Aug 3, 2008

Nippon Ichi Software and NIS America have made a name for themselves by releasing a turn-based strategy RPG franchise known as Disgaea. Those who never played any of the PS2 titles, let alone the recently released Afternoon of Darkness for the PSP, will be in for a fun-filled action-packed exerience from beginning to end. This franchised is heavily influenced by the Japanese culturel from its in-depth aime style and flavor, to oddball quirks which keep the action entertaining.

Within the latest instalment, Disgaea 3, players can expand some of same action that defined the ranchise, while playing host to some new features. In the first outing for a next gen platform, Disgaea 3 focuses on the Evil Academy, which is an Underworld institute designed to teach futue demons and monsters how to get down and nasty with their enemies. Within this school is where our two main characters (Mao & Beryl) develop and grow. Mao is what you probably consider a slacker, while Beryl would be a honor student, but within this intitute, Mao is the "Honor Student" because he doesn't show up to class and avoids extracurricular assignments. Our lovely Beryl is the "Slacker. because she does find her way to class and performs good deeds. Just knowing this bit of information opens the game to soo may pssoibilites for gameplay and humor.

The gameplay aspects are broken down into a ration of 80/20, placing emphasis on the turn-based battle gameplay, seeding the game here and there with story telling and a bit of preparation. Some may see this as odd because great games generally have a balance, however within the Disgaea series, the story also unfols via epic battles, not really requiring an emphasis on story to further along the game.

Due to the focus on turn-based battles, as with previous titles, Nippon Ichi went back to refine its gameplay mechanics, thus showcasing improvements within several areas. The biggest improvement coms in the form of larger battlefields, completely rendered in 3D. Each level is filled with collectable items and destructable terrain known as Geo Blocks. For experienced players, Geo Blocks would be the equivalent to Geo Panels and and Geo Symbols, which wereboth found within Disgaea 2.

The battles with Disgaea 3 are all about creating a domino affect, which will doom you enemy, which would be standing on top of blocks. Just tr to imagine a blowing out a purple blockm which gets a yellow block to fall and collide with another yellow block, causing both to blow up. If there is a block on top, it would fall and take damage, possibly exploding and killing your enemy if standing on top of that block. It may seem simple, but you will come across battes where you will actually have to put in some work by tossing blocks to another location to create your domino effect.

Not stopping there, Disgaea 3 will be offering up dowloadable content raging from charatcers, items, and additional game chapters via the Playstation Network. There will also be puzzle-based Dark Stages, and the option to switch between Japanese and English voiceovers. All in all, whether this is a new venture for some, or another crack at this quirky franchise, Disgaea 3 is shaping up to be a perfect addition to anyone's game library.


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