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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disgaea PC is a downloadable turn-based strategy role-playing game (RPG) that's a remake of the original Disgaea, featuring many of the same characters and enemies as before. If you are unfamiliar with turn-based strategy games, you will come to realize very quickly that it takes time and patience to learn how and where to place your character in battles, while familiarizing yourself with the never-ending world and characters that are in this game. This style of play could frustrate some newcomers to the genre, but if they stick with the game, they'll discover players can level up characters to 9,999 and then move these heroes to new games, which lets them start all over even stronger. The game also features tons of hidden eggs, zany characters, and endless bonus points to be unlocked and spent on your adventures. This franchise is also well-known for its mouthy and scantily dressed characters who use words such as "damn," "hell," and "s--t" throughout. There are also some scant drug references, and there's some violence with a wide array of weapons, although the pixelated gameplay visuals and lack of blood or gore minimizes the impact.
What's it about?
DISGAEA PC is the long-awaited strategy RPG that can now be played on the computer. If you are familiar with this series, you will immediately recognize the classic characters: Laharl, the prince of the Netherworld, has awoken from a two-year-long nap to find that his father, the king, has died and the whole Netherworld is now in turmoil. He can't trust anyone, including his mouthy companion, Etna, who has her own set of plans to take the throne as they travel from place to place, slaying as many enemies as possible. There are tons of characters who can eventually reach level 9,999, allowing them to dish out millions of points in damage. The more enemies you kill, the stronger your characters get, which keeps you engaged.
Is it any good?
Once you learn how this deep and complex strategy role-playing game works and how to navigate the characters, it's pretty straightforward to explore and fight your way through. But while it's easy to go along and kill enemies at each stage, it's not always clear where you're supposed to go, and navigating the never-ending Netherworld can be confusing. There also have been some obvious and well-known glitches in the speed of the game since the original release, and they've carried over to this version as well. At least the developers are aware of this problem and suggest that players disable VSync and turn off all the image filters to get the best gameplay experience.
The colorful anime artwork shows off the characters and helps tie in the storyline. Although the game is known for being zany and over the top, Laharl and Etna both grate on the nerves as they whine and complain about the situations at hand. While the dialogue can be entertaining at times, it mostly comes across as annoying childish banter. Attacks and battle scenes are repetitive, and while it's fun to see your points climb like crazy, gameplay becomes stale after a while. But players can literally play for hundreds of hours since there are so many things to do, bonuses to score, and enemies to defeat on each level. If you like strategy, crazy characters, and a plot that keeps on going, then you can easily get lost in the world of Disgaea. Just know that you will have to deal with some repetition, confusing play, and annoying dialogue to explore it fully.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sex, gender, and body image. Is there a problem with how the female characters in the game are depicted? Do they seem to be stronger or better because they wear less clothing? Would they be better presented if they wore more clothing?
Talk about violence in games. Since there's no blood or gore in the game, does the violence still bother you as you play? Does it have the same impact because the visuals are so pixelated?
- Platforms: Windows
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: NIS America
- Release date: February 24, 2016
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes, Mild Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.