Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is a turn based tactical RPG by NIS for the PS Vita. The game is a remake of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, which was released for the PS3 back in 2011. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the PS3 versions back then, and now going through the PS Vita version I found myself enjoying the game even more. Disgaea is one of those series that is infinitely better to play on a portable console.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited stars Valvatorez, voiced by Troy Baker, a once tyrannous vampire that has vowed to never drink human blood again; he now finds sustenance in sardines. A stellar side cast full of unique and interesting characters joins him on his journey to bring back the Netherworld to its former glory.
Like every entry in the Disgaea series, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited takes place in it’s own version of the Netherworld. In Disgaea 4’s Netherworld everything revolves around politics, with even the Overlord being elected as the Netherworld President. Valvatorez’s adventure has him oppose the Netherworld President and create his own political party. New characters are added as senators and stages completed as areas under the party’s rule.
The game stars off in Hades, where the lowest level demons are located. Valvatorez here serves as an instructor to Prinnies. Prinnies are human souls sent to the Netherworld to repent for their sins; a Prinny Instructor’s duty is to teach them how to act in the Netherworld including the most important rule of saying dood after sentence. As a new group of graduates complete their final lesson, Valvatorez prepares to award each of them with a sardine that he promised them. The corrupterment however has other plans and decides to eliminate all Prinnies. So being the honorable demon that Valvatorez is, he sets out to take down the corrupterment and fulfill his promise. As you can guess by now promises are the main theme of Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited’s story won’t win any Oscars but it gets the job done. Typical to Disgaea the story perfects a mix between seriousness and comic relief. Valvatorez is the series’ most likable protagonist yet and his side cast is made up of an amazing bunch of characters. His party includes a werewolf, angel, prinny, death and even a final boss. The game’s setting of a political netherworld is something that perfectly fits Disgaea’s signature humor. The game’s writing is brilliant as always, with the localization being one of NISA’s best efforts yet.
Graphically the game looks great and brilliantly compliments its art style. The sprites are in now in HD unlike previous games in the series, with the stages the nicely detailed. Disgaea games tend be very colorful and as expected look amazing on the PS Vita’s OLED screen, don’t worry it looks good on the newer LCD equipped models as well. The biggest difference I noticed coming from the PS3 version is that the PS Vita version looks incredibility sharp.
Disgaea’s gameplay is that of a typical turn based strategy RPG but adds many more variables as you progress through the game’s story. The battles take place on an isometric tile based battlefield where players have to dispatch characters with the number varying with each stage. Players have to plan out their movements and where they deploy their characters to maximize their effectiveness per turn. Character adjacent to each other can perform join attacks to stack up heavy damage as well as grant each other bonuses. Geo Blocks from Disgaea 3 make a return, these blocks will alter specific tiles adding special abilities like allowing characters on them to attack multiple times in a turn or increasing the experience they earn.
Magichange and Fusions are the new gameplay features added to Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited. Magichange allows humanoid characters to wield monsters as weapons while Fusions allow two monsters to fuse together and increase in strength. These abilities are not exclusive to the main party as enemies will often use them as well to change the tide of battle. All these features and abilities may seem a bit confusing but the game does an excellent job at explaining how everything works.
The Cam-Pain HQ functions similar to the Homeroom from Disgaea 3 and its equivalents in previous games. Here players can create new characters and edit various variables like character names and weapon looks. The main function of the Cam-Pain HQ however is passing bills to the senate. These bills help add bonuses to stages, unlock new items and characters and a more. The Cam-Pain HQ also enables players to gain various bonuses by placing characters adjacent to each other in captured territories. Adding an experience boosting Evil Piece to areas and then placing characters around them helps gain experience without directly participating in battle as long as one of the adjacent characters defeats an enemy. This greatly helps while grinding as using experience boosting Evil Pieces allow weaker characters to level up much quickly. Players can even appoint their characters as senators, for example your foreign minister participates in other player’s senate hearings and can bring back items they are bribed and defense minsters can call upon help from other player’s uploaded characters using a Red Phone in battle. The Cam-Pain HQ can be a fun system to explore while taking a break from battles and can be used to gain the strategic edge in battles.
Disgaea is as hardcore as JRPGs get, so prepare for hours of grinding. The main story will take you around 30-40 hours, but there’s a ton of post game and DLC content included that will last you for a very long time. Luckily the game includes shortcuts and makes grinding less time-consuming as you progress further in the game, there are even stages specifically for grinding that you can clear in seconds. Pirate battles and exploring the Item and Character worlds are endless experiences, in fact I had a 130 hour playtime on the PS3 version of Disgaea 4. After a certain stage the game can get very addictive.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is a game that perfectly compliments the PS Vita. After playing games such as Persona 4 Golden and VLR, longer RPGs are just a much better experience on portable consoles. The same case is with Disgaea 4, for me even though I was playing through the game a second time, I never felt bored. I played the game whenever I wanted, sometimes while waiting for class in 10-20 minute sessions to quickly level up a character or for hours on the weekend. Trust me when I say this, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited is one of the best games on the PS Vita and if you’re even remotely interested in RPGs you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited Review