Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is the PS Vita edition of the popular PS3 game, released in 2008 under the name Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice. The PS Vita version comes pre-loaded with all the Downloadable content which became available on the PS3 almost 4 years ago, and a host of new ideas just for the PS Vista launch, including touch controls with the Vita’s touch pad, ability to gain XP just for carrying your Vita around (Via GPS) new Moves and a data shop to compare stats and rankings.
The game is set in The Netherworld (Read: Demon world) in a school for demons called the Evil Academy, which is a flip-side of how real-life schools work. Here, the bad kids are the prefects, the head boys and girls, and the good kids are called “delinquents” and are treated as low-life. Our protagonist is Mao, Son of the Overlord, and his quest is to overthrow his father for stepping on his game console, losing his hours upon hours saved game progress, no less.
This is a game for people who enjoy dialogue. Like REALLY enjoy dialogue. Whilst the conversations that take place in the game are always sharp, witty and full of winks to the audiences status as a gamer ( “what a useful game-play type mechanic!”) the constant bouts of speech does get tiresome soon, especially seen as your forced to hit X after every sentence.
Look past the over-the-top dialogue though, and you’ll see the story play out and it will keep you entertained and smiling from start to finish. Niche players will be glad to see the option to play the entire game in Japanese, with cutesy-Japan music playing throughout.
The game kicks off with a series of Tutorials that will teach the basics you need to know about Disgaea’s combat system.The style of the game is of typical Japanese turn based strategy combat, and throughout the endless dungeons, with your army at your back, you issue commands to your minions one at a time ordering them to either cast spells, use items and move, amongst other things, to defeat the enemies on the playing grid. Disgaea3 is very challenging and you will need every advantage to survive some of the battles, so be careful where you place your companions, as certain grids could have either a beneficial bonus to them, or a detrimental effect. An example of this is that some Geo-blocks provide, say, +50%XP for that bout. You can learn how to exploit the battle system to take advantage of each battle, figuring out how to efficiently take down each enemy, this can be very rewarding finding the best way to defeat your foes; this can also be very daunting and will drag a lot of game time learning each foe.You also gain a form of mana during your battles in-game, this can be spent on upgrading your skills and Passive bonuses.
There is also homeroom or the class rooms, by attending this room you are able to assign characters together and this will increase your friendship with them, and also push them to help each other with team battles. There are many other things to do in the homeroom, like assign students to a club, this in turn opens up other benefits like putting forth an idea in which class reps can consider. This opens up a wide range of options, and everything you do in the homeroom will affect everything you do during any combat afterwards.
As far as longevity goes, the game is seemingly endless for the completion-minded player, with each and every item in the game having a randomly generated world inside, which you can dive into to gain XP and power-ups. This can mean pouring hours into the game on what originally seemed a small quest, keeping you clutching your Vita on the toilet or the Bus, for hours on end ( Remember which stop to get off at!”
All of these additions make this game much more suited to the Vita than its PS3 predecessor, as the somewhat dated character models and art from the PS3 look great on the smaller screen. There are still issues with the camera which were brought over from the PS3 version, which sometimes which makes it very difficult to get a clear view of the playing field, even though you are able to freely move the camera around during turns. Not so good if you are stuck behind a wall, while your characters gets there arse handed to them on a plate by the opposition.
Overall though there is plenty to do in this game, from leveling to 9999, or discovering many different endings and scenarios, which can be completed when you have finished your first play through. Disgaea 3 is a great turned base strategy Game, if only a little text-heavy. With its new combat animations and character reactions to the new cut-scenes exclusively for the PS Vita launch.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.