Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness review

When Final Fantasy Tactics isn't enough, this will do nicely

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Wonderful presentation

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    Incredibly deep gameplay

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    Versus mode


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    Steep learning curve

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    Replaying missions

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    Noisy UMD - quiet!

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Oct 30, 2007

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions hitting the PSP was sweet enough, but Disgaea too? That's just insane. Both are 100-hour epics that require tons of down time to play and pages of rules to memorize, yet manage to be two of the most addicting, rewarding experiences on the system. But what sets Disgaea apart from the inescapable shadow of Final Fantasy? One word: charm.

Unlike the heavy-handed plot and melodramatic storyline of Tactics, Disgaea is all about having a good time - fun dialogue, quirky characters and over-the-top attacks greet players instead of a thick tale of this army and that castle and these people rising up against their oppressors. Here, you're a demon lord in training, with an eye on ruling over all the denizens in hell by any means necessary. Doesn't that sound a lot more interesting?

Your army is custom-built; in between each skirmish you can approach the Dark Assembly (a sort of Congress run by demons) and ask for more troops. There are all kinds of classes to pick from (monsters, archers, mages, warriors, fighters etc), but it's their level of competency that interests the Dark Assembly. If you recruit a unit that's potentially too powerful, they'll veto the soldier and leave you with nothing. Now, you could just accept this decision, but you're a demon lord who's used to getting his way. So, you can bribe, booze and bomb your way through the corrupted congress until they listen to your requests. See, democracy does work.

With your tailor-made forces behind you, it's time for level after level of enemy-murdering mayhem. Missions are played out on a grid, with your side moving first. Each of your soldiers gains experience and learns new moves as the battles wear on, but this game's a little tougher than most, so you'll have to replay the same missions over and over. Depending on your love of strategy RPGs, that's either boring repetition or "hours and hours of replay value." We found hitting the maps over and over fun at first, finding new ways to tear through the enemies with minimal effort, but several hours later it became quite tiresome. We just wanted to press on and see what happened with the story, not hit up the same levels repeatedly.

More info

DescriptionIf you're into tactical RPGs at all, this is without a doubt one of the deepest, craziest, most time consuming games you could ever play.
Franchise nameDisgaea
UK franchise nameDisgaea
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.