A retailer leaked out first word on Disgaea 4 yesterday. Today, Nippon Ichi one-upped the retailer by opening an official teaser site for the PS3 game.
The site lists the game's name as the unsurprising Makai Senki Disgaea 4 (the stuff before the Disgaea was in the previous games too). As mentioned in the retail leak, the game will be released on February 24.
While the site won't get its full opening until September 7, there is a revealing movie there right now. The movie mentions illustrations from Takehito Harada along with many of those wacky strategic elements we've come to expect from a Disgaea game.
There are also a bunch of new elements mentioned towards the end of the trailer, including some sort of political system and new network play options. We'll have to wait for the official site to formally open for details on these areas.
The trailer mentions standard and limited versions of the game, priced respectively at ¥7,140 and ¥9,975. The limited edition will include a soundtrack CD, an art book and a Nendoroid figure. Pre-orderers for either version will get a code for a character download.
Disgaea 4, a PS3 exclusive tactical RPG with a political theme (plus it takes place in hell — the place for politicians) will be released on Feb. 24 in Japan and “Summer 2011″ in North America. RPG Land will have more on this title in the very near future, as we just got out of a press conference about it.
Nippon Ichi opened an official site for Disgaea 4 earlier today and shared a first trailer, which consisted of a bunch of vague gameplay bits.
While Nippon Ichi was not an exhibitor at the Tokyo Game Show (which explains why there was no Criminal Girls this year!), the company chose a hotel near the event's venue to announce Disgaea 4. Impress Watch provided some details from the announcement, which clarified a few of the points mentioned in the trailer.
The announcement was lead by Disgaea 4 producer and Nippon Ichi CEO Souhei Niikawa, who sported Prinny boots and hat as he said "Disgaea is a game that shifts the fate of our company."
Niikawa mentioned three sales points for the game, all of which were hinted at in some capacity in the tariler.
First, the game uses Takehito Harada's illustrations in their original form, rather than converting them first into sprites. He said to expect smoother animation as a result. Fans of Nippon Ichi's sprite work will also be pleased to know that the game also includes sprite versions of the art, and you'll be able to switch to them if you please.
The next sales point is "yarikomi" elements. "Yarikomi" is the Japanese word that encompasses all the extra crap that extends gameplay time -- things like collecting items, aiming for the high score, and building up your characters. Disgaea is known for such elements. For part 4, Nippon Ichi is implementing a system where players will be able to show off to other players just how much "yarikomi" they've gotten out of the game. When connected online, you'll be able to attack other players. They'll also be able to attack you.
So what happens if a player who's raised his characters to top levels attacks a beginner player? Niikawa cited two possibilities for dealing with this. First, they're considering allowing players to set it up so players at certain levels will be abel to attack in this way. Additionally, it's possible for players to come into your Disgaea world not just to attack, but to assist as well.
The final element was one of the big focuses of the trailer: a political theme. This replaces the school theme of part 3. You'll be able to manage internal factions in a government.
Disgaea 4 was formally announced at an off-site Tokyo Game Show press conference on Friday. Read this story for a summary of what was announced.
4gamer has since released a more complete report complete with a tiny group interview session with producer Souhei Niikawa and composer Tenpei Sato.
Niikawa was asked if we can expect additional jobs for Disgaea 4. He replied, "We're currently balancing the game, so I can't tell you if we'll use the conventional jobs or if there will be new ones. Please look forward to a followup report."
Sato was asked about his composition work for part 4. Niikawa apparently told him that with part 4 he wanted to make something new and previously unseen. This resulted in a request for a "noble sound," which means we can expect more orchestral instruments and additional arrangements. At the same time, he promised to retain the dynamic and anything-goes nature for which the series' is known.
Specifically regarding the ending theme, which wasn't shared with the press, Sato said that he wanted to make a beautiful, moving song. "It's a beautiful song, like the ending song in a Disney movie," said Sato. The title is being kept under wraps for now.
Dengeki PlayStation has feature on Disgaea 4 with nuggets of news. New to Disgaea 4 is a Professor job and a union command for monsters. Another class system change is Disgaea 4 drops gender differences. Nippon Ichi also tweaked the tower system so its possible to move and pick up objects in Disgaea 4.
The story doesn’t just involve vampires like Valbatoze, the main character. Disgaea 4 also has werewolves and of course demons. The three races have differences and are integral to the story. Dengeki also mentions the lowest level of hell is a prison. Hey, wait… doesn’t that sound like another Nippon Ichi game, Criminal Girls?
Disgaea 4 levels up in Japan on February 24, 2011 before its thrown to North America for a summer release.
Recently at the Tokyo Game Show Nippon Ichi Software was proud to announce Disgaea 4, the latest instalment in their popular franchise and another hopeful step for the company to get back on the financial track. It's been no secret that the company has seen some hard times lately, much of which was due to some poor planning on their part, and while the footage for Disgaea 4 is pretty convincing that doesn't mean that NIS doesn't have a lot of work on their hands to convince customers this game is something new.
The fact of the matter is, if a company is going to rely heavily on any one IP, that series needs to evolve over time, something that RPGs can have a very hard time doing. Final Fantasy is a great example as each title is quite different from the last. Storyline changes simply aren't enough to differentiate one game from another. After all, if fans just wanted a new story they could simply read a book or watch a movie. Mechanics must change as well; sometimes subtly, sometimes drastically, but always noticeable by the audience. If the changes you make to a game are trivial in nature, or too convoluted to even notice, how exactly is anyone supposed to think that it's a proper sequel?
This is the overall crippling nature to the Disgaea games, a massive amount of creativity met head-on with a long, drawn out endgame that has no real reward. A very select amount of people enjoy sitting around getting a maximum level Majin, yet at the same time NIS can't seem to figure out that it's possible to still offer that mind-numbing grind fest with a variety of other content. Disgaea 4 already seems to address this by having new moves, stacking mechanics, classes and weapons, but it's a personal hope that everything the trailer had to offer wasn't the end of the changes. It seems like there's been more than enough time to learn why things have gone wrong so far, if this game doesn't get it right then there's little hope at all for the future.
Another good sign of things to come is the graphics, which looked far better than 3's already. Sprites require a significant amount of work and effort to look good on a next-generation console, but there's most definitely a market for it. Audiences want to see improvements on every level, even if those changes are minimal, and releasing a game that looks and feels the same over and over again is simply bad form. While there are naturally many similarities between all four of the Disgaea games, the issue that NIS has so far is not refining those differences. The Disgaea series sits in a particularly difficult spot, since RPG's tend to be a little repetitive from the start, thus the strategy RPG gameplay is a little harder to keep fresh over and over.
It's understandable that one may take my perspective as that of a whiny fan; after all, who doesn't wish their favorite series isn't giving more options or extending gameplay? But Disgaea is an RPG series that hasn't really improved over time, simply added some minor tweaks. A few extra options here and there, catering to a very small portion of the RPG population isn't enough, and the changes in Disgaea 4 have been a long time coming. Perhaps they may not even be enough to make a difference for the series at this point, but I'd like to think that finally addressing many of the games technical issues will finally give it the spotlight it deserves. The writing in Disgaea has always been absolutely superb, it's about time the rest of the game caught up.
Nippon Ichi needs your help! They’re looking for random names for generic characters, like this male warrior. What do you want to call him?
Don’t tell us. Tell Nippon Ichi by filling out this form. You can enter a name that’s up to ten characters (katakana / hiragana / kanji / numbers / letters from the English alphabet) and gain Disgaea fame if your name gets selected.
Write a nickname, something Nippon Ichi can credit you with on a website, in Q1.
Q2 is where you put your idea for a random name.
Q3 is reserved for Disgaea 4 comments.
The contest is on now and runs until October 29 (Japan time). By the way Ishaan, I wrote in your name. Fingers crossed it gets in…