and333's Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (Greatest Hits) (PlayStation 2) review

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A likable cast of characters who would rather you hate them.

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is a very unique strategy rpg. The story follow a young demon boys adventures after he wakes from a 2 year slumber. He then discovers that his father died during his deep sleep, but being a demon, he doesn't care. All that Laharl cares about is becoming a Overlord and taking down anyone in his way. Laharl is joined by a large cast of characters on his road to Overlord, such as Etna, A demon girl whos memory has been taken from her, Flonne, an angel send to asssinate Laharls late father, only to discovery hes dead, but instead decides to teach laharl the ways of love, and Exploding penguins with the souls of convicts called prinnys.

Battle is handled much like the very popular game Final Fantasy Tactics or Advanced Wars. All characters start from a home node at the beginning of the game and can be withdrawn and summoned at anytime from this home node. Characters move on a grid, and can move a set distance per turn. A intresting thing about Disgaeas combat is that turns aren't determined by speed but rather by sides. Your side, meaning all your characters summoned, will go first and be able to attack and move then once you end your turn your opponent goes, much like chess.  This along with the ability to excute moves without actually ending your turn leads to some intresting things. You can surround a enemy with characters have them attack one by one and then excute the moves one after another building up a combo, building in damage as the combo becomes higher. this along with Team attacks, magic spells and visually stunning special moves keep the combat freah.

Another unique thing about disgaea is the equipment system. All characters have 4 slots to equip weapons, armor, and items. Theres no limit to the actual items you equip except for only one weapon is allowed at a time, but if you want to equip 3 pairs of boots just for the speed and movement bonus you can. Equipment and items are bought in your main hub, which allows you to access new stages and create new characters.

The length of this game is much shorter then your average rpg, but lenghted do to the ability to play the game over with all your equipment with new game plus, make the enemys higher level for more challenge and level to level 9999, which will take awihle

I didn't even cover half of things in this huge game. This is game will make you wanna keep coming back to it to get more and more powerful. The difficulty can be up and down sometimes and at first the 2d sprites on 3d backgrounds is off putting, but this games quirky characters and replay value are Definitaly worth a purchase.

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