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Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Developer: Nippon Ichi | Publisher: Atlus
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 08/27/03 | Genre: Strategy RPG

Good, solid strategy RPG's seem to be few and far between in these manic days of ultra-fast FPS's and rugged sport sims, but once in awhile, a real gem appears out of nowhere. Such is the case with the new strategy RPG from Atlus, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. This game does a ton of things right, and goes far deeper than even the hardest of the hardcore fans could possibly imagine. So what, you ask, in particular does the game do so magnificently? Well, well, where do I even start...

First and foremost, the game immediately strikes a chord with its rather unique, anime-like presentation. The game has a very distinct Japanese feel to it, and yes, it really does present itself as though it were an anime (there's even an option to use the Japanese voices with English subtitles, w00t). The story unfolds through a series of 쥰isodesomplete with a preview of the coming episode whenever you happen to finish the one that you're on. In the game, you play the role Laharl, heir to throne of the underworld. After his father's untimely demise, which Laharl slept through, the underworld is thrown into a state of political unrest. Demons are at war with one another to take over as the new ruler. This chaos goes on for two years before Laharl finally wakes up with the help of his loyal vassal Etna. This is where the game begins, with Laharl just waking up and Etna at his side. Needless to say, Laharl is a little peeved that the other demons are fighting for the throne that is, by birthright, his.

The quest for the throne becomes more involved than you could imagine with all sorts of kooky characters popping in every step of the way. Expect plenty of weirdness; along the way you'll run into plenty of things that are quite inexplicable including a threat from a nefarious cooking ninja

By Ryan Schaefer - 10/17/03
ESRB Details: Comic Mischief, Mild Language, Mild Violence
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Screenshots for Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

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