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Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice - Playstation 3
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 7, 2008
Pros:

+A lot of good gameplay
+An overall charming story
+Lots of things to do off the beaten path
+A Huge emphasis on strategy
+Well done anime inspired art

Cons:

-Still a few problems with the camera
-By now the graphics need an improvement to better bring the story to life. The anime inspired art is really nice, but how about an anime scene or two to really convey a character's feelings or actions? Beyond that, the battlefield and character sprites look exactly like they did in the first two games. A graphical update would've been really nice.

In 2003, Disgaea came out and breathe some new life into the Tactical Strategy RPG. It quickly became a cult classic. Disgaea 2 came around and stayed true to the first by changing very little. In that sense, Disgaea 3 can be summed up as being a continuation of the things that worked in the first two games. If you enjoyed the first two Disgaea games, then you'll like Disgaea 3.

Disgaea 3 focuses on Mao as he tries to overthrow is Overlord of a father for destroying his game console. It's a joke of a story but it's meant to be such. In all honesty it isn't much of a bad story at all once it gets going. The story is told through still shots of the characters facing one another as the dialog pops up on screen. There's voice acting, although some of it is quite forgettable. But there's also a good sense of humor, mainly because the story doens't take itself so seriously. Disgaea 3 knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything more. It makes the overall experience of it fun and satisfying. But as the story progresses it actually becomes about so much more than a mere broken Slaystation Portable.

The story is charming overall, but the presentation of it isn't so much. Certainly character portraits carrying the story out isn't so bad, but by now Disgaea should be willing to take its production values to new levels with the Playstation 3. An anime cutscene or something to help bring some of the more dramatic moments to life would've been really nice.

Battling in Disgaea 3 is no different than it was in the previous two games. You move characters around the battlefield executing attacks. Disgaea has always had a huge emphasis on strategy mainly because of the Geo Panels. Depending on the placement of Geo Panels and the placement of Geo Blocks, characters can be granted certain bonuses ranging from an attack boost to even some that aren't going to help you at all such a hindrance to your defense. Disgaea 3 also brings back the bonus gauge where after a battle you can get certain bonuses depending on how much damage you've done or how many panels you've destroyed. Even by the third installment, the Geo Panels system manages to be unique. The Geo Panels also help to make a difference in your strategy. You'll find your level doesn't mean much if the enemy you're facing has a huge boost by the Geo Panel he's standing on.

Disgaea 3 also keeps the level cap incredibly high. You can go all the way up to level 9999. It might seem like the game puts more emphasis on level and brute force, but chances are you'll find there's still a lot of strategy involved in the game, and that's mainly because there's so much outside of the story to do, and the Geo Panels provide a neat puzzle element to the game.

The biggest problem, however, is that it doesn't look any different from the first two games. You're basically getting a Playstation 2 game on a Playstation 3 console. Tactical Strategy RPGs have never been the best looking games, but Disgaea 3, despite being on the Playstation 3, looks almost exactly the same as the first two games. There isn't a real noticeable improvement in the game's artistic or graphical design. The anime inspired character portraits are very nice and detailed, but the overall look of the game isn't much. It also still suffers from the camera angles. While you can rotate the camera you'll find that there's not much else you can do with it. Pillars and other environmental objects will still be in the way.

Disgaea 3 is a good game. Excellent for Disgaea fans. It may play the same way, but that isn't a bad thing at all. What may not settle well with some gamers, however, is that it's a Playstation 3 game that would've been better suited for the Playstation 2.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2008
I could not disagree with the three star review more: the current iteration of "Disgaea" is, IMHO, the best strategy game ever made, overtopping both of the original offerings in this series.

Why, though? What makes this offering stand out from its counterparts? It's simple, really: it's precisely the bizarre storyline of the main quest. Lots of people heaped praise on the storyline of the original "Disgaea". I wasn't one of them. I personally thought that, while the story had its moments, in the end, it was pretty blah (particularly considering the cast of wonderful characters appearing). The storyline for the 2nd "Disgaea" was less entertaining than the first (mostly because the cast of characters wasn't interesting in the least, until the post-game madness started). Yet, I loved the first two games, precisely because of what happened AFTER the game. The number of extras in the first game was impressive, and the extras in the 2nd game were absolutely stagerring.

But finally, I really enjoy the storyline. I won't spoil it, but it is incredibly strange, and wholly entertaining. Rather, I'll break my review into the typical pro and cons sections:

PROS:
1) Storyline - It's funny. It's well-written. What more could you ask for.
2) Music - At times, it's positively incredible. The music playing in the background while in the academy (i.e. while not battling) ranks among my favorite video game themes of all time, and the main theme is good as well. The battle themes are less impressive, but this is actually nice, if one attempts to beat the game with skill as opposed to level-grinding (I would rather focus my concentration on the battle at hand).
3) Voice-acting - I enjoy it immensely. It works very well for the story present (although the Japanese voices annoy me).
4) Extras - I'm not talking about in-game extras (of which there are so many, I cannot even begin to describe them). I'm talking about the soundtrack CD accompanying the product. I love music CDs, when they're free.
5) Price - Most Sony PS3 games are sixty bucks, and most PS3 games stink. It's nice to get a fifty dollar offering that is enjoyable.
6) In-game extras - You could easily play this game for 150 hours. There is so much craziness to end the game, it's not even funny.

CONS:

1) Graphics - Yes, I know. It's not really important to the main offering. But come on. Most of the time in the game is spent either in battles, or in the school. There's really not much to illustrate here. Why not go the extra mile and make some interesting NEW character designs? I mean, these are the EXACT SAME monsters we saw in the original "Disgaea".

That's about it. Really.

This game, however, will not appeal to anyone. Action gamers, stay away. There's nothing wrong with that, and the comment isn't meant as an insult. Some people don't like the slow pacing of strategy games, or the level grinding madness that ends each "Disgaea" game. Strategy gamers, come one, come all. Let's face it, we haven't gotten many strong offerings recently (I deplore the DS "FFTA" game, and the Wii's "Fire Emblem" was a pretty frail offering as well). "Disgaea" fans - well, I don't even have to tell you, do I?

Good stuff.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2008
This is my first Disgaea game in the franchise. I certainly hope it isn't my last. I've put in about 6 hours into the game, enough to give me an idea of how the game will play. I have to say, it's been fun, great fun.

It's like playing a saturday morning cartoon, except it has a lot of content kids won't get. The game starts with Mao, who wants to defeat his father the Overlord, because his father ruined his video game system(sound familiar?) that cost him millions of hours worth of data. And so our quest begins. The voice overs sound like something off of Fox Kids saturday morning shows.

The game offers so many little things to do and manage. I was actually quite intimidated by the options it gave me when I started playing because I was pretty clueless. After some experimenting I'm slowly understanding parts of it. It is an srpg, but it is like no other srpg I've ever played. The levels are usually small and offer some traps, and puzzles as you traverse the area. I have a feeling this game is going to offer me a lot of great hours. There's so much to upgrade and different things to do.

I'm sure by now everyone knows this game has the look of a ps2 game. And honestly it does. But it's been such a good time, it doesn't bother me one bit. I love it. Rent it, buy it..I don't care. just play it
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2009
Verified Purchase
I don't write reviews at all for things I purchase on Amazon so if I'm writing this then I have a reason.

This. game. is. epic.

Yes, it's good. But what I mean is that the battle system, items, characters, EVERYTHING is so huge and deep that this game has more to offer than not only any other console game and most MMOs on the market today. I'm not saying it's the greatest game, I'm saying in terms of scope there are VERY few things that can rival this.

Now I will start to list random good points about the game in no specific order:
Voice acting - I was about to cringe when I was preparing to hear the voice acting for the first time because there are a lot of times when Japanese media is brought over to the U.S. and the voices are murdered, but I was pleasantly surprised. The VO work is amazing in English. I even recognized some of the voices from various anime and other game work. I like the voices so much I have yet to switch over to the Japanese track and coming from a guy who usually does switch over, THAT'S saying something.

Battle system - deep, deep, deep. I must say the battle system for this game is incredibly deep, so much so that there's so much to talk about I will only say it's awesome.

Story - Some push the story aside for being stupid, but I beg to differ. It's so unique and so different that it's what everyone has been asking for - something new. It's not serious at all, it's just fun and crazy. The Overlord's Son, Mao, wants to defeat his father because he stepped on his game console and game he spent 4 million hours on. Oh and it all takes place in the Netherworld......which is one giant school. Long story short - it only gets better as you go along. If that isn't unique, then I don't know what is.

Items, character choices, customization, etc - again, words cannot describe how much freedom you are given in this game. Choose some classes you like, give them weapons and armor, choose their skills, kill things. It's unbelievably massive.

Visuals - in a day and age dominated by all the latest 3d graphics, it's a nice change of pace. Colorful, crisp 2D graphics with a little bit of 3D in the mix. It looks beautiful.

There are a few bad things about the game....
Lack of explanations - I must say they don't explain enough to you in the tutorial of the game. There's so many things to take into consideration when making all the choices around the game that sometimes you have no idea what will happen or what's the point of something. It's never too bad though as you might be able to figure it out, or heck it may even be in the manual, but I haven't opened it so I don't know.

Scope - yes I said the scope of this game is amazing, but for some it will be too much. There's just so much to do and see that not everyone will be able to do so. This really is personal preference though. I love the scope and depth of this game, others may run away...far away.

Various battles - Some battles are just downright annoying. There are very few 'normal' maps when there isn't some sort of 'catch' to the battle(high ground, geo panels, high walls, super small maps, etc). Instead you are forced to fight on something new almost every fight which can keep things interesting, but others times I was just hoping for something...simple. Then there are downright cheap enemies and attacks. Enemies with super high dodging ability, enemies that hit 4-5 of you guys at once from across the pacific ocean if they felt like it, and many other things. To make it worse they might throw anywhere from 1-20 of these guys at you. Like I said, keeps things new and interesting...but sometimes you just want....simple.

All in all, you won't find a game for this price(I got my copy for $30) that offers this much. It's amazing how much content is on this disk. 9999 lvls, 30+ classes AND monsters to choose from, DLC, extra missions, 20-30 hours main story mode, customizable classes, weapons, etc. If you've been looking for an RPG that will last you a long time then look no further. This game might just last you a lifetime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Before I begin I would like to start by saying that I picked up Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice the day of its release on August 26, 2008. There have been numerous updates to the game since then and I shall detail them first. (DLC=downloadable content from the playstation store)

1. Trophy Support added as of July 30, 2009
2. DLC of Characters from previous Disgaea Titles ($1.99 each)
3. DLC of modes to share states online
4. DLC of chapters for one of the side characters (Rasberyl) adds roughly 10-20 hours of gameplay.

Generally speaking the only addition most players will need is the FREE trophy support update which you may be prompted to get if you are buying the game for the first time. Who doesnt want PS3 trophys?

-----------------------------------
Anyway all of that aside, Disgaea 3 is the third in the demon underworld strategy japanese role playing game from NIS. Although it carries the 3 behind its title, the story is completely unrelated to the other games and introduces an entire new cast of characters. The only returning characters are NIS signature Prinny's which add a bit of comedic relief.

The game explores the story at this underworld school as you, as Mao the overlord's son, are an honor student dedicated to trying to get revenge on his father since he broke his video games that he had invested thousands of hours of playtime on. You are also trying to be the number one delinquent in this school since that is what is good in the demon underworld. The story proceeds on through about 8 or 9 of these chapters that expand from this minor story to one that is greater and more epic as you go through plot twists, face the upperclassman sophomores and the diez gentleman (a group of upperclassman students), and more.

Along the way other storyline characters join the quest such as Almaz von Adamant Almadine (who wants to be a hero), Princess Sapphire, Rasberyl and her friends, a few teachers. The character cast is actually quite hilarious as you will face a Home Economics Teacher, Master Big Star the Sophomore Class Leader, and even the PTA.

The story is enjoyable and lasted me about 100 hours to get through...
------------------------------------------

Gameplay, Disgaea plays out like the previous version. You play as Mao and can create new characters to join your team. Characters can come from numerous classes. Each class has about 6 tiers with level requirements to satisfy unlocking more. You can also transmigrate your character to a higher tear (but they will start at level 1) or to another group altogether. Basically if you want to explore the system you can but some players can breeze through the game using just the first tier of character straightway.

Additional caveats to character creation include the ability to alter their weapon choices by having them use a variety of weapons and gaining the skills and level points for it, you can also go into the "class world" to boost a few of their abilities, or go into the item world to boost the points of the item. Furthermore in the items you can move the residents (basically character who give additional features to the item such as higher health, or exp gain), to other items or combine them. Once again the possibilities are endless but you can go through the game to avoid it.

Additonal caveats
-Players gain experience points in battle to level up
-Players gain mana points in battle when they vanquish an opponent
-Mana points are used to learn and boost abilities (evilties), boost skills/learn new skills, or to use in the "Homeroom" to make new characters, or pass topics in homeroom (tons of topics, useful in the post storymode to unlock the maps to get bosses and previous characters and DLC)

Generally speaking the way in which the gameplay is setup it can cater to a variety of players, new people can breeze through it, while other players can invest in FAQS or guides to dig into the statistics and boost their characters for hours on end. The level limit is 9999, you can do billions of damage, but all of that depends on how much time you are willing to invest post game. Once you beat the story mode you can go back and keep using your characters, everything transfers over except for unlockable characters which you will get at the time you unlocked them

For new players, the game works by you going to the gate keeper and then selecting the next map, there is no exploration or anything of that nature.

Production Values
-Sound: The Disgaea soundtrack by Tenpei Sato is true to the series. A few tracks from previous titles return while there are tons of news ones. Extreme Outlaw Overlord will never get old (plays when you are in the schoolgrounds), and nothing ever gets old. Most of the songs convey the story scenes emotion quite well.
-Voices, Voices are available in Japanese or English, English sounds good to be honest. I love the lines Almaz has as well as the passion with which Mao's voice actor speaks.

Graphics: 2D sprites are nice, battle animations start off unimpressive, but if you raise the tier higher these attacks look flashier and more powerful. Vasa Aergun for Mao looks awesome and never gets old. Get a gunner and try those higher level attacks, lol. Actually a few attacks look quite brutal!

Overall the game can last anywhere from 40 hours to thousands of hours depending on your play style. Ive actually gone back since beating it at 80 hours to unlock more stuff and to raise my characters to above lvl 500, with some characters at lvl 4500! Some of the trophies are a feat to get. It was well worth the 50$ I spent on this game.

Note to veterans: Borrows Geoblock elements from Disgaea Afternoon of Darkness and expands them
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2008
Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness and Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories are Japanese strategy RPGs originally available on the Playstation 2. The original Disgaea has been ported to the PSP with upgrades and improvements. There will be a Nintendo DS port later this year. The original Disgaea is also being resurrected as a "Greatest Hits", somewhat of a milestone for a series like this.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is the story of the demon Mao in the Netherworld and his quest to become a hero and overthrow his father, the Overlord while he attends the Evil Academy.

The story throws snorts, snickers and outright laughs at you from the moment you boot the disk in your Playstation 3. Wry, tongue-in-cheek humor is de rigeour for this series.

You start with a level 1 set of characters and have the possibility to progress through the story, with the option of restarting again when you finish it, to a level cap of 9999.

Damage to opponents can rise to the millions of points.

You can "enter" a weapon or other item in your inventory through the Item World to raise its attributes.

Homeroom and Student Council votes must be secured to have more party members, better weapons and armor available at stores.

The amount of customization and stat augmentations you can make are staggering.

You can choose to have Japanese voice-overs, should you desire.

Negatives include dated sprites. While the game is displayed on my 1080p television, the sprites (not the backgrounds or cut scenes) are a little pixelated, which I would like to have been a little more sharp. But this is a minor quibble.

If this is your first outing in the SRPG world, it is strongly encouraged to get the strategy guide or find a good wiki as you will need a leg up in sorting things out. They've crammed everything including the kitchen sink into this game.

If you want to try the cheaper Greatest Hits version of Disgaea, no one would fault you, conversely, the PSP version is highly lauded as well. The latest iteration is averaging a low to mid 80/100 scores from most sites, taking points off for the mild graphical upgrades, but cheering the deep replayability of the game.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
Verified Purchase
Overall, this game has what I'd expect from the Disgaea series--a well-thought out battle system with the potential for making truly overpowered characters, along with the slightly skewed sense of humor the series is known for.

The generalities of the battle system will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played the previous two games, but they've added some nice features, such as the ability to attack using towers. The Item World, along with inhabitants, makes a reappearance for those who want to grind their characters to a massively overpowered state.

However, the new "heart" system is a bit confusing, and so far appears mainly to be a way to make you talk to someone else to access some of the story levels. I'm only about 3-4 chapters into the game, so it may open up more later on.

The Dark Assembly has been replaced by homeroom, and offers some new systems based around School Clubs and the seating arrangement of your various party members.

The story, such as it is, is amusing, and serves its' purpose well--primarily, to introduce the game mechanics and tie all the levels together. Definitely not the strongest point in the game, but the Disgaea series has never been known for the deep and emotional stories.

At the end of the day, it's a game, and I play games to have fun. On that basis, the game succeeds admirably, and will certainly eat up large amounts of free time before I'm done with it (hopefully in time for the next Disgaea).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2011
Verified Purchase
Taken by itself, it is a great game; some of the best humor I've seen in a game in a long time, and addictive gameplay.

That said, when help up against the first two games, it is less great. The graphics are comparable to those two PS2 era games, and the humor in Disgaea 3 just isn't as great. The characters seem more flat than the original games, many only being there as filler.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2008
When a game advertises they have a Penguin (Prinny) that explodes when you throw them, you better take it seriously. Disgaea so far has been the best strategy RPG series with more levels, characters, weapons, moves than any other game.
My first SRPG was Final Fantasy Tactics and the sequels dissapointed me to no end, no other game had the fun of that game till Disgaea.

Disgaea 3 offers what the first two give and tons more, you still have the story mode and Item World (a game in itself seriously) "hero" units, demon units, monster units who you can name and pair up. Though now you're in a school of demons, a school of chaos, innuendos, sarcasm, explosions, lazy teachers and students sure to fail and be happy about it.

Now when you create a character their chance of team attack will be based off where they're seated in the class with another character.

There's more "hero" units in this game than the other Disgaea games with their own unique look on the netherworld (Hell) more demon units and monster units to make even bigger teams, more insane attacks, and even more damage. (the game has characters doing over 9 million damage!

Now you can merge special moves instead of just team attacks, buy moves with mana and special buffs to help your character. You can lift your entire team to make them toss fireballs at a enemy, or use "Tower Swing" to fling them around the level while your characters act like a giant whip. Another interesting combat addon is Magichange, where you temporary turn a monster unit into a weapon to give your character boosted stats and new moves only when they're "fused".

Rant rant rant, it's a great game with only one real flaw, the sprites are not in HD and it's on PS3, some of the sprites have been ported from Disgaea 2. But they did make more frames of animation for the classes they did "port" but there's also a lot more classes and characters and some redone all together. And honestly it's not about the graphics in this game, it still looks awesome but might have been more at home on PS2/PSP.

The game is easily over 150 hours, you could spend 250 I'm sure it depends on if you're willing to level your characters up to 9,999Lvl. Which could take a while since you can reincarnate characters to 1Lvl to buff their stats with benefits. To add to the game length you can jump into an item and go through levels inside. That may sound weird but it's what you do, you can go inside of a sword, stick of gum, axe and there's levels inside where when you beat them, the item will get better/stronger.

Seriously you like turn based RPGs this one is amazing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2011
Verified Purchase
I spent the entire day yesterday playing, and it's quite likely that I will do the same today.

Like the original Disgaea, Disgaea 3 offers a deep tactical experience filled with secret elements and peppered with humor. Item World alone (the method of running randomized gauntlets to boost the stats of a single piece of gear) has the potential to keep you playing for weeks, especially if you're a collector or min/maxer.

New elements include manipulating stackable boxes (including geo cubes replacing the classic geo prisms) to reach areas at a height, setting a classroom structure for your party's in-battle interactions rather than the previous model of inheritance set at character creation, monster-characters transforming into weapons to fuse characters in battle, and discovering special move combinations when performed on opponents during the same turn.

I had stopped playing Disgaea 2 partway in. Not sure why; too similar to the first, perhaps? Whatever it was, Disgaea 3 shows no signs of it, if yesterday's marathon says anything of it. I would have paid retail for it had I owned a PS3 at launch, and I am loving the game no less at less than twenty dollars today. If you enjoyed the first, have no doubts. You will love Disgaea 3 as well.
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