Disgaea is one of my favourite strategy RPGs of all time. The others are Valkyria Chronicles and Final Fantasy Tactics (the original game, not the rest of the series). The rest could pretty much vanish and I wouldn’t miss a single one. Sorry Fire Emblem fans, but I’ve tried two or three of those games and they never manage to keep me engaged for more than a couple of hours and certainly nowhere near long enough to get to the end.

Being able to play Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is actually one of the main reasons I bought a PS3 and, to this point, I’ve invested about 30 hours of my life to it. At the rate I’m going, the game will probably claim another 20-30 before I get to the end of the main story, let alone the post-game side quests and power levelling. That’s considerably longer than the offline, single-player experience of most of the PS3’s top titles… combined.

The protagonist for this chronicle of the Netherworlds is Mao, the son of the Overlord (and Dean) of Evil Academy. Mao has been consuming everything imaginable about “Heroes”, humans who according to legends told in the Human World have gone toe to toe with Overlords and prevailed. He hopes that this research will eventually lead him to the power to kill his father. Why? Because Dad stepped on his “Slaystation Portable” and he lost 4 million hours worth of save data.

That’s just the beginning of Disgaea 3’s relentless mockery of stale Japanese RPG conventions. Even more than the first two games, Disgaea 3 is filled with irreverent humour, game and pop culture references… I even found a nod to a Japanese Internet video meme the other day. (Link goes to NicoNico Video, which is in Japanese and requires a login. Sorry but 4Kids had the original video taken down on YouTube). Most of all, Disgaea 3 is very much willing to poke fun at itself and its predecessors, with characters often breaking the fourth wall to get a chuckle out of the fans. Read the rest of this entry »