this game is a must have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! go buy now!!!!!!!!!!!
The original PS2 title has been faithfully recreated here, although it's been adapted for the DS and touch screen controls have been added. It's basically the same game with a few extra characters and a wireless multiplayer mode for two people who own the game. For the most part it translates very well, although I don't think the top screen has been put to the best use. When exploring the hub world it is left mostly blank, and in battle it displays an overall map that is a bit too crude to be much use.
Disgaea games are all about turning the bad guys into good guys. Players control Laharl, the demon prince of the netherworld. He awakens from a long slumber to find his father has passed away and many demons are vying for control of the land. Laharl sets out to put these fakers in their place. While the game begins in the depths of the netherworld, over time it will reach into our world and up into the heavens. The story is full of wacky Japanese humor and there is some nice romantic tension between Laharl and a fallen angel named Flonne. Unfortunately, whereas the PS2 game allowed players to select between Japanese and English voice tracks, only English could fit on the DS cartridge. The story seems silly and trite at first, but slowly these characters begin to reveal their various vulnerabilities and they really draw the player in.
While the touch screen controls have been implemented well, I prefer to use traditional button control. If you go the way of the stylus, you'll find you can make all your selections that way and several icons have been added to the touch screen. Touching these icons allows you to perform basic functions like rotating the screen or zooming in and out. The entire game, save for strolling around the hub world, can be controlled with the stylus. Disgaea's isometric view caused the occasional problem on the PS2 when columns or walls obstructed the player's view. These instances occur on the DS, as well, but they are rare and don't detract from the experience.
The general flow of the game goes from the hub world, where you can buy items and deal with the Dark Assembly (more on that in a bit), to a cut scene setting up the next battle, to the actual turn-based combat scenario. Fights will be familiar to anyone who has played Final Fantasy Tactics or Ogre Battle. During your turn, you can give commands to everyone in your party, but they won't act on their commands until you select "execute." You can either attack with characters one at a time or assign an action to everyone and let them all go at once. This feature makes quite a few interesting techniques possible.
At the beginning of battle your team is safe inside their base panel. They can be moved in and out as you wish until they have executed a maneuver. But apart from their own moves, each unit can also take part in team-up attacks if they're standing next to a teammate. That means you can pull people out, let them team up, then send them back to the base panel and use them again. Whereas many turn-based strategy games restrict our options to attacking or casting a spell, Disgaea invents new gameplay opportunities and invites the player to explore them.
One of the key features of Disgaea is the geo symbol system. On most maps, certain panels will glow in different colors. These are the geo panels. You'll also find small pyramids called geo symbols lying around. Bear with me here, because I'm going to make your brain explode: The geo symbols each possess one stat-altering effect, but they have to be resting on a panel in order to be activated. If they are, their effect will be transmitted to every panel of the same color and therefore to any character standing on one of them. So if the symbol "attack +50" is sitting on a red panel, then any character standing on a red panel will be imbued with an attack bonus of +50. These symbols can be destroyed, and if they're resting on a color different than their own they will destroy all the panels sharing that hue. It's possible to create enormous combos that clear all the panels from a map, kill all the enemies, and earn you a hefty bonus. In this way, Disgaea can be approached as a puzzle game, if you so desire.
You should probably clean up all those bits of your brain before you continue reading.
In between battles, you can make proposals to the Dark Assembly, the ruling body of the Netherworld, for legislation like better items in the shops or less powerful enemies. The senators are all demons and can be bribed into voting your way. Once they have voted you can either accept their decision or try to defeat them all and beat them into submission. These flashes of dark humor are what give Disgaea so much personality.
The lacklustre use of the top screen is one of my few gripes with Disgaea DS.
Multicard wireless play is available for two player head-to-head matches. There are nine multiplayer maps available and battles play out much like they do in single-player. You can use the party you've built in story mode, but you can't use items and you won't gain experience. The winner will receive two points and the loser will receive one. Multiplayer points are cumulative and build your ranking, but only in this wireless mode. If you're not feeling particularly violent, you can connect with a friend to buy or sell items.
Aside from the story progression, there is the Item World, which is almost a game unto itself. Every item in the game contains a world that Laharl can delve into. Here, he fights through a series of battles much like in the story mode. The thing is, he can only escape every 10 levels. If he is defeated at any point in the Item World, he'll lose all his progress and starts from his last save. The purpose of the Item World is to gain experience, find powerful items, and level up the item the world is contained in. This feature provides almost infinite gameplay opportunities for those that want to extend their experience.
very deep game
you'll love it