Disgaea 1 Complete – An absolute joy to play

With its zany characters, irreverent humour, addictive gameplay and a large dose of nostalgia.  Hopping back into the world of the original Disgaea game, with ‘Disgaea 1 Complete’ on the PS4, scratched an itch I didn’t know I needed scratching.

When Disgaea first released on the PlayStation 2, I spent tens of hours creating, levelling and refining my squad of characters. As it was my first foray into strategy-roleplaying games, my tactics weren’t necessarily great; so much of my time was spent grinding levels sao my characters could brute-force their way to victory.  

Playing again now I thought I would breeze through the game, but I’m happy I still found it pretty challenging. The game’s later stages require your party are sufficiently well rounded and decently levelled; hopefully with mages, healers, long range attackers and close range powerhouses.

Replaying Disgaea 1 Complete can feel a bit bare-bones in comparison to the extra mechanics, characters and abilities contained in the later games especially the excellent ‘Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance’ which, in my opinion,  perfected the series’ signature gameplay.

That said, the later games just can’t beat the whimsical feeling of the original. The characters of Laharl and Etna are still my favourites. Laharl’s stubborn arrogance and aversion to all kindness and love, and Etna’s snarky, sneaky, semi-loyalty still shine all these years later. The snappy dialogue, interplay between characters and over-the-top story, create a unique cartoon-style aesthetic that still resonates with me all these year later.

On the whole Disgaea 1 Complete is a great dose of fun, strategy, patience and humour all combined into a game that although may have aged slightly, was still an absolute joy to play.