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Disgaea photo

Europe has to wait an extra week for Disgaea 5

Last-minute delay
Sep 26
// Jordan Devore
NIS has passed along word that Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance won't reach Europe until October 19, 2015. This one-week delay stems from "unforeseen circumstances," according to a representative, and affects "all retailers in the European region, as well as the digital release." As for the North American launch, it's still on for October 6, 2015 as originally scheduled. Watch out for those bears!

Review: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance

Sep 22 // Chris Carter
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (PS4)Developer: NIS Publisher: NIS Released: October 6, 2015MSRP: $59.99 This time around, Void Dark, an evil overlord, sparks the largest Netherworld war in history. As a result of essentially alienating the entire galaxy, a heap of rival overlords rise up in revolt, one of which is led by the stoic warrior Killia. Because of the focus on global (or universal) conflict, the narrative feels more sprawling in Alliance of Vengeance, which works both for and against it. This is more of a gradual story, building up over time, than the small-group feel of most of the series. Hell, in Disgaea 3, the main character wants to kill his dad for smashing his video games. As a result, the characters aren't quite as crazy or manic as Laharl and Mao -- they have bigger things at stake. Killia's silent archetype does get old after a while, but his style actually works from a gameplay perspective, so I never felt fully disconnected from him. Seraphina, the Princess Overlord of the Gorgeous, is a bit more annoying. She has that "hohohoho!" laugh that's popular in anime, and her jokes of dominating everyone around her get old very quickly. But like all Disgaea characters, she opens up over time and reveals more depth, particularly with her backstory. She also fills in for Etna in-between chapters, delivering the comedic interludes that are clearly too absurd to be canon. There are plenty of side-conversations to have, and an archive function in the game's hub world allows players to re-watch cutscenes or dialog bits. Ailliance of Vengeance's weakest point is probably the narrative this time around. Particularly for the first 10 hours or so, the pace is relatively slow. You know nothing of the true motivations of most of the cast, and the main draw seems to be "fight, fight, fight until we get to Void Dark." You'll get a few flashes of story here and there, but for the most part it's one-dimensional, at least for the first half. [embed]309993:60317:0[/embed] As for the rest of the cast, it's about par for the course -- you have your meathead, your subservient Prinnies, your overconfident youngsters, and so on. There wasn't anyone I outright loved like Almaz or Mr. Champloo from Disgaea 3, but no one is excessively annoying or not worth using during missions. I've always felt like Disgaea is what you make it, party-wise. Since the class creation system is more robust than ever, you can literally custom-tailor your own characters if you don't like the core cast. It helps that the animations are beautiful, as is the artwork. It's not going to push the PS4 even close to its limits, but it's far better looking than the last entries on PS3, and it's crazy how gorgeous anime-style games look on current consoles. It's all so smooth, colorful, and well-crafted. Even characters that belong to the same class look different enough, especially when they wield a variety of weapons, which yield their own sets of personality. Disgaea 5 kicks off in record time, as you're placed into the main hub in minutes. Like every other game in the series, you'll launch missions from here, equip your party, and shoot the breeze with various NPCs. The tools available are a bit more expansive than other games, most notably the crazy character creation mechanic I mentioned above. In addition to a name and color scheme, you'll also be able to hire them at your current level, alter their personality, and change every single one of their skills if you wish. For instance, you could create a fury-crazed warrior with a red hue named Immortan Joe, debuff his ranged attacks, and reapply those points into close-combat, high-risk abilities. As usual, the "all at once" player turns in combat work splendidly. If you've never played a Disgaea game before, your entire team gets to do their turn, and then the enemy team does theirs. It's an interesting juxtaposition to the alternating scheme used in most SRPGs, and it's even more nuanced when you take into account the "execute" function that lets you play out part of your turn in the order that you selected. This is on top of the crazy counter-attacks that will play out randomly (as well as counter-counters and counter-counter-counters), and team-up attacks that initiate when you're near a party member on the grid. You also need to watch for enemy "Evilties" this time, which may produce effects like making foes stronger next to other baddies, and so on. Likewise, your team has their own set of Evilties, like Seraphina's ability to do more damage to males. Combined with the Geo system (colored zones that also provide buffs or debuffs), you'll have to pay attention at all times to get the most out of a battle. Eventually, you'll unlock the power to place characters in "Support Squads," granting them special bonuses with the caveat that each squad is limited in number. Oh, and there's the Revenge system that powers up characters after the death of a connected party member, the Item World and council system return, and new classes like Dark Knights (one of my new favorites), Maids (an item-based class), and Fairies (who absorb magic) join the fray. Thankfully, there are a lot of game options to customize the experience as well, including jacking up the movement speed during hub sequences, upping combat speed, skipping animations, and auto-scrolling conversations, which are mostly fully-voiced. While I don't have access to it yet and it didn't influence this review, Alliance of Vengeance still has the contentious DLC strategy as past titles. I feel like the series has enough content to last you at least 100 hours on its own, but I still don't like the idea of selling fan-favorite characters piecemeal directly after launch. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance may not have the best story or cast in the series, but it gets the job done, and brings a ton of advancements with it in the process. I'll probably be playing this one for years to come, and I sincerely hope NIS is able to continue this series. It's still one of the best SRPG franchises in the business. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Disgaea 5 review photo
Finding The Lost
I can count on the Disgaea series. While NIS always seems to be trying to recreate the magic of the initial release, every game manages to capture the essence of SRPGs in a charming and robust manner. The story isn't as impressive as the last entry, but Alliance of Vengeance has made a number of advancements to the Disgaea formula.

Hotter than Hell photo
Hotter than Hell

Disgaea 5 has sexy eye candy for all, dood!

Also a pissing penguin
Sep 04
// Jed Whitaker
I've got my grubby hands on an early copy of Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance for PS4 and decided to snap some screenshots -- which oddly get watermarked automatically -- while I do what I've done with every game in...
Disgaea 5 photo
Disgaea 5

Yes, Disgaea 5 will have plenty of classic characters as DLC

Flonne confirmed
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is coming to the US on October 6 on PS4, and in true NIS, it will have lots of character DLC. It will arrive in five batches, which will feature characters from Disgaea 3, 4, and D2, as well a...

Disgaea photo

The Disgaea Triple Play Collection is coming to the US

Expect it soon
Jul 10
// Chris Carter
NIS has announced that the Disgaea Triple Play Collection is coming to the US on September 15. It's currently available in Europe, but today is the first time the publisher has revealed that it will be coming furthe...
Dis guy, eh? photo
Dis guy, eh?

Disgaea 5 will debut in North America and Europe in October

Still a PS4 exclusive
Jun 26
// Chris Carter
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance will be making its way to the PS4 on October 6 in North America, and October 9 in Europe, NIS has announced. It will feature a new Overlord named Void Dark, and a demon who stands against him...
Disgaea photo

Disgaea classes will pop up in Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy

Choose the top six
Apr 30
// Chris Carter
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is still on track for a release in June in the west for the PlayStation Vita, but you'll get a chance now to vote for some extra characters from the Disgaea series to appear in the seque...
Dis' guy, eh? photo
Dis' guy, eh?

Disgaea 5's Usalia is adorable, deadly, and rides a Prinny

Oh and she's a wererabbit
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance will be out next month in Japan and later this year internationally, so for now all we can do is look at footage and compare and contrast the newly minted cast to past additions. So far I'm actually enjoying the new characters, including Usalia, who rides a yellow Prinny at all times. Oh, and she's apparently a wererabbit. Amazing!
Disgaea photo

Nippon Ichi created a Disgaea variety show to promote the latest entry

It's 30 minutes long and has Prinnies
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
The release of Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance isn't too far off, and Nippon Ichi Software has crafted a variety show of sorts called The Disgaea Channel. It's all in Japanese, but it's 30 minutes long, and features gi...
Disgaea 5 opener photo
Disgaea 5 opener

So, Disgaea 5 is horny/funny s-CRY-ed? Watch the full opener

'Dis guy, ehhh?
Jan 08
// Steven Hansen
This may be me projecting. I think about s-CRY-ed a lot. I don't know why. And it certainly did not invent the "guy with cool arm" genre. Still, the first half of this trailer reminded me a lot of s-CRY-ed, and then the...
Disgaea 5 photo
Disgaea 5

Don't count on a Disgaea 5 Vita port anytime soon

Even though the first four games have been ported to Sony portables
Dec 31
// Chris Carter
Disgaea 1 and 2 were ported to the PSP, and Disgaea 3 and 4 were ported to the Vita, allowing handheld gamers to enjoy the series. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the PS4-bound Disgaea 5 will get that s...
Disgaea 5 photo
Still not tired of SRPGs
NIS has released a new video for Disgaea 5, and the animations and insane special attacks are as crazy as ever. I'm really loving the landscapes this time around, as there seems to be a lot more diversity when it comes to th...

Disgaea 5 confirmed photo
Disgaea 5 confirmed

Disgaea 5 will come to North America and Europe in 2015

Alliance of Vengeance coming to Western PS4s
Dec 17
// Steven Hansen
'Dis guy, ehhh? At the Tokyo Game Show we learned Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (awful subtitle*) was coming to PS4 in 2015. NIS America has confirmed it will be available in North America and Europe in the fall of 20...
Prinny photo

Prinny Research Squad has some weird looking characters

Flan Prinny
Nov 06
// Chris Carter
Developer NIS has informed us that a browser game called Prinny Research Squad is in the works. It's a tie-in to Disgaea 5, and will feature exploration gameplay of some sort. In typical Prinny fashion, it will be extremely w...
Disgaea 5 photo
Disgaea 5

Disgaea 5 pumps up the volume of characters on-screen

Pump it up!
Sep 03
// Brittany Vincent
Disgaea 5 will be the biggest game in the series to date, stated developer Nippon Ichi Software's president Sohei Niikawa. He stated that the company had considered designing the game to be multi-platform with a release on th...
PS4 and Vita photo
PS4 and Vita

PS4 getting Disgaea 5, Earth Defense Force, Ys, Gundam and Senran Kagura

A bunch of these are coming to Vita, too
Sep 01
// Steven Hansen
More news from Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show conference. NIS is working on Disgaea 5 for PS4 after the recent Vita port of Disgaea 4. It's coming out in 2015. A new Hot Shots Golf meant to capitalize on the PS4's socia...
Disgaea 4 Vita photo
Disgaea 4 Vita

Disgaea 4 is pure insanity on PlayStation Vita

Cool Prinny hat, Fuka.
Jul 12
// Kyle MacGregor
The fact Disgaea is wild and bizarre may come as no surprise to series veterans, but for any newcomers out there, this new trailer should leave you with little doubt. Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited debuts in North Ameri...
NIS at E3 2014 photo
NIS at E3 2014

NIS takes us to an island paradise, battles us, then travels back in time

A new series mingles with sequels at NIS' E3 preview
Jun 16
// Natalie Kipper
NIS was a bit of a hidden treasure at E3. The publisher shared a booth with Atlus and it took me stopping and actually looking at what was on display at the demo station to put two and two together. The search was well worth it because I was rewarded with a closer look at three upcoming titles: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, and Natural Doctrine.

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited out this August for PlayStation Vita

August 12 for North America, August 29 for Europe
May 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited finally has a release date for the PlayStation Vita! North America can expect this one on August 12, while Europe will see this on August 29. The game will be available via retail and digital st...
More Vita games photo
More Vita games

Fairy Fencer F and Disgaea 4 Vita dated for the west

More Japanese games to go with Danganronpa 2
Apr 18
// Steven Hansen
Earlier today, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair got a release date for North American Vitas: September 2. I still need to play the first. Anyway, more Japanese games have western release dates. Compile Heart's RPG Fairy Fencer ...

Hey, you got some Disgaea in my Demon Gaze

Vita RPG gets Disgaea character DLC
Feb 27
// Dale North
Upcoming (and nice-looking!) Vita RPG Demon Gaze will see a DLC release that brings characters from teh world of Disgaea into the fold. Free DLC downloads will let you add Disgaea characters like Etna, Flonne, Sicily, Asagi, ...

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited gets summer launch on Vita

More content, more portable, more Prinnies, probably!
Feb 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is slated to bring its unique brand of tactical role-playing goodness to PlayStation Vita in North America and Europe sometime this summer, according to NIS America. Initially released on P...
Disgaea 4 Vita photo
Disgaea 4 Vita

Disgaea 4 Return gets a debut Vita trailer

Portables are perfect for this series
Oct 31
// Chris Carter
Disgaea 4 is coming to the Vita in the form of Disgaea 4 Returns, and you can get a quick look at what's on offer in this new trailer from developer NIS. The franchise's signature style is all here, including Prinny costumes...

New releases: Beyond, Pokemon X/Y, Disgaea

Oct 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Xbox 360: Capcom Essentials, Just Dance 2014, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, Let's Sing and Dance, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition PS3: Beyond: Two Souls, Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, Capcom Essentials, Just Dance 2014, Atomic Ninjas, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition, Orc Attack Wii U: Just Dance 2014 Wii: Just Dance 2014 PC: F1 2013, Gas Guzzlers Extreme, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, Farming Simulator 2013 Titanium Edition, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition 3DS: Pokemon X, Pokemon Y PS Vita: Atomic Ninjas, Worms Revolution Extreme, Malicious Rebirth Just Dance 2014 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Wii) [embed]263182:50805:0[/embed] Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) [embed]263182:50807:0[/embed] Beyond: Two Souls (PS3) [embed]263182:50808:0[/embed] Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PS3) [embed]263182:50809:0[/embed]
New releases photo
Plus Borderlands 2 and Dishonored Game of the Year editions
It's here! It's finally here! Pokemon X and Y is out this week for the 3DS and it's pretty much going to be the only thing anyone talks about leading up to the next-gen consoles. Oh, Beyond: Two Souls is also out this week. ...

Review: Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

Oct 07 // Chris Carter
Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PS3)Developer: Nippon Ichi SoftwarePublisher: Nippon Ichi SoftwareReleased: October 8, 2013 (NA) / September 27 (EU)MSRP: $49.99 If you've never played a Disgaea game before, the focus is decidedly on nonsensical fun, with a touch of anime-style insanity. Disgaea's trademark humor is back, including Etna's anime interludes, Prinny debauchery, and other silly sideshows. The voice acting ranges from over the top to top notch, and if there's any downside to D2's presentation, it's that the game assumes you already know the characters inside and out -- so if you haven't played the first one, either seek it out or read about the main characters a bit before you dive in. Tonally, D2 is also in a different spot. Whereas the first game had a story that was nonsensical as well, there were a few brief moments that hit hard and touched on concepts like sacrifice, morality, and death -- with a few surprises along the way. There's basically none of that in D2. Instead, you'll experience more craziness, like Laharl turning into a girl, or Laharl finding his long-lost angelic sister. But so long as you're not expecting some earth-shattering revelations, all of that silliness is totally worth watching, and it's in the spirit of the franchise -- in a good way. As is the case with previous games in the franchise, Disgaea isn't exactly on what you'd call the cutting edge of visuals. Although the character designs (both new and old) are top-notch stuff, the actual in-game models leave much to be desired, especially near the end of the PS3's lifecycle. It's all pretty low-tech, but thankfully the interface is still as sleek and as effective as ever, so you shouldn't have much trouble navigating your way into any of the game's hundreds of options. Disgaea D2 is a strategy RPG (SRPG) through and through, as battles take place on a grid-like board in a turned-based fashion. But instead of taking turns individually, the way Disgaea works is you take turns as a team, then the entire AI side goes. So basically, you can plan out each and every move for your entire party, and take it all back, initiate every action at once, or use the "execute" menu option to only queue up certain abilities. It's an easy to understand yet complex system that really makes the combat sequences in Disgaea special, since you need to learn how to plan out everything at once. In short, everything you do could potentially combine with something else whether that's a team attack or just a matter of positioning that varies with every skirmish. The key to Disgaea is that you need to think about almost every individual move you make -- especially on some of the more difficult boss battles. With that said, D2 is probably one of the easiest games in the franchise to pick up mechanically, as it's all laid out to you in the very beginning in a comprehensive tutorial. The only problem is the story jumps in assuming you already know the characters, making for a somewhat jarring juxtaposition. Customization is king in Disgaea, and it's just as lively in D2. Using a tool called the Dark Assembly, you can create your own custom party right after the tutorial, and pretty much roll the exact way you want to. If you're keen on creating a ton of weak fighters to help set up combos -- that's cool. If you want to create a select few powerful casters first or attempt a more defensive strategy, that's cool too. You can also set up your party to be apprentices to certain classes and characters, learning their master's abilities in the process, and creating hybrids. New to D2, you can also raise party affinity levels (which are referred to as "likeability" levels) to connect them to certain party members for added bonuses. Mounting creatures and riding them around is a new feature, which isn't as fun as it sounds outside of a few test runs. Although, it finally does carve a niche for monsters that really wasn't as sound as before, and it's far superior to the Magichange system of previous games. You can also change the game the way you want to, like raising or lowering experience or currency rates. Although this was always an option to an extent, D2 takes it to an extreme, with a mechanic called the "Cheat Shop." The concept of the Disgaea series is pretty simple -- if you can dream it within the confines of an SRPG shell, you can do it. Various mechanics from past games are pretty much all here, like the ability to combo attacks when next to each other. Geo Panels also return from the old games, adding a puzzle element to the proceedings, coloring different pieces of the grid with different modifiers like "enemies do 50% extra damage when on green tiles." Throwing returns as well, which allows you to create stacks of characters and reach areas you otherwise wouldn't be able to while walking. Again, character placement is key. The Item World returns, and like other entries' iterations of the concept, it doesn't disappoint. As one of the wackiest concepts to ever grace gaming, every single item has a "world" that you can give into, with a certain amount of "floors" in it. As you progress to each floor, your item will become stronger. When combined with the ability to "reincarnate" and start all over from level one (with a certain degree of prior stats) and raising the difficulty by way of the Dark Assembly to the maximum, the race for level 9999 and top item levels can result in hundreds of hours of gameplay. As a result of its mixed messages, Disgaea D2 is in an odd spot. It's a tad easier than previous games, but it also unmistakeably requires a good amount of series knowledge to really get into it and appreciate the characters. But I do have good news -- if you want more Disgaea, this delivers. Even if you've skipped every single iteration since the first, you can jump right into D2 like nothing ever happened, and enjoy it all the same.
Disgaea D2 reviewed photo
It's Disgaea, dood
I've been playing tactical games since the NES, but there was something about the Disgaea franchise that really resonates with me. Offering up a ridiculous level of customization and refinement, Disgaea sat upon a pedestal in...

New Vita RPG photo
New Vita RPG

Disgaea 4 director working on new Vita RPG

More RPGs on the Vita? Sure!
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
You want more RPGs on your Vita? Your wish is granted! In addition to Phantasy Star Nova, Natural Doctrine, and a number of other games, Idea Factory is teaming up with the director of Disgaea 4 (Masahiro Yamamoto) for a bran...
Disgaea 4 Vita photo
Disgaea 4 Vita

Disgaea 4 will hit the PlayStation Vita in 2014 in Japan

Valvatorez rides again
Sep 12
// Chris Carter
For those of you who have been waiting for the inevitable Vita version of Disgaea 4, you may not have to wait much longer. Siliconera is reporting that the enhanced game -- titled Disgaea 4 Returns -- will be hitting Sony's ...
Disgaea D2 DLC photo
Disgaea D2 DLC

La Pucelle is invading Disgaea D2 in the form of DLC

Priere and Eclair join the fray
Aug 23
// Chris Carter
Disgaea D2 is all set for a September release in Europe (October in North America), but it's already been out in Japan for quite some time, racking up a fair bit of DLC characters. The latest batch of units to join the battle...
Disgaea D2 photo
Disgaea D2

Phantom Brave characters and more coming to Disgaea D2

Also, The Witch and the Hundred Knights
Jul 26
// Chris Carter
NIS is no stranger to bringing cross-franchise characters to the Disgaea series, and Disgaea D2 is no exception. Fans of the classic SRPG Phantom Brave (one of my favorites!) will be pleased to know that Marona and Ash are c...
Disgaea D2 photo
Disgaea D2

Disgaea D2 is still looking suitably wacky

Laharl and the gang are ready to rock
Jul 24
// Chris Carter
NIS has a new English trailer for Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, and it shows off a fair bit of gameplay, art, and even voice acting. You'll get an introduction to the game's cast and their personalities, as well as some o...

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