User Rating: 9.1 | Makai Senki Disgaea PS2
Disgaea is a game that we've all been waiting to happen. With the release of Tactics Ogre: The Knights of Lodis, a little bit of life was breathed back into a genre that was considered all but dead--strategy RPGs. After such a revival expanding to series like Dynasty Warriors and Onimusha, there was bound to be a game that not only sustained the genre, but advanced it. That game was Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Every hardcore gamer waits eagerly for the day when a developer sides with innovation over security. Either way they win. They either get an amazing game to absorb irretrievable hours of their lives or they get a target for mockery and ridicule. As much as Disgaea's brilliantly hilarious dialog will make you laugh uncontrollably, the innovations of this game have made Disgaea anything but a laughing stock. It's hard to say that this is the greatest SRPG of all time only because Disgaea's alterations often make game play completely different than any of its predecessors. However, there need not be any hesitation before saying that Disgaea is first game to take the genre in such a dramatically new direction to hit American shores. Disgaea makes full utilization of a concept that all RPG players have been waiting to be implemented in a large scale since Chrono Trigger with Team Attacks and combos. It adds a silly, but revolutionary game play mechanism by allowing the throwing of characters. Also, a heavy dousing of flavor is given to the game by the diverse situations that arise out of the geo-symbol system. Beyond the changes made to core game play, Disgaea adds the systems of the dark assembly and item world, giving the experience an unbelievable level of depth and no foreseeable end of things to do. Disgaea obviously isn't for everyone because of time demands and the nature of the genre, but anyone who has an affinity for SRPGs, micromanagement, innovative game design, or Japanese comic mischief owes it to himself to check out Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.