sparky_buzzsaw's Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice (PlayStation 3) review

Deep game held back by a feeling of "been there, done that"

The Good:

-Amazingly deep turn-based strategy roleplaying game.  I've sunk dozens of hours into Disgaea 3, and have only scratched the surface of its post-game goodness.  The new evilty system and the class world add a bit to the gameplay as well.

-Continued refinement of the Disgaea combat system.  Certain additions and changes have been made to the familiar turn-based combat, but nothing that will throw off old pros.  You can now combine certain special attacks between two characters, and there are now special attacks for towers.  It's nothing ground-breaking, but the new additions help to add some life.

-Continued support.  There have been a handful of DLC releases for extra characters.  While the pricing is a bit questionable, it's still nice to have the optional extra stuff.

The Bad:

-Same old Disgaea.  The graphics haven't seen much of an improvement over its predecessors.  The production values are a joke.  Characters are portrayed in still pictures, while shoddy voicework made me cringe each time any character talked.  The graphics aren't a deal-breaker because the gameplay is so damn addictive and deep, but it would still be nice to see some work and care put into the visuals and voicework.

-Poor storyline elements.  The original Disgaea broke new ground for RPG stories, but after several releases, the Disgaea storytelling feels a bit overdone.  I'm also not a fan of anime, which is obviously a large influence on the game.  This is a personal preference, but I would like to see a mature storyline to fit the intelligent gameplay.  No more of this anime cheesiness, please.  Thankfully, there is an option to skip most dialogue.

The Questionable:

-None of the characters really stood out, and their motivations lacked any sort of real depth.  However, fans of anime and cartoons might find a lot to love here.  I found myself using created characters more often than the central story ones.

-The new character classes are very, uh, off-putting.  Please, developers, give me some cooler classes to work with than a cheerleader.

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