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Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

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GF Rating
8.4

1693 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

The Nippon Ichi Franchise Continues with Disgaea!

posted by entenkatsu (DENVER, CO) Jan 25, 2007

Member since Jan 2007

5 out of 5 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

The second major game from NIS to hit the shelves and online game sites' stores, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness was even better than La Pucelle, in my opinion. Introducing a game where you play as the nefarious anti-hero Laharl, his vassal Etna, and the Angel Trainee Flonne, who battle against a trio of Earth Defenders, other demons, and ultimately, other angels, you wonder what it could hold in store. Let us find out, shall we?

Disgaea is perhaps the least serious in overall plot of the NIS games. Though it does have its dark moments, the game itself is silly and has many innuendoes (most of which are sexual). Even so, the music is great, and contains a battle system that remains unique in some aspects until its sequel came out.

Battle difficulty was far more rounded and fair than La Pucelle Tactics, but still had some difficult fights. The Geo Panal system introduces field effects, a feature similar to the Dark Portals in La Pucelle. Geo Clearing is also reminiscent of Miracles, so the two games are not completely different. With many classes to choose from, a huge variety of techniques, and endless combinations, this game is perfect for any hardcore completionist.

Overall, Disgaea earns a 9.3 on my list. It has superior gameplay to La Pucelle, though lacks the intense difficulty. Plus, its humor is sure to make at least some of us laugh.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Disgaea Hour of Darkness

posted by 13bubster (HAZEL GREEN, AL) May 27, 2011

Member since May 2011

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Disgaea Hour of Darkness is a strategy RPG for the PS2. There are good and bad aspects and I will tell the ones that stand out.

Story - You play as Laharl. Prince of the Netherworld who was "rudely" awakened by his "loyal" vassal, Etna. He discovered that during his 2 year sleep his father died. Now demons from all across the Netherworld are fighting for the throne since Laharl seems to be no threat. From there you meet Angel trainee Flonne, who was assigned the task of assassinating Laharl's father. After she discovers that he is already dead, she decides to make her objective to find outthe demons' true intentions and to see if they are capable of love. The story and characters are quirky and unique, which is typical of NIS and Atlus so it is expected that is setting is very odd. (9)

Gameplay - The game is a srategy RPG so instead of exploring dungeons you battle on grid based maps in different areas. The game is of course turn based so each character will get a chance of performing an action if the repuirements are met. There are a multitudofjob classes to acquire and master and in the end it becomes a stat horder. At certain points grinding is neccesary and it requires a lot which bothered me that I had to stop progression to grind for hours and hours so my characters would survive. Also some battles do not give experience at the end which frustrated me deeply. Healing your characters after battles costs money but you get prizes for it and the shop inventory and prices requires you to give up tou items to bribe the senate sometimes which is a waste. Although the concept is original at some points its frustrating when you have to give up your iems just so you can get new weapons and armor. The Item world is unique as well and is agreat sidequest for major grinders. (6)

Presentation - The game presents itself very well with an orchestrated and quirky soudtrack. The game at times will look like a PS1 game but the art is wonderful. (8)

Overall I give it a 7.3

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Best-Game-Ever

posted by rpgman (HILLSBORO, OR) Apr 21, 2006

Member since Mar 2006

9 out of 10 gamers (90%) found this review helpful

Like I said--- Best Game Ever. I currently have over 300 hours on this and I still haven't completely beaten it. The depth of character leveling and multitude of menus might seem scary for the average gamer, to to a die hard RPG fan, this is heaven.
At first glance Disgaea might seem like any other RPG. Some great features unique to Disgaea include transmigration. When you reach level 9999 (That's right- 9999), you can transmigrate back to level one with a certain percentage of your skills and vastly improved base stats. You can do this even before 9999 to- the benefit just isn't as dramatic. And the best part is, you can do this with any character- not just your main one.
Next is new game+. When the main story is completed, you are given the option to start over with all of your characters the same.
So what's the point? I already beat the story. Now I'll just own all of my enemies. Wrong. The dark assembly allows you to open portals to other worlds, meaning the story is almost doubled. Like I said, I still haven't beaten the final final boss, or even the person before him/her!
Add this to one of the best stories I've ever seen (with multiple endings too), and you've got a recipe for a game that will not only keep you occupied but entertained for months to come.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Mad + Sick Customization

posted by boneskull (PORTLAND, OR) Apr 19, 2006

Member since Feb 2005

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is the most customizable and complex strategy-RPG I've played. If you like to customize your weapons and characters, this game is for you. If you like to have a bazillion playable characters, this game is for you. If the choice of nearly-unlimited, unique dungeon crawling, this game is for you.

I like all of the above, but I also like to play RPGs and explore everything I can--get all the special items and secrets. Unfortunately, the complexity of this game makes it a long, slow crabwalk to become the overlord of your dreams. We're talking thousands of levels here.

The graphics are simplistic; the gameplay is simple compared to other strategy titles. The plot is kind of bonkers, but because this game is just downright funny, that's ok. The voice acting is very good. And ridiculous.

This would be one of the all-time RPG greats if not for three reasons: the quirky silliness of it, which admittedly not everyone will get. Two, there are no epic cutscenes, gorgeous backgrounds and mind-boggling battle animations. No eye candy. To say this game sacrifices style for substance is an understatement. And finally, the level of possible customization will be a turn-off for the casual gamer.

You could just advance the plot and feel like it was a waste; truly this game's strengths lie in its possibilites instead of its certainties.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Theres a reason it has a long wait time.

posted by pugslayer (KANSAS CITY, MO) Jun 20, 2006

Member since Jun 2006

5 out of 7 gamers (71%) found this review helpful

Namely because this game will suck your life away. To further accentuate my point Ive been looking for this game for almost 2 YEARS before i found a copy at a little out of the way EB games. This is after scouring 3 cities (omaha, Council Bluffs, Kansas City) Quite simply this game is almost impossible to find ANYWhere

Its that addicting, the graphics are subpar but you barely even notice them.

The Gameplay is this game's shining gem. EVERYTHING is upgradable from you weapons and armor to character classes to even the skills you get. In the battles movement and attack are really intuitive and strategy is a must. the attacks are very flashy and you can feel how your stats effect gameplay.

The Other major point is the story quite literaly when you by this game your getting not just a game but a whole season (13 episodes) of quite possibly one of the funniest and most off beat animes ever concieved. The interaction between the 3 main characters Etna, flonne and Laharl would by itself be a worthy watch, but throw in characters like the affectionatly named Mid-Boss and it quickly gets outof hand(in a good way).

After almost 100 hours of play im taking a break now mainly because i put up those 100 hours in less than a month. Ive played WoW and Evercrack and neither sucked me in like this. Its simply phenominal. to tell the truth ive got the second one reserved already. to make sure i get it.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

As good as it gets.

posted by Jason506 (WOODSFIELD, OH) May 6, 2006

Member since Dec 2005

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

I was one of the people who didn't get this game at first because of the graphics, I could not have been dumber. This game has all the personality it could get, it is extremely funny. If you like deep customizable games then this is perfect. There are tons of sidequests, the item world adds tons of replay value and there are plenty of secret bosses to defeat. Voice acting is good and adds to the story which is very funny and serious. You must think very strategically to beat this game. One flaw is that the graphics are low res. and it is too easy to power level.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

tactical combat system x army of characters = slow

posted by tchalvak (CANANDAIGUA, NY) Feb 5, 2009

Member since Dec 2008

The characterization of the characters that you can play is fun, but the combat system is really really slow and detailed, and you have to do actions again and again and again for each different character.

You have to really really love tactical multi-character games to be able to get through the combat system.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

What can I say?

posted by Antares07 (HANOVER PARK, IL) Nov 18, 2008

Member since Sep 2008

I was always the kind of player that would go through finding some stuff and was always a little scared by massive customization, but Disgaea flipped my switch. I found myself at times, just to get some fun money and new classes, making entirely new battle-groups of people and slugging it through previous levels with my new group, just because of the huge difference there is between it and your probable starters. It's when you make more and more classes that your see just how dynamic and strategy-heavy the games can get when you're in a pinch. I'll admit the graphics were sub-par, but I felt right at home with sprites that reminded me of the old Final Fantasies. The voice acting is great and the story is fun and well played. This is a game that when you ship it back, you'll find yourself thinking about it, then adding it back onto your game q if you haven't bought it already. I am still trying to get my paws on it, myself.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

my little brother loves this game!

posted by dulun21 (CHANDLER, AZ) May 10, 2008

Top Reviewer

Member since Aug 2007

he likes the anime series as well. The gameplay and story is entertaining for him while there's no turn limit like Jean D Arc. The graphic is 2D, however.. I'll rent the PSP version for him to play.. it's much easy.. and it will free up our tv in the living room.. Who knows how long he's going to sit in from of the TV to play this game! :)

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

extraordinary RPG

posted by NimbleLock (HAZEL PARK, MI) Sep 4, 2007

Member since Nov 2006

This game has to be about the funniest game i've ever played ... tons of jokes with an excelent game play to keep it strong ... for people who love RPG's and want to have a laugh this is the game to play ... the only thing I can think bad about the game is that it is hard to lvl up your clerics

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Its definitely good

posted by SPizzy (SYRACUSE, NY) Jun 2, 2007

Member since May 2007

I seriously love this game. I recently just started playing it, but let me tell you, if you are looking for a game that will take up a lot of your time or one that you can play for a while. This is the game to get. Seriously. If you don't like SRPGs then you might not like this game, but if you do, you will feel like you are in heaven.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

All I Can Say Is Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by Mkmd13 (NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH) May 30, 2007

Member since Jul 2006

This has got to be one of the best RPGs I have ever played!!!!!! The gameplay is a little hard to pick up at first but once you get used to it ITS A BLAST!!

If you liked this game then try Disaea 2 (I think Disaea 2 is better imo but i did start out with Disaea 2.)

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Best strategy game until Disgaea 2.

posted by MlvlntAmsh (SAN ANTONIO, TX) May 7, 2006

Member since Mar 2005

I was never a big fan of strategy rpg's until I played Final Fantasy Tactics. After thatI became addicted. When I went to my local game store to look for a good strategy game this one stood out. I have been a Disgaea fanatic ever since. This is one of my favorite games and every fan of rpgs should try it. Firstly every rpg fan loves to level up their characters. This game allows for characters up to level 9999!!! That is insane! Potentially this game could last forever, with all of the items, the lengthy story, and of course the character development this game will never bore you.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Complex and interesting.

posted by SenexCowan (SAVAGE, MD) Apr 19, 2006

Member since Mar 2006

I'll wind up buying this. There is enough complexity and options to keep the game interesting.

When I just need to unwind for an hour or so I can run through an item world. When I want to advance the story, I can do that. When I've got plenty of time, I can look to see what new classes I've unlocked, and try familiar challenges with new characters. I haven't even begun to deal with the potential generated by lifting and throwing characters & objects into each other.

There are things I wish The graphics are crude, if not ugly. I wound up doing tremendous damage with friendly fire because I couldn't target accurately. The story is rather wan and predictable; I should have liked stronger characters.

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