A man only has two things in this world: His word and his balls. Any good man wouldn’t break either for anybody. That’s a lesson that I was originally taught by Al Pacino in his role as Tony Montana from the hit 80s film ‘Scarface’. Now, at the ripe old age of twenty, I’ve been given the chance to play the PlayStation Vita port ‘Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited’, a game that features a main character who just so happens to feel the same way as the Colombian drug lord himself.
While Valvatorez the vampire doesn’t deal with narcotics, he was once called a tyrant…that was, until he made a promise to a young girl named Artina to never drink the blood of a human again. Being a demon doesn’t mean he has no morals. Valvatorez agreed and never again touched the sweet blood of a human being, teaching us that a promise is never to be broken. ‘Disgaea 4’ was originally released on the PlayStation 3 back in 2011 under the title ‘A Promise Unforgotten’.
It is now 2014 and NIS America have re-released the game but this time on the PlayStation Vita. Running with the name ‘A Promise Revisited’, the game features most if not all of the same things as the PlayStation 3 title, in fact, the Vita version comes pre-loaded with all of the DLC that was released after the original game. So, if anything, it actually has much more.
As breifly mentioned above, ‘Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited’ takes players an another journey through the weird and wonderful Netherworld. Our hero this time around is a legendary warrior turned ‘Prinny Instructor’ that goes by the name Valvatorez. One fateful day the ‘Corrupternment’ makes a colossal decision to start getting rid of all the unnecessary Prinnies. It seems as though overpopulation isn’t just something us humans have to deal with and seeing as the Prinnies are the lowliest race of demons…they’re the first to go.
As a Prinny Instructor and a man who always keeps his word, he can’t just let these Prinnies die! Not only will he be out of a job but he’ll also not fulfill the promise he made to each and every one of them of which was basically “I’ll teach you all to be the best damn Prinnies ever”. Valvatorez, alongside his long time buddy and semi-servant Fenrich, now sets off to overthrow the ‘Correupternment’, making himself the known leader of the Netherworld and changing the laws as he wishes.
Like every single other ‘Disgaea’ title, players will meet many quirky characters along the way. ‘Disgaea’ happens to occupy a special place in my heart due to it’s unique and humorous style of storytelling. For the most part, ‘Disgaea 4’ is very much ‘tongue-in-cheek’. A great deal of the dialogue is silly and funny but also very clever. It takes a lot of typical Anime and Manga tropes, accentuates them and then flips them on their heads.
The constant breaking of the fourth wall and the abundant references to other pop culture figures are just two of the many hilarious digs at the overall culture but it’s not all laughs all the time. The writing staff do a great job at blending in lighter and more serious natures of any good story but it is the performances of the voice actors that really bring those scenes to life.
With legends of the industry like Troy Baker and Patrick Seitz leading the star-studded cast, it’s very hard to dislike the characters within the game. Each of the voice actors and actresses are clearly know what they’re doing, and it isn’t just their resume that gives the clear indication. They all somehow got in perfect tune with the emotional layout of the game; each and every one of them knew exactly how to get a laugh but as the same time they also performed brilliantly when it came to scenes of gravitas. The voice cast were utterly perfect.
Auditorally what made the game even better was its soundtrack. Populated by classical instruments but composed in more contemporary styles, the soundtrack perfectly fits the game’s vibe. Nobody knows what sounds citizens of the Netherworld enjoy listening too but I can’t help but think ‘Disgsaea’ is pretty damn close. Tracks are stylish and classy but know when to kick it into overdrive during boss fights and serious scenes. What blew me away the most about ‘Disgaea 4’ were the HD graphics it implemented.
This was the first of the ‘Disgaea’ games on the PlayStation Vita to use the HD graphics style. Each and every single character model is hand drawn, and animated in a traditional sense. ‘Disgaea 4’ ditches the sprite style and upgrades itself to something wonderful. The game simply looks brilliant! Everything is so crisp and clear, and it’s just quite a sight to see. ‘Disgaea’ has always looked good, it has an interesting and quirky style that is appealing to most anybody but ‘Disgaea 4’ takes it up another notch.
‘Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited’ plays like every other ‘Disgaea title: It’s a tactical RPG and battle are fought on gridded fields. Each character has a bunch of different stats that can be boosted and it features a seemingly simple leveling system that, if one is so inclined, can be utilized in a more difficult manner. There are so many weapons and equipable items in-game that I can guarantee you wont be able to see them all.
There are many, drastically different classes to master and each class runs on a tier system once you get good at one class you can upgrade to the next level of that same class which usually comes with a colour, title and base stat change. To go through each and every single gameplay aspect of ‘Disgaea 4’ would simply be an act in futility. The best way I can some it up is that it is a game you can play for literally as long as you wish.
More of a fan of story only? The game allows you to make enemies as weak as you want. Do you want value for money? Well there’s plenty to do once the main story is finished. In fact, there’s plenty to do while the main story is happening. It’s entirely up to you how you play and that is so fantastic. Not to mention ‘A Promise Revisited’ comes with each piece of DLC that was previously released for the game, that means you have so much more to tackle once you’re done.
I’ve played each of the ‘Disgaea’ games over my time as a RPG lover and with each new title came a different style of play. The first time I picked up ‘Disgaea’ I was young and I was in a rush to finish it as soon as possible so I just followed the story. Now, as an adult, I take my time, I try to level up my character evenly, I try to equip them with the most suited weapons and items. It’s a whole different process but it’s still so exciting.
The game, overall, is massively enjoyable. Be it the writing or the gameplay itself, it WILL find a way to impress you no matter what. It may take a couple of hours or it may take a couple of seconds, sooner or later ‘Disgaea 4’ will have you in its grasp. The way I judge a good game is by how much you long to play it when you’re not and there were days where all I wanted to do was curl up, plug my headphones in and chill out with ‘A Promise Revisited’.
It’s a fantastic port that leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. It also features enough new content to justify some buying the game even though they previously played the PlayStation 3 release. It’s worth every cent and can be played all the way up until the release of the next game. It’s utterly perfect. This I promise.
In the mood to overthrow a corrupted regime? Well you can start by heading to the official online NISA Europe store. Click Here.