Archive for the ‘Platform’ category

Disgaea D2 Review: I’m Not Through With You, Nethworld.

November 12, 2013


Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness attempts to thrust the three stars of the very first tactical RPG title for the PS2 back in to the spotlight with limited success. In this direct sequel to Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, our favorite demon overlord Leharl returns with his less-than-cooperative vassals Flonne and  Etna in tow, and though we do learn a little more about Laharl’s less-than-pure demon bloodline and Etna’s origin story, much of it is delivered in an unemotional way.

D2 opens with the proposition that, despite subjugating both the Netherworld and beating the holy hell out of Celestia’s inhabitants over a decade ago, most of demon kind does not recognize that he is the true one-and-only badass undisputed Overlord of the Netherworld. In fact, most of the Netherworld has no idea at all that he even exists. A new faction made up of former vassals of a long-dead king are introduced, who drive most of the back-story for D2. They tell Leharl that he is not worthy of the title because he simply does not measure up to his father King Krichevskoy’s legacy, and that he must prove himself. Hijinx ensue.


Disgaea D2: Innocents Lost

September 19, 2013

Innocents, those unsecured residence in items that give extra stat bonuses, are an integral part of the Disgaea series. By entering into the vast randomized dungeon that is the Item World, players can find these residence, secure them by defeating them and then move them around to items as they see fit.

As I’ve traversed the nearly endless Item World (in Disgaea D2 the new limit is 9,999 levels) I’ve encountered just about every resident available. Comparing the Innocents with those found in Disgaea 4, I have noticed that a number of them have been omitted from Disgaea D2. Some of these omissions make sense because Disgaea D2 no longer uses “Innocent Town” where special events can occur to create unique hybrid innocents (reading beyond this point will reveal all the innocents in the game, so if you consider this a “spoiler” then you may want to stop reading right now).


Disgaea D2: Stand on my Shoulders and Touch the Sky

September 11, 2013
I hope they all washed their shoes before this little exercise...

I hope they all washed their shoes before this little exercise…

We continue to detail various parts of NIS America’s latest game in the Disgaea series, bit by bit, culminating in a review right around the time of the game’s official North American release. Today we take a brief look at how the Tower system has evolved over the years, and why it is still a useful way to evolve your favorite characters despite some minor changes.


Disgaea D2: Prinny Preservation Society

September 4, 2013

Are you tired of your Prinny comrades exploding when you toss them? Do you want your Prinnies to live long and fruitful lives? Well in Disgaea D2 there’s a way to make it so that Prinnies no longer go BOOM! when you toss them.

In Disgaea D2 you can make that favorite Prinny team member safe from the after effects of being tossed by mucking about with Evilities. It takes a lot of work and may result in one or two serious fights with demon lawmakers, but it’s ultimately worth the effort.


Early Hours with Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness

September 2, 2013
The gang's all here for another adventure.

The gang’s all here for another adventure.

For now I’m going to talk about some of the subtle changes I’ve discovered so far in playing a pre-retail release of NIS America’s latest Disgaea game, Disgaea D2. I have been playing the game on the PS3 for the last few days and enjoying it, despite some changes here and there that shake-up many of the systems that long-time players have grown accustomed to… This post is spoiler free (no details on plot, characters, etc.) but if you want to learn about the mechanics by actually playing the game, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this in the first place. More after the jump below, but you’ve been warned.


Just One Thing: Backwards Compatibility on the PS4 is Very Important

February 20, 2013


Well, Sony revealed that the PlayStation 4 is actually called the PlayStation 4 and that it will be released during “Holiday 2013.” Price-point and other facts to be determined at a later date (you can find some deeper details on the press event here). The secondary chip to handle uploads and downloads is one of the best ideas yet because it will hopefully make those frequent updates to the system and games go more quickly.


While I mostly like some of the ideas that Sony was pushing for – like a system that is more instantaneous in its operations than the PS3 currently is, on-the-fly downloads, various social features, and the ability to play games while you are downloading them – there was one fact that bothered me a lot. The PS4 is not backwards compatible with any previous PlayStation Games because it does not use the Cell processor. This means that you will not be able to play those PS3, PS2, and PS One games on your spiffy new console.


Anodyne Review

February 18, 2013


Anodyne is Link’s nightmare realized; born in a borrowed bed, crying out its first time into a world that is eerily familiar and yet drastically off kilter. Anodyne feels like a rag doll effigy of our old pal Link, a doppelganger left in a crib where a real child once laid its beautiful innocent little head. Link’s not here of course, but the spirit of your poor relationship with your mother and your poor social skills are rattling their ghost bones around some dark corner of this world.

This 8-bit homage to Hyrule’s little hero is really about you, the player. But though Anodyne is strangely dark, it is also genuinely charming, and its humor smooths out the sharp edges of its bizarre storytelling and psycho-analysis.


For Your Consideration

December 10, 2012


While everyone is putting together their end of the year awards, I hope that you’ll consider the games I am about to mention for inclusion in your lists. They certainly have been a delight to play, but I won’t give you any more of a pitch than a simple mention here.

I could blather on about how X-Com blends what made the original series so great with some new play mechanics and some tactically minded gameplay that it deserves an award, or I could yammer on about how Faster Than Light captures what it might be like to be the Captain of a ship filled with RED SHIRTS, or how Mugen Souls playfully dances on the edge of sexism without actually being sexist, or how Torchlight II adds to the gameplay of the Xbox Live Arcade and PC hits by adding multiplayer and over land maps, or how Dishonored channels the spirit of game mechanics from the like Deus Ex and Thief successfully, or how Hotline Miami makes murder a guilty pleasure…. but I won’t.

So while you handing out all those awards to the usual suspects ( the Call of Duty’s, Battlefield 3′s, Madden’s and Borderlands’ of the world) please consider some kind of award for all these games. Thank you.

Mugen Souls Review

September 29, 2012

Note: Before you start reading my Final Verdict on Mugen Souls, be sure to check out my earlier in-depth take on the game’s various systems ( Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV). All briefed? Good, now onto my final thoughts on the game.

Mugen Souls is little too misogynistic for my taste, but I get that most of the slightly sexual jibs, jabs, and jokes are meant to be harmless fun aimed at teenage boys. Still I really don’t want to think about girls that are possibly under the age of 18 taking baths together or playing with each other’s breasts. That aside, the story isn’t really all that appealing until you get into the last chapters of the game where you finally feel that familiar sense of romance you might have experienced the first time you played an earlier NISA game like Disgaea or Soul Nomad. When the game does finally take itself seriously, players understand why this whole adventure happened and what motivates the protagonist and other characters encountered throughout the story to do the things they do.


FTL: Faster Than Light – Quick Take

September 20, 2012

I wonder what this would look like on fire…

If you haven’t downloaded FTL: Faster Than Light yet you probably should do so for a number of reasons. First and foremost it’s a fun little game, and secondly because it’s $9 on Steam right now. The game lets you take control of your own little space ship and sends you on random adventures with a small crew. It’s lightly rogue-like in that you are trying to explore as much as you can before death breaches your airlocks or turns you into a pile of ashes.

I have only played it for a few hours and I have to say that skipping the tutorial is probably the worst thing you can do. There are all these little things that you need to learn about your ship and how the game functions. For example if you don’t bother with the tutorial, you probably won’t know how to install a new weapon, how to open airlocks, how you can use your crew to put our fires and make repairs during battles, or the fact that shooting lasers (pew pew) doesn’t do squat against the systems inside the enemy crafts you’ll be fighting because it can’t breach the hull.

But even the tutorial is not going to prepare you for the randomness that is going to throw something at you that you ultimately can’t handle. Don’t get too attached to that ship or your crew because chances are they will all be dead in a handful of hyper jumps.

Anyway if you haven’t taken a run at the game yet I encourage you to check it out. I’ll be writing about the game here and there as I attempt to figure out how to survive in the deeper pockets of these randomly generated universes…


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