Vita Review: Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

For those that don’t know, Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is the re-release of Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice combined with all of its DLC. The original game was for PS3, and is largely considered to be one of the best RPGs available on the system. Even though I had never played a Disgaea game before this one, I was looking forward to taking a crack at it because of all of the hype from the others.

I have to say, that I don’t normally get into Strategy RPGs, mostly because I don’t like the Grid-based combat. Final Fantasy Tactics and all of its incarnates have been exception to the rule for me, as the story far outweighed my general distaste for the gameplay. After all of this time, though, I have finally found another series of this type that I cannot wait to devour fully.

The main story of Disgaea 3 is one that will blow your mind. You are a Demon (bad guy), who wants to become a Hero (good guy), so that you can kill and overthrow your father, and take his seat as the Overlord of the Underworld (head bad guy), all because he erased your 4 million hours of save data for your favorite game. While normally, this frame of thought in a serious story would not work well, in Disgaea’s parody based world it makes perfect sense. And hilarity ensues.

While the story is actually extremely enjoyable and what made me want to keep going through the game, the humor really took me by surprise. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and was an extremely refreshing change to the very dark and gritty games that seem to rule the gaming market now-a-days.

The game has a ton of replay value as well, since when you reach max level, you can actually start over at the beginning with higher stats. The only frustrating part to this start-over system, is that if you lose a battle at certain parts of the game, you are forced to start over from the beginning at that point. While you do keep your level, gear, and abilities, this really took me by surprise. I really wish that this was explained to me early on in the game, as I was a bit mad at first, thinking that I had lost all of my progress. Luckily, as I said, that was not the case and I learned to actually come to a love-hate relationship with this system. The good part is, it made me start playing smarter.

The story of the game is told through the viewpoint of Mao, who seems kind of like a spoiled brat at the beginning of the game, but turns into a character that you will love. The majority of the narrative is played out through anime-inspired vignettes that are fully voice acted and will keep you enthralled throughout. For the most part, which was also refreshing, the voice acting was actually well done, with some familiar voices that anime fans will definitely recognize.

Having never played the PS3 version of the game before this, I couldn’t tell you exactly what specifically the DLC added to the base game, but from what I’ve been researching, it is a good deal of content that wasn’t in the original game, as well as a cameo by some characters from Disgaea 4 (which I can’t wait to start playing myself now).

I feel that if I talk too much more about it, I may give away spoilers, so I will end it at this: If you are an RPG Fan, Strategy-RPG Fan, or just love a good game, PICK THIS GAME UP! It is worth every penny, and then some.

Pros

  •  Hilarious Story
  •  Fun characters
  •  High Replay Value with the Start-Over Feature
  •  A Strategy-RPGers dream game
  •  Tons of Geek Culture references

Cons

  •  If you lose certain battles, you have to start the game over
  •  A niche game, with its SRPG elements and Grid-Based combat system

Overall Score: 5/5

This review was performed on the Playstation Vita system, with review materials supplied by the publisher.

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Author: Jeremy Goodson View all posts by
Jeremy is the Managing Editor for Vagary.TV. He has been gaming since the days of the NES and has no desire to stop anytime soon. He's also a veteran Blogger and Podcaster. When he's not writing, recording, or playing games, he loves spending time with his wife and son, reading, and watching a good movie or TV show.
  • Don Parsons

    Great review that sold the humor of the series in a very focused manner. I’m very, very tempted to get this because I LOVE Disgaea 4 and feel it would make a fantastic portable game.

  • http://twitter.com/JerWG Jeremy W. Goodson

    Yeah, I was so surprised by this game. Not what I expected at all. I really can’t wait to play through some of the others in the series. How did I miss this?