. The game counts his attempts to overthrow the government and pokes fun at real life politics including some jokes relating to President Obama. Also the politics overflow in to the gameplay now including calling assembly. Any seasoned Disgaea player knows you ‘call assembly’ to unlock new character classes, hidden areas, character strengths. Now via the new ‘Cam-pain HQ’ you can also arrange people on the Netherworld to protect it from Government attacks which also give the user additional stat boosts. Also bribe senators into giving you rare items or abilities and set up your own cabinet where your foreign minister choosing from your own character set list.

gameplay d4

Also when unlocking new characters you also see them making a vote pledge to gain votes via respectable or corrupt methods, this is another amusing addition to the game. The game has the usual tutorials for explaining each new feature which is worth checking out if you are new to the game. It However the game itself leaves hints within the game.

The only drawback with the PS Vita version is it brings nothing new to the series as a whole, no development in graphics we still have the high resolution 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds which makes the game so charming to me but not so much for the modern gamer.

stage clear

DIsgaea 4 Revisited still offers plenty of appeal to both new and old fans; just in a dofferent point of view. The story itself is great to follow and see the characters develop like Fuka the teenager who thinks decending to the Netherworld is all just a dream and wears a school uniform as the Prinny hides ran out. Then one of the big bosses takes a liking to Fuka and decides to become her adopted sister (against Fuka’s will as she thinks the demon is gross.)

The Final Word

This is one of the best JRPG’s on the handheld market holding together a great script with top notch voice acting and a great new cast of characters since the first game. Minor changes to the tactical aspects to keep things fresh and of course new additions to this game including new scenarios/story to follow, unlocking new character classes and lots of DLC. If you want to see development in the Disgaea series Disgaea 5 is what you want to watch out for.

Score: 9/10

Read my review of Disgaea D2 here.

~Aisha Anime~

fighting d4

Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight by Aisha Anime

witch and the hundred knight

Publisher: NISA

Platform: PS3

Genre: JRPG

Price: currently £34,99

The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a JRPG game from the creators of Disgaea, Phantom Brave and Makai Kingdom. Nisa this time gives us a game with demon like story with far darker humour wrapped up with the familiar art and music we are accustomed to in a 3D model form.

Firstly we aren't tied to tactical movement, you can roam freely in a real time area and fight whatever fiends you come across you are given an assortment of weapons to use and experiment with to create different combos: sword, spear, lance, staff, and hammer. Each with a different Slash or Blunt quality, they can also inflict different status ailments like poison. Also with the ability to equip five weapons at the same time you can find the best combo to have the highest chain to beat downs to your enemies and trust me this is really important.

When roaming the maps and fulfilling quests you can often die and then lose all your possessions you have collected and item bonuses. The bonus system differs quite a bit from Disgaea, you can gain bonuses from fighting or opening chests and lose them from dying. Not something I likes brought back nasty memories of Phantasy Star online of losing my booty and then being robbed by other online players. This raises another question why not have an online co-op mode?

In the game it's good to collect Tochkas which are special skills - obtained either from chests or at certain moments in the story, and include abilities such as laying down a timed bomb, or kill enemies who are low in health, etc. In the beginning you are guided through the basics of the game in the tutorial which explains R1 lock's on targets, letting them focus on whatever they are looking at. 

tochika

Actions made by the character like walking or fighting affects the GigaCals aka your energy. Your hungry so feed the Knight with an item that affects it or by returning to base or else game over your attack and defense drop and you eventually pass out, lose your possessions and have to travel back tot he last pillar you activated. 

This is what frustrated me about the game I could hardly enjoy grinding as one does in RPG's when I'm  constantly worrying about the status bar, it doesn't even stop drainign when the ga,e takes control over the character. Overall, the combat was fun and you button bash thropugh the fights and run when appropriate. Customising was my favourite part, dressing up the knight.

You can pretty much complete maps without using the pillars but the game forgets to mention that by doing so you lose out on all of your earned XP and items in your stomach if you decide to do this, and does it without any kind of warning. The stomach feature was a little confusing, you can use items stored in there, but you couldn't put items in unless you found them on the map so I couldn't really do much for healing in boss battles when running in circles flailing.

The story starts out interesting you play as the minion of super pissed off  swamp witch Metallia, she forges a contract with an unlikely hero who she names "Hundred Knight" to help her spread her swamp throughout all of Medea. As the Hundred Knight, your mission is to do whatever your master, the Swamp Witch, commands. Explore the world, destroy Pillars built to prevent her swamp from spreading, and wreak indiscriminate havoc on town, raid and loot to your advantage. However, in the back of your inhuman mind, you begin to wonder... What prevents Metallia from leaving the swamp? Why do the other witches shun her, and how can she survive in a swamp that is notorious for how poisonous its fumes are? Is Metallia really a witch to respect, or something far more deadlier? 

metallia

We are given so may characters, we hardly have an time to connect with them. It's a shame as I was looking forward to getting to know the characters from the beautiful designs by Takehito Harada in the the art book. The not so glamorous butler Arlecchino, is a magical being who has faithfully served Metallia for well over 100 years he does not get enough air time deispite being quite humourous in the mostly crude conversation. Sadly this is a solo player game. 

The maps vary from large and expansive with an atmosphere and lots of treasure laid out and some are tedious labyrinths with barely any monsters around. If it wasn't for the music by     Tenpei Sato I'd be banging my head on the table from annoyance.

artbook usa edition

Metallia has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as I love the witty and risque conversations in previous Disgaea games Metallia likes to take things a bit too far. I wouldn't recommend this game to under 16 years olds, too much inappropriate swearing and even I was suprised about the random spurts of violence. Considering the same team made Disgaea, they made us care about evil characters in this game we feel more like 'well that served that jerk right.'

fan service

The Witch and the Hundred Knight decides to focus more on 3D model graphics than character development. A new battle system is introduced and hoepfully never again into the Disgaea series. The 3D models felt that of a PS2 game so I would have prefered the 2D sprites, they still hold charm! You can get about 30 hours of game play plus you can always turn the notch up on difficulty to  keep yourself challenged. Despite the not so great 3D models the environments, were engulfing really dark forests creating that outer world atmosphere like that of Jade Cacoon.  I would rate this game 7/10. Most people will appreciate the character deisgns, music and voice acting as much as I did.

Click on the photo to see other photos in the gallery. 

Aisha Anime