Thursday, February 11, 2010

VIdeo Games: Disgaea DS

Back at the end of April I ordered a new DS game: Disgaea DS. I used a Christmas gift card on it, so it ended up costing me only $5. This afternoon on the bus ride home, after ~120 hours I finally 'finished' the game. Pretty good value for my entertainment dollar.

Disgaea is a turn-based strategy RPG, the kind that tend suck me in anyways, but it is particularly notorious for having an insane amount of additional content beyond the main game. There are two completely separate game modes, multiple bonus dungeons, as well as the crowning achievement in time-sink creativity: random dungeons in every item in the game. That is, every sword, helmet, potion, etc that you pick up sports a randomly generated dungeon of between 30-100 levels. Where you pick up tons more items, each with bonus dungeons. Etc.

That means effectively you could play the game forever and not 'finish' everything. Even after 120 hours I didn't have every item in the game, most notably the 'best' weapons in the game which require a frustrating combination of luck and hours and hours per weapon.

Instead I settled for beating both game modes, all of the bonus bosses, recruiting all the extra characters, getting all the unique items, and getting several level 9999 characters. After 120 hours, that seemed like plenty.

Amazingly the game was quite enjoyable nearly that entire time. I had fun building up my characters and working through the progression of being able to get to a bonus boss (let alone defeat it). There were, of course, some points that were monotonous most notably getting from about level 90 to 1000 via grinding on the same board over and over. And a few points that were frustrating, such as going through all 100 levels of a bonus item in one shot without saving (that took 4 consecutive bus rides to complete). But overall the game was surprisingly well balanced regardless of whether you were level 9 or 9000.

I can't think of a more positive thing to say about a game besides that I played and enjoyed the game for over nine months. It was a lot of fun, and I am disappointed none of the other Disgaea games have been ported to the DS.

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