I have enjoyed the Disgaea series ever since it first graced my PS2. Anyone that has engaged in this game knows that it looks simple at first, but the game quickly turns into an abyss of fun and dedication with 100+ hours being a “normal” playthrough. It still amazes me that BradyGames took on this game and made a great guide to help players along.
I found myself utilizing this guide vastly differently from others. Usually I will have the guide open and at my side for quick referencing while I play. But this time I was reading, strategizing and planning before a battle, and then pushing the guide aside during the game play. There were even days I would just sit and read the guide while on my lunch break. There is a good explanation for this and it has a lot to do with how this book is laid out. While the first few pages help break down the controls and menu system, it is the game mechanics section that I spent a good amount of time combing through and taking notes on. This portion contains valuable info from the basics of character types to in-depth breakdowns of how to best use the item world. There is so much knowledge crammed into this section that repeatedly reading it becomes necessary to really bring this game to its knees.
I also found myself heavily relying on the last two portions of the guide, which were character/monster breakdowns as well as a full listing of equipment. The character and monster section was splendid, because it details, in a decent amount of depth, all the playable figures throughout the game. Damage, attack, health, level requirements, skills and so much more are easily found right here. BradyGames was even kind enough to include what conditions are needed to be met in order to unlock characters like Laharl or Etna. These same types of charts show up in the weapons and armor section, thus becoming a great aid in determining the best gear selection for each party member, as well as if it is worth the time to dive into the item world to level any given piece of gear.
Finally there is the main bulk of the guide that contains the actual walkthrough. Both the story mode and post-game battles are laid out in similar fashion. A picture of the map, Geo Block locations, and enemies are all displayed in an easy to understand form. Any Geo Blocks are listed as to what they do, and enemy stats are provided including their weaknesses. There is a small blurb addressing tactics and that is it. It may not sound like a lot, but the info that is provided is extremely helpful when it comes down to party selection and devising a plan of attack for each stage. The map overview is also helpful as the in-game camera can make things needlessly difficult at times.
As I mentioned before, I actually used this guide as more of a piece of study material as opposed to something to walk me through every stage of the game, and it was great in this role. I was able to hone my party for each fight, pick weapons I knew I’d keep, and save myself the headaches of needlessly going into the item world to level things I would just quickly dump. If I had this guide for the first two games (and the PSP counterparts) I probably would have saved myself several hours of frustration. If you dig the Disgaea series and plan to play number four, then you’ll want the Disgaea 4 strategy guide!