Review: Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
As is the case with any other Disgaea game the amount of content within Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is staggering. The game includes all of the DLC from the PS3 version, brand new scenarios that are exclusive to the Vita version, new characters, and a number of gameplay enhancements taken from Disgaea D2. It didn’t quite suck me in like Disgaea D2 did last year, but Disgaea 4 is still an excellent game and continues to prove that this is a series that works incredibly well on a handheld.
Disgaea 4 tells the story of Valvatorez, a once great tyrant vampire, who has lost his power and now serves as a Prinny Instructor in Hades. When he learns that the Corrupternment of the Netherworld is attempting to kill all of the Prinnies he simply refuses to stand by and allow such a thing to happen; he does have a promise to keep after all. Disgaea 4’s story is as silly and funny as any other Disgaea story and it tends to hit many of the same notes. Something that struck me specifically with Disgaea 4 is the gravity of the situation as the story progresses towards the end. The consequences and scale of what you’re fighting against is much larger than you might be accustomed to. It’s a nice change of pace while still offering many of the silly moments that I love from Disgaea’s characters. Though I do think it’s probably one of the weaker casts in the series. Valvatorez, Fuka, and Desco are great, but I just don’t connect with them in the same way that I have with Laharl, Mao, Etna, and others in the past.
That said let’s get down to what really matters. Disgaea D2, released last Fall, introduced a number of gameplay changes that have easily positioned it as my favorite Disgaea game. Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited includes many of these new changes, making Disgaea 4 much better because of it. Additions like the cheat shop and character promotion serve to be great improvements. (The Cheat Shop allows you to alter the rate at which you gain exp, mana, HL, as well as raise the enemy difficulty. Character promotion allows you to promote your characters without having to reincarnate them to LVL 1.) Features brought over from D2 aren’t going to drastically change the feel of the game, in the same way that Disgaea 3 Vita did. But including a few new things to Disgaea 4 allows the series to feel up to date. Going back to an earlier game in the series from Disgaea D2, which made a lot of really great refinements to the series gameplay, doesn’t feel like a step back because many of those features are present here. There are some things that didn’t make it over (throwing characters diagonally, the master/pupil system, character mounts, etc.) which can be a bummer as they’re systems I really loved from D2, but I imagine they’d be hard to implement into a game that wasn’t built with those systems in mind.
With these new additions in mind Disgaea 4 is just as great as it was when the console version released three years ago. Between the Cam-Pain HQ (used to organize your party around Evil Symbols that enable special bonuses), passing bills in the Senate, traversing the item world, checking out the new post game scenarios, and seeing the story to its completion, there’s no shortage of content. It’s all probably too much for me to handle, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try. After the amount of hours I’ve put into the series at this point I’m still finding it just as fun to train up my own personal army of Prinnies. That said, Disgaea continues to make grinding fun.
However, I’m not quite as hooked into Disgaea 4 as I was with Disgaea D2 last Fall. It’s nothing against Disgaea 4, but the game’s cast and gameplay just don’t grab me in the same way other Disgaea games have in the past. Disgaea 4 is still fantastic though, and it’s an easy recommendation whether you’ve played the PS3 version or not.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Adding in new features from Disgaea D2
- Disgaea on a handheld is always great
- Over the top battle animations
- Goofy characters/world
- Scope of the story felt much larger/more serious than other entries in the series
What I Dislike:
- I like the characters, but found it hard to grow attached to them in the same way that I've done with other entries.