Short Report: Disgaea 1 Complete

As a long time fan of the tactical RPG series Disgaea, of course I had to get the “Complete” version of the first game when it came out 😉

After all these years, the base game definitely shows its age, especially when you compare it to the later entries into the series, though even without knowing any of the other entries it is quite likely that you’d notice the shortcomings (not counting the low resolution graphics). Story- and character-wise though, it does still hold up nicely. I did play through the main story and parts of Etna Mode, but even in this updated version I can’t bring myself to continue playing a lot longer and pursue the post-game content.

A remaster usually sticks as close to the original as possible, updating mainly graphics, sound, interface, things like that. Taking that into account, this version of the game isn’t a straight remaster, but it’s also far from a remake, since there are only a few changed details. The graphics have been redone quite a bit, but it’s definitely noticeable in parts (some textures) how old this game is. The HD sprites look very good, though, can’t complain there. The overall interface has been improved a bit, but it’s a far cry from how much the series has progressed over 5 mainline titles (not counting ports).

One feature that I miss every time I play the first Disgaea is the random name generator in the character creator. Complete does have one now… but the way they implemented it is a head-scratcher. Every other title has you press a button (usually “Select”) on the name input screen to scroll through random names, but this one? Leave the name empty and confirm, on the next screen you get the random name. And this name is not randomized, so you can’t just go back and repeat it to get another suggestion. You have to completely cancel creating this character before you get another name.

Another “update” I did not like is the monster classes. The Galactic Demons class was one of my favorites in the other Disgaea 1 versions, but Complete replaced it with the Rifle Demon. A few other classes were also replaced, like the Treants, Shadows and Winged/Imps. I get that this was cheaper to do because those classes already have HD versions, but I don’t have to like it.

Instead of skipping cut-scenes, you can now only “fast-forward” through them, which is pretty annoying. To add the icing to the cake, the credits screen when you beat the story plainly just says “Disgaea PC”… how does that just slip through? I even got the game to crash once, first time ever I’ve seen that screen on the PS4. Wasn’t even anything special, I just used the Dark Cannon skill on one of the Etna Mode maps and fired on one of the enemies.

Needless to say, this is definitely not what I would consider anywhere near the best remaster of a classic game. They really could have done a lot better…

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