Saturday, November 15, 2008

Doooooooood. This game rocks.

So I've put away my copy of Fallout 3 for the moment. At least until the developer's get up off of their asses and release a Construction Set for the game like they've done for their last 2 major titles.
Long story short, the reason why Oblivion continues to sell on the PC is mainly thanks to the developers releasing a modified version of the editor tools they used to make the game. As a result, Oblivion (and it's predecessor Morrowind) have one of the largest modding communities in the history of gaming, with the number of mods out there numbering in the thousands. link to planet elder scrolls

So until that happens, I find myself drawn back to a game that I was playing obsessively prior to the release of Fallout 3. I speak of Disgaea 3.

This game is addictive. How addictive you may ask? Well, I was playing it prior to the release of Silent Hill: Homecoming, and then once I beat that I went back to Disgaea 3. Then Spore came out, and after I beat it I went back to Disgaea 3. And now that Fallout 3 has come and gone, I find myself once again drawn back to it like a junkie to a dealer who also happens to be a cheap whore.

Let me explain.

The Disgaea series (now available on every god damned system except the Wii) is a tactical J-RPG. Think Final Fantasy; Tactics, where you do turn based combat, maneuvering characters around a grid like a perverted version of chess, but with chocobos and fireballs. Disgaea replaces that with an inane and truly twisted, but disturbingly funny storyline. And instead of moogles you get peglegged, knife wielding penguins who talk with surfer accents and say "Duuuuuude" way too much. They also happen to serve as the unappreciated slave/servant in the underworld.
...The moogles don't stand a chance in hell.
In Disgaea 1 (Hour of darkness) the main character is a demon prince named Laharl who awakens from a 2 year long nap to find that his invincible father, the overlord of the netherworld, has choked to death on a pretzel. Laharl decides to fill the power vacuum left by his dear old dad by the traditional demonic methods of murder, destruction and outright lying.
He's joined by a cute demoness who constantly threatens to take him down if he fails to live up to his father in her eyes, and a ditzy angel sent to assassinate him (but stops short of knifing him in the back when she finally realizes that killing is wrong). Oh, and knife wielding penguins that explode when thrown.

The plot has twists, turns, and numerous bad and god awful jokes that leave you coming back for more. The sequels only add to this and build upon the previous titles.

The game mechanics are sound and you can return to old levels to play them again, over and over to your hearts content. Oh, and you can enter any item in the game and explore a random dungeon hidden in each. The farther you descend into the item's +100 levels, the more powerful the item grows. Your items actually level in this game. And I don't just mean the weapons and armor. The healing items, the odd status effect items, etc. They all level. Not only that but they contain random towns, pirate raids, and collectable NPCs you can transfer from item to item, altering their effects. And finally, there are dozens of playable classes, you can create characters based on any monster in the game, each of which has at least 5 variations and can all level to somewhere around 9000. Now you can probably beat the game with the main characters at level 80 or so. The rest is just icing. There are unlockable bosses, arenas and all sorts of fun stuff. Oh and multiple endings. There's a special ending if you die on the very first level. And in all of the sequels, you can unlock as playable characters, the main characters from the previous games.

There is also a senate in the game where you can try to get various bills passed. These vary from allowing you to unlock strange new side quests, to being able to buy shoes in the store. And while there are a lot of little factors that decide if one of the many random senators vote for or against your bills, the best way to be assured of victory is to bribe them (they are demons). And if all else fails, you can always try to kill those who vote against you.

As I said, I'm currently obsessed with Disgaea 3, which only adds more complexity and insanity to the series. Now you can pass on experience from one character to another, enter your own characters in a weird variation of the "Item world" concept I mentioned before. So within each character there are hundreds of random dungeons occupied by clones of the character and at the end of this gauntlet you gain the ability to boost the skills and abilities of said character, or simple teach him/her some very powerful new attacks. I find myself obsessed with a strategy I found online that will allow me to level up the main character to level 9999. The idea of becoming insanely strong and dealing millions of points of damage in a single hit appeals to me somehow.

The story centers around Mao, the resident of an underworld that consists entirely of one giant university of evil. His dad just happens to the the overlord of this little University of damnation and Mao seeks his death. Why? Because his dad accidentally stepped on his video game console, killing the memory cards and with them over 13 million hours of saved games (demons live a long time).

In my opinion, Disgaea is one of those series that wins any competition hands down. Well not "best sports game of '07" or something idiotic like that, but they're great games nonetheless.


And yes, this is a scene from the game, and yes that is a tower of characters all doing a wrestling move on 1 enemy. It's that kind of game.

6 comments:

Shawn R. said...

This looks insanely awesome! Good find; me wantie.

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