Disgaea 1 Complete - A True Remasterpiece (Nintendo Switch, PS4)
Who it Caters to
Back when tactical RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre were sailing along the smooth waves in the mid 90’s, Disgaea was but an ingenious idea waiting to eventually see the spotlight several years later on the PlayStation 2. The tactical RPG genre certainly had much brighter days, but as of late we’re seeing a resurgence taking place, with more and more players taking a liking to the very strategic and cerebral style of gameplay. When Disgaea: Hour of Darkness released back in 2003, people were blown away by its incredible narrative, well designed characters, and a vastly improved combat system that almost rivaled that of Final Fantasy Tactics. Fast forward to today and NIS America have officially launched the game as Disgaea 1 Complete, taking everything which made the original so outstanding and adding a little more icing to ensure the tactical RPG cake tastes even more delicious.
What to Expect
Nothing will ever truly beat the original, and that statement resonates soundly with Disgaea 1 Complete. While you’re essentially getting a port of the classic PlayStation 2 title, it’s a much more revamped version which includes new features, such as improved visuals that are fully optimized for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. It also includes an additional bonus story titled ‘Etna Mode’, which had been introduced after Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. The sprites in the game just look even more polished along with the the stages and overall, the gameplay retains its extremely high replay value, allowing players to grind it out until level 9999. Are you ready to relive the nostalgia in HD form? Then get ready!
King Krichevskoy’s reign came to an unfortunate end as word of his demise spread all throughout the kingdom, and demons from all over have come to seize the opportunity to bring suffering upon the people. Laharl, the King’s son, awakens to discover the truth of his father’s untimely demise and so, he alongside his companions Etna and Flonne set out to ensure that the throne is rightfully his.
As stated before, Disgaea 1 Complete comes fully equipped with visual upgrades in order to match the power of both the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. We reviewed it on the Switch and it looks splendid in handheld mode, which to be honest is quite fitting because it did see some life on the PlayStation Portable along with the Nintendo DS. While its early beginnings did start out on a home console, Disgaea 1 Complete truly does feel complete when its played on a handheld because you can take your adventures with you. Every sprite in the game has had its animations improved along with all the maps looking a lot more polished than before, which is always a plus. Special effects have also seen an upgrade, really giving battles a lot more visual flare and providing a more thrilling experience when you land the perfect strike.
While the sound has always been great in the series, we really didn’t hear any significant difference from the original compared to the current title. That of course isn’t a bad thing because it still retains its comedic charm in the voice acting department, and the plus side is that you can choose between whether you’d like Japanese voicing or English voicing. Since nothing much really changed here, we’ll just leave you with a positive statement in that Disgaea 1 Complete’s sound and music are very much complete indeed.
Gameplay is just what you’d expect from the revered tactical RPG franchise: it’s all about strategic placement of your characters to ensure you set up the right traps to defeat the enemy. While that all sounds easy on paper, it certainly does require a lot of practice and constant adjusting of your team because as the game progresses, the enemies become much stronger and don’t hesitate to make your life a living hell when they want to. It’s important that when playing Disgaea 1 Complete you make sure every single character on your team gets the right upgrades to their stats. Another beauty about the Disgaea franchise is that you essentially create your own characters, which of course are based off of default classes, but you can change their name and level them up whatever way you see fit, as long as you don’t kill them often. You can however dispose of them if they don’t seem to sync well with your approach, which adds some versatility to the gameplay and provides new ways to improvise on the fly.
You have a variety of classes to choose from and so, knowing what each class represents and their strengths can ensure a long survival in the game. You have warriors, martial artists, mages, healers, magic knights, samurai, thieves, archers, and ninjas as the base choices. As you level up and meet specific conditions, you’ll be able to unlock new advanced job classes such as the celestial host. Creating a versatile team is what will help you course through the game without much trouble and as we said, that’s really where much of the fun factor comes into play. Since you’re constantly battling enemies and coming up with new tactical approaches to ensure you don’t succumb to injury, your mind is constantly racing to see just what new approach is best to subdue the next enemy. Disgaea 1 Complete feels like a continuous game of chess as you’re constantly trying to outplay the CPU and be two steps ahead at all times, making sure that every requirement is met and your team is well maintained.
Once you get closer towards the end game that’s when things get real tight and you’ll need to truly master how to properly position your characters on the map to land big damage, fully understanding how GEO Nodes work and how to always turn them in your favour, along with knowing when to simply not approach and force the enemy to decide. All of those factors are things you must constantly be wary of to ensure your success rate stays high. We’ll admit that you’ll die quite frequently along the way but in order to become a master, you must learn how to lose too. That’s where the fun comes in for Disgaea 1 Complete.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Disgaea 1 Complete still feels like the original but just dressed up in a much more sophisticated suit this time around. Its polished visuals truly pop on the Switch handheld mode and because of the upgraded performance of the hardware, the game runs at a smooth 60 fps. We didn’t notice any frame drops and throughout our entire playthrough, the only thing that bothered us was just dying to harder enemies. Overall, the game is still a classic in our books and we hope you find it to be just as enjoyable as we found it to be.
Stays true to the original.
Visually upgraded and looks a lot more polished.
Gameplay performs much better on current gen consoles.
Always love the humor in this game.
JP/ENG voice selection.
Can be quite difficult for some.
It’s not really brand new by any means.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found our review of Disgaea 1 Complete to provide you with a complete source of information, and that it encourages you to go out and play it for yourself. Be sure to check out our other reviews of NIS related titles and let us know your thoughts in the common section below. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay updated on all the latest gaming info and of course, follow us on Twitch to catch us playing all of our reviewed titles and more live!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!