Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness is more than just a PSP port

Okay, first I will admit that I've never heard of this port until now, when I read the review from Advanced Media Network. While reading it I was thinking "yay, another port to the PSP of a great game but I probably won't need it until much later" until I got to the part about the new additions.

As you all probably already know, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness was the first ever game in this series produced by Nippon Ichi Software, for the PS2. It's a strategy-RPG whose story takes place in an unusually wacky Netherworld, ruled by incumbent Overlord and main character Laharl.

Yada yada, enough about the 2003 game, since you've very likely played it more than I did. What is new in the PSP port? There's the usual improved graphics (well, sort of--I'm just imagining it'll look better on the PSP), there's probably some new stages as well, but we can't say for sure yet (at least I can't--gonna research on this in a while). But two confirmed additions will make this worth your buy:

The PSP port will feature multiplayer (!) which is a first for the Disgaea series. The main draw of the multiplayer is that each player is given five Geo Cubes (which can really mess things up), at random, and another five can be selected, for a total of ten Geo Cubes. The player can lay them wherever they think they can benefit from it. Since Geo Cubes can be destroyed the player must plan carefully which cubes to use and where to place them.

But the real draw to Afternoon of Darkness is what can only be referred to for now as "Etna Mode": Once you beat the main story, players are given an option to play as Etna, and everything will be from her point of view. How does that change things though? Etna Mode's story is about what could have happened were she able to kill Laharl in the beginning of the game. In short it's an entirely new story and of course, new ending.

Apart from these additions and improvements, it plays exactly like its PS2 counterpart, but it's really worth picking up just for Etna Mode.

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