Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice was originally released back on the PS3 in 2008, it got many good reviews and overall it was well received. The Disgaea tittles have attracted a lot of hardcore fans and so it makes sense for Nippon Ichi to release a PS Vita game. This is a similar game to the PS3 version in fact it’s pretty much a port but with all the DLC that the PS3 had thrown in for free. Believe me though the price of this title is worth it as the sheer volume of things to do is just mind blowing. There is an almost endless amount of quests and missions to do. The DLC also adds a lot of replay value, the graphics are pretty and the sound is typical Japanese RPG style. The PS Vita touch screen controls also add some novel point to this title.
One of the best things about the Disgaea series has always been the way that the story is told; there is always a lot of humor and fun. The story here is typically silly, the setting is a demon high school called the Evil academy. In a twist to normality the bad students are the ones that are better and the goody two shoes students are the bad kids. Your main character is a boy called Mao who wants to get revenge on his dad for ruining his console game and losing all of the save games that Mao had. This is good in two ways because one we can all relate to parents spoiling our save games and two the social standing of the schooling system has been turned upside down. This allows for a unique opportunity to play as good, bad guys. Not only are the characters fun the music and sound effects never get boring or dull. You don’t get tired of listening to them and even the voice acting is decent here.
The gameplay itself is your typical RPG so battles are turn-based where your characters move along a grid. There are also different classes which are evident due to diverse skill sets. So for example warriors do damage, mages cast spells and healers heal. What’s even better is the group aspect of the battles where you control a small army of guys and can undertake team battle and perform team moves. When in battle the camera focuses in and whether it’s a spell, damage or sword animation, they are rather slick. They look perfect on the Vita screen so it’s a nice touch. The battles are also a little bit more complex because there are blocks that gain advantages when stepped on. So if your characters are standing on one and are in battle you may get an experience bonus or a battle bonus. This is really a strategy game as well as a RPG.
So how have the rear and front touch screens been used? If you tap the rear touchscreen on the Vita, you’re in-game camera angle will shift between one of three positions. This sounds like a good idea but it’s almost impossible to avoid inadvertently switching angles. However this can be switched off in the game’s options menu. The front touch screen can be used to navigate menus, move your characters, rotate the camera or my favorite pinch to zoom in and out. These are useful and make the game more fun but since the characters and menus are so small using your finger may get in your way. This is more of a person specific detail. If you don’t like it you can use the buttons as normal.
There is a lot of new content as well for this Vita version. You can firstly use new characters after you beat the game which adds replayability to an already long game. There is also a fun side story which you can play with. The option of changing how a specific object looks is included so you can make your weapon look exactly how you want. Two new bosses from Disgaea 4 have been added as well as new moves just for a certain class. There are new magic spells and animations which are really worth it. A really nice feature is the GPS experience system, simply walk with your Vita and you gain points. It is a great way to level up and more of an incentive to carry your Vita, although on the tubes in London be careful.
This is a pretty little game and will appeal a lot to fans of the series as there is so much content here that you will be playing for a good long time. The DLC content is also a good addition and I will say the price for this game is justified. I can see that people would say this is just a port of an old game with no graphical updates and they are right. For a new gamer to the series the learning curve is very steep and only a few tutorials are provided. This is a game for RPG fans as the leveling up and battles are rewarding but the story is very text heavy. The plot is funny and the characters themselves are lovely to listen to and even watch. If you can get past the text this is a decent RPG and one of the PS Vita’s top RPGs. Give this a try and see if it’s for you. There are so many places and things to explore I’m sure it will be.