posted by jfriedlan (GRAND RAPIDS, MI) May 24, 2007
Member since May 2006
If you've played one NIS tactical rpg, you've played them all.
That's not necessarily meant to trivialize the games or their qualities. It's astonishing that so many enjoyable hours can come of repackaging the same game. Then again, how many games, original or not, are really worthy of one's time.
Being a utility/dollar-satisifed owner of Makai Kingdom, comparisons between the two naturally spring to mind, and really, I cannot help but wonder which is the sequel (not strictly speaking).
Disgaea lends a purpose to the mindless dungeons through levelling up one's items. The geo system creates a little variety, but the AI's failure to take advantage of it, detracts somewhat from the strategy. If certain places grant the unit great advantage, but the computer thoughtlessly steps past them, what real incentive is there to try to alter terrain? The geo squares, then, benefit only the player. The only real disadvantages occur when every square is harmful.
Lifting is actally useful in Disgaea. It saves a great deal of time to chain throws to reach the next level of a dungeon. Let me say it again. Lifting is excellently implented. However, one cannot move while holding a player. Despite being much more useful than in Makai Kingdom, it seems like there are fewer options.
This game does away with the oftentimes tedious micromanagement of objects for reincarnation, but at its core, it's still a stat-management exercise. It also much relieved me to see the massive number of imbalanced weapon options slimmed to the basics.
It's not all improvement. The dialog, sadly, lacks Makai's witty luster. The 3D targetting spheres were omitted, no bulidings, no machines, and there are no level extensions through throwing. That last had potential with some refinement, but the first three are serious. Unit deployment is much more tedious without buildings to organize them. Clearly, they and buggies could have caused problems with the dungeon completion objectives, but…