NIS America's long-running Disgaea series is known for two things in particular. One is its unique brand of comedic relief through its varied cast of characters that bring laughter to the player, but also play into many common themes relevant to today's world. The second is its Strategy RPG gameplay mixed with long but rewarding grinding of levels. Like Disgaea 3 before it, NIS America has decided to port Disgaea 4 to the PlayStation Vita. We reviewed Disgaea 3's Vita iteration favorably, so how does Disgaea 4's iteration fare?
This review will focus mainly on the new additions and changes in the Vita port, so if you want to find out more about the original game you can check out its review here. As a refresher, Disgaea 4 revolves around the tyrannical demon vampire Valvotorez who due to promises he made in the past has absconded from drinking blood and teaches the series mascot Prinnies as a Prinny Instructor. As you progress through the game, you find out what exact promises he's made and how they end up with him cleaning up the corruption of the "Corrupternment", ironically enough named.
A Promise Revisited includes all of the DLC available in the PS3 version, including the lengthy Desco & Fuuka Show. In addition, the Vita port also includes the new Nagi Clockwork Time Leap scenario which features a girl who is trying to avert a war that takes place prior to Disgaea 4's events. It's a minor addition but it's an improvement over the extra characters that Disgaea 3 Vita threw in as additional content and should last players quite a few hours at the very least.
Disgaea has also been about its absurdity and customization and Disgaea 4 Vita doesn't disappoint there. For a game that has a 9,999 level cap as a feature newcomers should get the hint that this is a game that isn't afraid to joke around with itself. Adding to this customization is a new option that allows players to color swap character's outfits along with some other customization options. It's a superficial change, to be sure, but it plays nicely into the series' most notable aspects.
Graphically, Disgaea 4's already HD-quality sprites from the original PS3 version appear a bit brighter and more vibrant here thanks to the Vita's OLED display (with the new Vita's LCD display still showing off the game quite well), complimenting the anime-style sprites and artwork the series is known for. Audio-wise there isn't any downgrades here although I did run into an issue initially where the spoken dialogue was smothered by the game's audio until I manually adjusted the sound levels once the introduction sequence ended. It's not a major issue, but it's curious why the English language option default was preset to those settings when it's such an obvious issue.
A Promise Revisited also includes the Netherbattle online element from the PS3 version which allowed players to design their own pirate ship, crew and base in an attempt to play through other's content or invade other players. It's not as expansive as one might ideally hope for, but for hardcore players who need some extra challenge after completing everything else the game has to offer it's a nice addition that is made even better by the portable nature of the Vita.
While it's still Disgaea 4 at its core, there is enough new content here for fans of the PS3 version as long as you can stomach going through that version's content to get to the new stuff tucked away at the end. For newcomers this is easily the definitive version of the game, but those who were on the fence or didn't particularly enjoy the original won't find much to change your mind here. Like the game's title, this is a revisiting of Disgaea 4 for better or worse depending on your view.
|Enough new content to entice fans of the original.|
|The HD sprites look crisp on the Vita's display.|
|What worked in the PS3 version still works here.|
|Odd audio issue with the English track's default settings.|
|If you disliked the original, it's more of the same here.|
|The online mode is still relatively the same as the original PS3's version.|