Title: Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Publisher (Developer): NIS America (NIS)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Animated Blood, Drug Reference, Fantasy Violence, Language, and Suggestive Themes
Before I get into this Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited review, I feel I must disclose something. Disgaea is one of my favorite strategic RPG series, constantly battling Fire Emblem for first place in my heart, and Disgaea 4 is one of my favorite installments. It’s a series I’m constantly recommending. Thankfully, NIS America has once again provided a perfect port and, thanks to a bevy of additions, has made Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited the best Disgaea 4 we can get.
In the name of promises, honor, and sardines!
Valvatorez was once a widely feared vampire and Tyrant. Then, he made a promise to a human woman. This choice and his honor led to his downfall. Since he would no longer drink blood, he instead turned to sardines. With his power in decline, Disgaea 4 begins with Valvatorez and his loyal servant, Fenrich, acting as Prinny Instructors in Hades. Don’t worry – he’s pretty happy about it.
Well, he is until someone comes and steals the Prinnies right after he promised each of them a sardine. Due to Prinny overpopulation issues, they were stolen and are on their way to be killed. Incensed, Valvatorez leaps into action and, naturally, gets caught up in a lengthy adventure as a result.
It isn’t just Valvatorez’ goal that remains unchanged. The basic elements of Disgaea are all intact. Players have a hub area, where they can prepare characters outside of battle. When ready for a fight, they can advance the main story or enter the Item or Chara worlds to improve equipment and characters. All battles take place on a map with enemies, geo blocks, and sometimes other items pre-arranged, and units can be sent out to attack, support, defend, or even lift and throw, other ally and enemy units and objects. The goal? Beat up any characters that oppose Valvatorez and his crew, acruing all kinds of experience, mana, money, and loot in return.
As a side note, all of Disgaea 4‘s online elements return. Netherbattle, the pirate editor for custom ship and crew creation, and map/base editor again provide additional, user-created content and challenges. Unfortunately, I was unable to test any of these features as they are unavailable until the official launch, so can not report on how well they transitioned to the port.
Hours upon hours of everything.
Seeing has how the core of Disgaea 4 remains completely unchanged for Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, it’s really the new content that will encourage players to invest again. Given what I’ve seen and played, I absolutely see that happening. The PS3 version had a wealth of supplemental content to keep players fighting, and the Vita version goes a step further.
The smallest additions appear first. The hub area now has a Cheat Shop, Character Painter, and Weapon Editor. With the Cheat Shop, you can alter how much experience, money, or mana is earned from every battle, as well as change enemies’ difficulty level. It’s an efficient way to cut the grinding for people who want to enjoy the story. The character and weapon editors allow you to change the colors of your characters, with some color schemes costing money, or change the appearance of weapons wielded. The Innocent Warehouse, for storing Innocents found in the Item World, appears for the first time in Disgaea 4. Also, the Senate will have some new cameo characters to recruit. (If you’ve played Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention, have your save data from it on your Vita.)
Though it’s the biggest additions that are best. The PS3 DLC scenario, the Desco & Fuuka Show, offers an entirely new storyline where the “sisters” are the stars and Fuuka attempts to reincarnate. The Nagi Clockwork Time Leap scenario is a Vita-exclusive storyline following a new character Nagi Clockwork, as she travels back in time to stop the war that happened 400 years prior to the events of Disgaea 4. Both storylines are quite substantial and, put together, are almost as long as the main storyline. With everything put together, I could easily see Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited offering over 80 hours of gameplay.
Truly, all the new content is exciting. So much so,that those who have played Disgaea 4 before and want to access all of the Vita version’s extra goodies will want immediate access. Fortunately, that is possible. The persistant triangle, square, circle, triangle, square, circle, X cheat, which has offered instant access in the previous PSP and Vita iterations, is still in effect here.
The Disgaea 4 to own.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is a solid investment. If a Vita owner buys this strategic RPG, they’re guaranteed a title that will keep giving back. There are so many storylines, challenges, characters, and extras available that it could take months to master, a rarity in these times. Think of Disgaea 4 as an investment in excellence, and one that will satisfy anyone with level-grinding in their blood.
Editor’s Note: This review will be updated after Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited‘s launch with commentary on the Netherbattle and pirate/map editor features.