Disgaea DS First Look

We take a gander at the upcoming DS port of this beloved strategy role-playing game.

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Disgaea isn't one of the more accessible strategy role-playing games on the market, but it's certainly one of the more well-liked. The Disgaea series, with its whimsically absurd stories about demonic children of the Netherworld and exploding penguin mascots called Prinnies, has garnered a cult following among fans of the genre. But up to this point, Disgaea games have been available only on PlayStation systems. That will no longer be the case when NIS America releases Disgaea DS this September.

Thanks to some already retro looks, the game transitions nicely to the DS.

Disgaea DS is a port of Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness for the PSP. Afternoon of Darkness is essentially an enhanced remake of the original game in the series, which was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2. All versions tell the story of a young lad named Laharl, the son of King Krichevskoy, ruler of the Netherworld. He winds up falling into a pretty sound sleep--for two years, in fact--only to wake up and find that his father has died and he has missed his opportunity to usurp his father's throne. So Laharl does what any good demon prince should be expected to do: take it back by force.

So begins the story of Disgaea. But as with most RPGs, the story mostly acts as a vehicle for the strategic combat. Disgaea follows the familiar route of letting you place your characters on a geometric grid and having you take turns with the enemy, balancing all of your movement with an eye on offensive attacks and defensive positioning. One of the new features in Disgaea DS is the ability to see a cut-and-dried grid of the battlefield on the top screen that shows you a top-down view of the area and characters. This is opposed to the standard view, where you see all the sprites, terrain, and obstacles in your way. The top screen is more of a map to supplement your view of the bottom screen. And while you can rotate the camera on the bottom, the sprite-based characters will often get crammed so closely together that the top screen map comes in quite handy.

While Disgaea DS is being touted as a faithful port of the PSP version of the game, there will be a handful of other new additions, including new playable characters. One new character is Adell, the star of Disgaea 2, who was unplayable in the original game. Another new feature is the Prinny commentary during dialogue sequences. The main story dialogue between characters takes place on the bottom screen, but occasionally you'll be able to read the Prinnies' take on the situation by looking at the top screen. Most of the time they're wisecracking and poking fun at the main characters. It's a bit like the director commentary you'd find on a DVD, but with exploding penguins.

Disgaea DS is scheduled to arrive this September. We'll be bringing you more on the game in the near future..

Discussion

52 comments
owen123454321
owen123454321

medabots owns , im strayin from the subject ... ive only got the 1st game , but if this is anything like the ps2 one , im in for a treat.i lie penguins , especially cuicidal ones. hope its note too expensive.cus' once i bought a new DS game for 45 quid (ripp off)

ELEMENTZERO707
ELEMENTZERO707

w00t exploding penguinse ^__^, an i'v been waiting for a ds port for a while O.o, i wonder if ther gona port the second game aswelll..

dethtouch
dethtouch

ooohhhh sh*t my wet dreams have come true!

KingHiei42
KingHiei42

I hope it has the original English voices :-/

RakkaRage
RakkaRage

best game ever... if only i could read japanese

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

are the prism rangers in the first one????

cyberjia
cyberjia

i look forward to this game

viewtifullee
viewtifullee

played alito though psp version....think i'll stop an just get this one and complete it??? wonder if itll have voice overs???

tiachan
tiachan

will the story is as same as disgaea hour of darkness?

galduke
galduke

The data of the PSP version took over 900 MB on the UMD, right? The DS game card thingy only holds 256 MB (latest versions)... Though textures often take up a large amount of space and this will be significantly reduced due to the DS's technical limitations, I suppose that if we were to expect all of the speech to be included in this version, we had better get used to the lower bit rates (or so I would assume). I agree with bongo264 about the portability bonus, and too answer other peoples thoughts on the PSP version, there is a few instances of slowdown, but not to the extent of FF Tactics. What I'm hoping for the most is that they nerf or ditch the majins, they make each class pointless to have other than to unlock the majins.

bongo264
bongo264

Everyone giving the game grief should note that games in this genre are not for everyone. But for those of us who like FFT and the like will love this one. I have played the PSP version that I borrowed from a friend and after 25 hours of play returned it. I was going to pick it up then I heard of the DS version so I thought I would wait. I like the DS portability more than my PSP. And the Prinnies will only make it better.

PhantomPhoot
PhantomPhoot

Funny, because this makes a hell of a lot more sense than Disgaea for the PS3.

Hotwhls16
Hotwhls16

Adell as a playable character sounds awesome im playing 2 right now

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

"It's a bit like the director commentary you'd find on a DVD, but with exploding penguins." LOL awesome im not etting, 'cause my wish list is already full...

shak1r
shak1r

This is a must have for me!

Fentekreel
Fentekreel

Guess i'll have to check this out since i didnt get a chance to play it on the ps2

ukillwegrill
ukillwegrill

I hope Disgaea comes to xbox some day,i just like having all the versions of it. I have the PS2 versions the PSP version and im getting this and the PS3 version on release in the US

Antilune
Antilune

Is this coming to Europe ? I miss my PS2 so much I'd buy this one and PLAY THE EFF' OUT OF IT Especially as I feel I didn't quite dug to the core of the game in the first place. I guess there won't be any voice acting on this one, huh ? I've been hearing "DOOD" in my dreams I tells ya

myols
myols

Looks to be shaping out quite well. Not sure if the bonus content will create a huge difference compared to the PS2 and PSP port. Still looking forward to playing it when it's out.

CheddarLimbo
CheddarLimbo

I would advise anyone interested in this to read the review for the original Disgea for PS2 before trying it. It's a very VERY niche kind of game. It takes a certain kind of gamer to enjoy it completely. You can easily spend 100 hours playing the game - IF it's the kind of game you already enjoy. This is a title for people who are already hardcore fans of strategy RPGs and it's not likely to draw in new players to the genre.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Now don't thumb down JUSTiN__B for a valid comment. I've tried this kind of game before (FF Tactics and Advance Wars) and found them frustrating and boring. If Disgaea is similar to them then I agree with him.

Terenigma
Terenigma

Ugh i know before now this barely had any info about it but im anoyed its been pushed back to september i was hopefull this would actually be out next month ah well. still good to hear about extras being included all sound interesting and the top map will help tons in the item world (which if you've played the original on PS2 will know it blocks your view ALOT) , cant wait!

JUSTiN__B
JUSTiN__B

I remember playing this on the PSP not too long ago and it pissed me off to no end. Didn't like it. Maybe it gets better, but After 20 minutes of playing it I was so bored.

ocdog45
ocdog45

don't know if i wnat to play this since part 3 will come out in Aug. you wouth think this would ocme out before that. we wil see. if i like it enough i will get the ds version.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Yay ! I can't wait :D. I just love the saga so much... Why... Oh why is the third episodes on PS3? :(. Leaving me no choice but to purchase the system just for that game.

PyreofKoL
PyreofKoL

O_O...thank you, God. I LOVE these games and am SO getting this

lew_0911
lew_0911

Afternoon of Darkness already had a mountain of content and they intend to chuck in even more?! Man, those guys must be really good programmers to put them all in....

kegmiester
kegmiester

its got good reviews when it was on the playstation (among other places), so i'm eager to get this game or see a review of it. prinnies, perhaps the next best thing since the lemmings or the raving rabbits.

death_godlet
death_godlet

Hm! I've heard so much about Disgaea that I'm looking forward to this. I'm not a big fan of SRPGs but NIS made ones make me happy. I think I'm gonna like this.

RichyRulez
RichyRulez

I don't recall any lag problems on the PSP version...the PSP version was the last time I'd buy this game, only the people who don't have a Sony product will get this, or die hard fans. I could imagine the graphics being worse and since it's on the DS I could see some lag problems. I want a PS3 for Disgaea 3...

rizalariff
rizalariff

I won't be buying the same game again (again)..

kmykL_optiOn
kmykL_optiOn

The PSP ver choked up only in a few of the maps when it was EXTREMELY crowded, but it was only when it was switchin turns between CPU to player and it wasn't even that long. It didn't really hinder gameplay or mess with visuals, so it didn't bother me. FFT had software issues that they didn't bother to fix; that wasn't even the PSP's fault.

realgundam
realgundam

wait wasn't this out an year ago or something?... oh wait.. thats PSP...

axelviiii
axelviiii

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinteresting...

ihma
ihma

ive passed on the psp ver for this (and cause FFT lagged alot and it was a ps1 game so i dont want to deal with a ps2 port)

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Being a huge Disgaea fan, I'm almost tempted to buy this game yet again.

Vorenthal
Vorenthal

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Vorenthal
Vorenthal

It makes me wonder how well it will run, the psp version supposedly had problems with lag in some of the crowded areas and the random dungeons...

illkillyou
illkillyou

It's a bit like the director commentary you'd find on a DVD, but with exploding penguins. That's one of the most clever things I've read on this site. Kudos! I'd like to see more of these witty remarks coming from Gamespot writers. Game magazines and early game websites had a real knack for cracking hilarious jokes, but it seems to have fallen by the wayside recently in lieu of trying to sound serious and objective. You'll win your reader's trust easiest by making them laugh, fellas.