June 30, 2010

Review – Disgaea Infinite

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 8:23 pm

Disgaea Infinite
It’s fair to say that one never knows what to expect from any new game release, despite the availability of news and early views to encourage plenty of expectations or hesitations. And yet never have I flown so blind into a new title than with NIS America’s new deviation for the Disgaea series.

I was aware of the term “visual novel” prior to pressing start for the first time, and somewhat prepared for a significantly larger portion of narrative authority versus interactive playtime, but I was gleefully ignorant of any real idea toward how it all might unfold across my PSP screen.

Disgaea Infinite
I’ve heard Disgaea Infinite referred to as a visual novel, as an adventure novel – one spot on NIS America’s site lists it as a graphic novel. Mystery adventure novel might fit the bill, since the game is all about solving an alleged crime. Players handle the flippers of a particularly depressed Prinny moments before an explosion is taking as an assassination attempt on Overlord Laharl, causing him to slash all Prinny wages – the only means a Prinny has of one day being set free of servitude in the Netherworld.

As luck would so conveniently have it however, said Prinny discovers a time traveling watch, affording the player the chance to repeatedly travel via Prinny’s spirit into the past in an attempt to prevent the disaster from occurring.

What follows this obligatory setup is the mystery adventure novel bits as Prinny is able to encounter the various events happening prior to the explosion by possessing other characters within the castle.

Disgaea Infinite
As Prinny, the player can possess every other character they encounter, jumping from host to host in order to follow different plot points, quickly discovering that it isn’t so much a case of discovering what is behind the crime as in how to altogether prevent it from happening. Possession is exactly like tagging along for the ride as the character goes about their actions on the set course of events already having occurred.

It’s a leisurely trip as well, since the player presses a button to proceed through text, and is thereby given all the time in the world to inhabit characters on screen regardless of how tense or frantic the plot might be at the time. Add to this the ability to temporally use mind control in order to change the course of actions in the past – thereby changing direction to encounter additional situations, and you’ve got a pretty firm handle on your role within this mystery adventure novel.

Disgaea Infinite
There’s no question that the Disgaea universe easily spins some worthy yarns, with strange touches of British humor running beneath situations that range from package mix-ups to malfunctioning robots. The question is whether or not the release is a little light on content for the sticker price – and since you could breeze through the title in a single afternoon, I’d be inclined to say yes it is.

That said, I’m not an economist, and I’ve paid twenty bucks to read books and watch films that aren’t half as entertaining and offer even less interaction. I will say that the time-line feature meant to help you plot out the mystery isn’t immensely helpful, and that proceeding through events repeatedly can cause them to get old quickly. And yet I’m very interested in the potential for these kinds of games in North America, and the production value NISA brings to many of their releases is here in spades.

Of course it doesn’t matter since it typically falls to fans of a franchise to support a title that may need cult love to survive – or I just love when reviews say that fans of a series will probably be the most likely buyers of a new game attached to said series.

Perhaps it’s a little too strange a tale for whoever Nintendo markets the idea of DS ready novels at.

This leaves me feeling terribly short on words, even if there is only so much to be said, so my last ditch effort here will be to distract you entirely with my quickly sketched concept for a Disgaea Infinite commercial.

Disgaea Infinite

Disgaea Infinite
DeveloperNippon Ichi Software
PublisherNIS America
System – PlayStation Portable
Release Date – June 8, 2010

*A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review


  1. After reading the review it feels like the Disgaea characters had lunch over at the Ace attorney universe and decided they liked what they saw?

    Comment by EdEN — June 30, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

  2. Fun tidbit, the game NISA credits for inspiration is a text-based looping adventure Japanese PSP title called Infinite Loop: Kojou Ga Miseta Yume – where the main character is a ghost possessing people to solve a mystery.

    Comment by Jamie Love — July 1, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  3. I haven’t opened my copy yet, but for $20 I couldn’t help but impulse buy and show my support for NISA.

    Interesting, all this Ghost Possession and Ace Attorney talk… seeing Ghost Trick is coming out soon too! ;)

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — July 1, 2010 @ 10:29 am

  4. haha yea, it’s like coincidence city around here lately :)

    Comment by Jamie Love — July 1, 2010 @ 10:35 am

  5. Either one of you try Geist for Gamecube?

    Comment by EdEN — July 1, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  6. I’ve seen Geist on used and cheap shelves a zillion times, but for some reason never picked it up.

    Comment by Jamie Love — July 1, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

  7. I got Geist about two years ago for 10 bucks and it was worth the experience. You should get it if you come across a copy. Nowadays it usually goes for 4 or 5 bucks.

    Comment by EdEN — July 1, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress