#1 Posted by anywhereilay (195 posts) -

So I've never played any of these games or really heard much about them although what I do hear, is all positive. So I'm just really wondering, is it worth playing through the series? (I'd probably start with the first and make my way up.) If you could also give me a brief outline as to what the series is about, that'd be great.

Another question, are the games connected with plot, characters etc. or do they all stand alone?

One last thing, what's the deal with the different subtitles? For instance, what would be the difference between the playstation 3 disgaea 3 and the upcoming ps vita version? If somebody could tell me how all these psp/vita versions of the games differentiate from the originals and which ones are superior I'd muchly appreciate.

Cheers guys!

#2 Edited by NekuCTR (1710 posts) -

I was in the same position as you like a month ago and have been falling down that hole hard. From what I hear there's no real plot that you need to know about, but nonetheless I still picked up the first one on PSN. I'm not to into the story, but the gameplay and mechanics are absolutely addicting.

Edit: also I don't think theirs any difference with the PSN version of 1 that i've seen other than an option to turn off attack animations, that's the only one I really know about.

#3 Posted by jakob187 (22308 posts) -

Play the first Disgaea (on PS2, not on PSP) and Disgaea 4. Forget the others.

#4 Posted by Omnomnivore (2932 posts) -

Never liked Disgaea myself, not sure why, just didn't.

#5 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1813 posts) -

It's a grid-based strategy RPG. Every stage requires you to clear out all the enemies to move on. You recruit story characters/create custom characters, equip them with stuff, level them up, etc.

I love this series immensely, BUT in my opinion, working through the Disgaea series is almost like working through the Madden series. The plot is goofy and fourth-wall breaking, and I can appreciate it for that, but it's never held my interest for very long, and the series doesn't have much of a continuity to speak of. So it comes down to the gameplay, and each entry has made additions/improvements which make going back to an earlier Disgaea seem kind of pointless to me. When people say you can spend hundreds of hours on one of these games, that is not an exaggeration. That said, most of that is grinding, so if that holds no interest for you, the main story (which requires little to no grinding) can still last 40-50 hours.

#6 Posted by anywhereilay (195 posts) -

So would you say it'd be similar to FF: Tactics and the like?

#7 Posted by Dr_Ventum (72 posts) -

@anywhereilay said:

So would you say it'd be similar to FF: Tactics and the like?

From what I've seen the gameplay should be sort of similar. Although Disgaea adds in some interesting twists.

Mind you I'm just going by what I've seen from Let's Plays. >.>

#8 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6912 posts) -


Disgaea is only related to Final Fantasy Tactics by din of being a turn-based strategy RPG. I've written a series of blogs about Disgaea 4 if you're interested.

To answer your other questions, the Disgaea series is basically a grid-based SRPG, in which you have several main characters, a bunch of characters you can create in a wide variety of classes (healer, warrior, thief, mages, and many, many odd ones, such as a Masked Hero or a Shaman), and the ability to level those characters to ludicrous amounts (level 9999). The games are broken out into episodes, each spanning about six to eight levels. Each level has you start off from a base panel, where you choose which characters to put out on the battlefield and when. From there, it's fairly similar to most other SRPG's, except that Disgaea is more focused on grinding out levels and powering up your equipment.

The real draw lies in how much stuff you can do beyond the main quest. Every item in the game can be explored in an area called the Item World, which allows you to power up items by clearing ten levels of bad guys in increasingly difficult random battles. Characters can be leveled up and given new abilities, reincarnated into new classes, and powered up more. And that's just barely the tip of the iceberg.

As to what game you should start with, I see no reason why you shouldn't start with Disgaea 4. If you like it, then give the other ones a shot. Despite what others have said, the handheld versions of Disgaea have been just fine, especially the DS release of Disgaea and the later PSP release of Disgaea 2. You don't need to be familiar with the story of any of the games to enjoy one of them, but there are little nods to prior games in characters that make a special appearance or act as bosses in the meta game.

#9 Posted by kingzetta (4497 posts) -

1 and 2  a million times yes
3 and 4 fuck no

#10 Posted by dudeglove (9100 posts) -

I played the DS port (I can't remember where it comes in the series, but it's the one with the devil prince and all the penguins) and, providing you don't do the aforementioned item world stuff, the game is fairly challenging. If you go down the item world route to power level your characters, you completely bork the main campaign. It's more challenging that FFT:A, and also pretty funny (for a video game at least) if you can get into the goofy OTT Japanese dialog.

#11 Posted by benspyda (2109 posts) -

Is Disgaea 3 worth picking up for the much cheaper price than Disgaea 4 for those who are just curious about the game?

#12 Posted by coakroach (2493 posts) -

@anywhereilay said:

So would you say it'd be similar to FF: Tactics and the like?

They're both strategy RPG's but in practice they play totally different.

The crazy level cap means the game eventually degrades into a never ending grind where you're just slamming numbers together, and there isn't really much variety in terms of class skills or spells.

As for the plot... well... its really japanese.

#13 Edited by Enns (390 posts) -

@benspyda said:

Is Disgaea 3 worth picking up for the much cheaper price than Disgaea 4 for those who are just curious about the game?

Sure if money is a huge factor. Story wise Disgaea is an acquired taste, super Japanese and even then it's developed it's own shtick. Disgaea games can provide hundreds of hours of play time if you're into the idea of breaking stats and tons of systems. If that stuff appeals to you then get the latest one, if you're unsure then try 3.

@kingzetta said:

1 and 2 a million times yes 3 and 4 fuck no

So I'm curious. What's up with 3 & 4?

#14 Posted by sanchopanza (252 posts) -

@anywhereilay said:

So would you say it'd be similar to FF: Tactics and the like?

The only similarity is that they are both Tactical/SRPGs aside from that, no. Disgaea is about as strategic as scratching your balls, personally I like these games because you have to use your brain a little, Disgaea however very quickly descends into a mindless grind and exploiting certain stages to power level like hell. If you like that sort of thing then go ahead, but I would recommend other games in the genre ahead of any Disgaea game ( Tactics Ogre, FF:T, Shining Firce, Fire Emblem etc.).

Not saying Disgaea games are bad, they are very good, but I prefer other games in the genre. Can anyone say anything about La Pucelle? I got it years ago but never got very far into it, seemed cool though, had some interesting characters, might give it another go in the future.

#15 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12640 posts) -

Listen, I like tactical strategy RPGs and Disgaea's particular brand has never really appealed to me, because at some point it stops being about strategy and just becomes a grinding simulator whereupon you do the same map over and over and over again in order to efficiently level up your dudes like a mo-fo, at which point you bulldoze whatever opposition happens to be in your way. While that alone turns me off, I also find the style of humor to be more than a little grating. There's Japanese crazy and then there's a dude who's entire punchline is devoted to sardines in some way.

But hey, try it out. You can get the first one for fairly cheap, and from what I understand the subsequent ones aren't all that different anyways.

#16 Posted by Clinkz (1116 posts) -

I never liked Disgaea. I've only beaten 2 though. That game gets insanely difficult with geopanels and I generally hate grinding in those games.

#17 Posted by FLStyle (5417 posts) -

I've only played 4 and had fun with it. The characters and the story were nuts and the combat was pretty good too.

#18 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6912 posts) -

@benspyda said:

Is Disgaea 3 worth picking up for the much cheaper price than Disgaea 4 for those who are just curious about the game?

Really, there's no reason why not. The changes made to each game are fairly incremental, and you can't really go wrong with any of them.