Whether an excuse for nostalgic fans to revisit old favorites anew or a reason for people who missed it the first time to check out a classic title, enhanced re-releases of games are are a frequent occurrence in this industry. RPGs are especially common when it comes to being recipients of this treatment. Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten is receiving the enhanced remake treatment a second time. Originally released for PlayStation 3 in 2011 it was ported to PlayStation Vita in 2014, and this fall it will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Switch as Disgaea 4 Complete+, allowing a new generation to experience it or returning fans to experience it again.
The story follows a vampire by the name of Valvatorez. Once upon a time a few centuries ago he was feared like a proper vampire should be but fell in love with a woman, went soft and now he doesn’t drink blood anymore. He currently works at a dead end job in Hades, where one of the factories is doing assembly line conversion of human souls into Prinnies. The government orders the mass extinction of Prinnies which outrages Valvatorez, leading to starting a rebellion. As things tend to go in JRPGs, the initial target ends up being much smaller than the total threat, things escalate and soon there’s a whole save the world sort of quest happening.
The combat in Disgaea 4 is at cursory glance the standard JRPG turn-based stuff but there are quirky features. One trait of the battle grid in Disgaea games is that enemies and allies can be picked up and thrown, which regardless of whatever practical reason there is for doing so in the game, picking up people and throwing them is never not fun. A new element of the picking up your friends feature that was introduced in this entry is that multiple allies can be picked up at once and stacked on top of each other like a tower. The bottom person in the tower can throw the top people if you need to cover ground in hurry. The battle system is much more tactical and in depth than these absurdities, but this feature is one of the things that makes Disgaea entertaining and sets it apart from the other nine trillion JRPGs.
There is an online multiplayer component of Disgaea 4 Complete+. Players will be able to create their own custom maps and pirate ships, using them to invade other the home worlds of other players for some friendly battles. The level cap is set to 9,999, which I was too scared to ask how much grinding it would take to reach that milestone.
Disgaea 4 Complete+ is the complete Disgaea 4 package, which one would hope is the case with a name like that. Everything associated with this title can be found here, including over thirty unlockable characters, extra story campaigns and modern flourishes to help hide the fact this is an eight year old game. The tone of Disgaea is in some ways silly, but it also deals with a corrupt government on the verge of genocide in the netherworld. Throwing people and stacking your allies in battle is amusing, but returning players will know that there is a deeply strategic battle system in place to go with a compelling story that may go off the rails in a few spots.