Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten Review

disgaea 4

We are the Prinnies, dood. We inhabit the Netherworld and are totally mistreated. Just because we’re the souls of lethargic dead humans attached to dimwitted penguin avatars doesn’t mean we deserve to be slaves in the afterlife. We need a new leader, guys. We need someone who will take us into the future. We need someone who will fight those in Hades that wanna keep us down. We need Valvatorez.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Who wants a Vampire running the show? We got enough of that from HBO and ironic teen novels back when we were alive. Big V is different. He’s the real McCoy. No glittering in sunlight or sucking neck with Rogue from the X-Men. He’s Nosferatu. He’s Alucard. He’s Brad Pitt from “Interview with the Vampire”.

Don’t take my word for it, though. There’s a documentary out there that gives a look at Valvatorez’s history. Titled Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, this documentary is a brilliant installment in a series of stories about courageous heroes from Hades. In this chapter of the series, Valvatorez begins his quest aside his faithful (albeit creepy) righthand werewolf, Feinrich.

How does his tireless journey begin, you ask? Why, by saving us Prinnies, of course! When he saw how the Corrupterment was governing Prinnies and all of Hades, he resisted. He used to be a Prinny trainer, doods. Totally committed to our security and safety. Demons? Death? Torture? Murder? These things are trivial to Valvatorez. He only cares about keeping promises and saving the Prinnies.

He’ll fight for us, too. Literally. And he’ll do it like…a LOT. A looooot. Luckily his fights are always intriguing and refreshing. See, doods, Valvatorez recruited this bosstastic political party. Each of them has his or her own abilities. Red Mages, Blue Mages. Warriors. Healers. All of them are there. And we aren’t talking about clumsy, run-and-gun warfare here, folks. We’re talking strategy. Big V studies the battlefield before he engages. He has to. There are all sorts of obstacles out there. Sometimes enemies are too high to reach. Sometimes they’re too low. Sometimes there are colored blocks scattered throughout that influence the course of battle. Certain areas of the stage will glow the color of the block, and anyone on the colored sections will be affected in some way. Maybe they won’t be able to use ranged weapons. Maybe they’ll have better defense. OR MAYBE IT WON’T DO ANYTHING AT ALL. Strategy, doods. Big V knows it.

Surprisingly, he makes the battles look effortless. From what I could tell, the main vein of the story seemed a bit too easy for Valvatorez and his party. They didn’t face any real challenges until they ventured off to handle personal matters. You know, side quests and the like. Of course, being strong isn’t a bad thing as we want that in our leader, but a story is always more engaging if there’s a bit of tension sprinkled on top. Amirite?

Speaking of tension, the Senate system in the Netherworld provides plenty… maybe it’s just confusion. During the documentary, Valvatorez began his “Cam-Pain” trail to the Senate. To do this, he got this big map of the entire Netherworld. He uses it to place different objects and party members on areas of the map that he’s conquered. Doing so gives him new abilities and experience points. Doesn’t stop there, though. He can also go to the Senate to get new powers via voting. If he wants better experience or maybe higher stats for a particular weapon, he gets the Senate’s approval before going forward. That’s right! Democracy, doods! And if certain members of the Senate aren’t in favor of Big V, he’s so generous he’ll offer them items right out of his pocket in order to gain their support. Some would call it bribery, I’d call it leadership. When that doesn’t work, he can always fight the Senate members. This is an incredibly difficult task as the Senate members tend to be strong. Too strong. But Big V is always willing to try.

He doesn’t ALWAYS have to kill and bribe to gain power. I heard he started putting his own party on his cabinet to make the Senate less partisan. In other words, when he votes with party members on the Senate, their sway helps pass whatever he’s proposing. Like I said, strategy, doods… even if it’s a confusing and convoluted strategy that’s more effort than it’s worth, it’s still strategy.

This is what Disgea is trying to show. Our Senate is a mess. Our political dialogue is a joke. And the only person that makes any sense of it is a mythical creature that drinks blood. It isn’t subtle (remember, Corrupterment), but we don’t need subtle.

Valvatorez sees this about the world. And when he saw the wickedness, he fought against it. The media; the Corrupterment; even the President himself; he fought them all. It’s like “Braveheart” and stuff…only with an Anime vernacular and aesthetic. Don’t ask me why everyone in Hades is a bright-eyed, cleanly-rendered pixel cartoon. Just enjoy the well-groomed scenery. It has a classic feel to it, you know? It gives our bleak and death-filled world the levity it needs.

Big V’s easy way of addressing issues is the focus here. Each nuance is explained and each tactic is tested out. He has an open door approach. And sure there are a million different ways to go about things here in the Netherworld, but fortunately they aren’t all necessary to make gains. Some of them are just crazy. For example, did you know that in our world you can ENTER an item? Yeah. Any old item. You can just – boop, go right in. And once you’re in the Item World, you can fight all sorts of enemies and travel to different levels of that item. The deeper you go, the more powerful the item becomes. Necessary? No. But it’s just another route we could take to get ahead.

This is the world we live in, doods. It’s immersive and challenging, but the rewards are plentiful if you know where to look. And I’m looking at Valvatorez. His rhetoric is uncanny. I never got tired of hearing him talk. His supporters are continually growing in numbers. He adds and drops people to his party all the time. And he’s always willing to grind out battle after battle in order to train the newbies. It may be tedious, but it is worth it.

So I say we back Valvatorez to lead us. I say we make a promise unforgotten… whatever that means.


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Author: Greg Galiffa View all posts by
Greg Galiffa is an Associate Editor at GamerNode. He's also an apologist for the first TMNT film. You can follow him on Twitter @greggaliffa

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