Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited: ¡Vita la revolución!

August 11, 2014


At this point, getting a handheld Disgaea remake is nothing new. The first game was ported to both PSP and DS, and the second made it to PSP. Then Disgaea 3 was released on Vita two years ago, and here we are with the fourth game receiving the same treatment (and uniting the core series on one device). So how does it compare to both its ported peers and the PS3 original?

Disgaea 4 tells the story of Valvatorez, a former tyrant and current Prinny instructor, and his followers as they expose the corruption in the Underworld’s government. As usual with the Disgaea series, it layers its own brand of humor over an otherwise-mundane setting (in this case, politics). Aside from the story battles and side areas, the game features a world map that allows Valvatorez to bring more land under his control. Capturing land has an effect on battles that take place there. Characters and items can be placed on land areas to have a further effect on them.


The writing and voice acting between battles is great, and keeps the game interesting between somewhat-monotonous battle sequences. Disgaea hasn’t really shaken up its combat system in a long time, and that is no different here. The tutorials are the same as ever, and despite covering the needed mechanics, they still don’t offer much of an explanation of how these things work together in an actual battle.

I found that I learned more efficiently by playing than I did from the tutorials, though they are useful for someone who has never played a strategy-RPG. The only problem? Without adequately introducing the mechanics, it’s easy to feel that the game is expecting you to grind all the time; these unexplained combo systems really help win battles when you use them correctly. And while grinding is possible and what many think of when they think of the Disgaea series, knowledge of these techniques can remove a lot of that tedium when building characters for your army.

The Vita’s screen does wonders for the enhanced fidelity of Disgaea 4‘s visuals, packing them tightly and giving them a smooth look that the series has never truly captured before. The more cinematic move animations will reveal the pixel-happy nature of the sprites themselves, but outside of these sequences, Takehito Harada’s art style itself gets a chance to shine.


A Promise Revisited brings with it a few differences from its PS3 version, though the biggest is the inclusion of all add-on content. As with Disgaea 3‘s Vita port, the cost of the game is actually less than the cost of buying this extra content on PS3, though owning the Vita game doesn’t give you cross-buy access. This content isn’t necessary for the plot, but is still nice to have, especially if you finish the game and want more to do. (Though, as with the rest of the series, there is no shortage of content available.)

Three years after its PS3 release, Disgaea 4 finally has its definitive edition in A Promise Revisited. It’s the best version of Disgaea 4, and now that it’s on a platform quite well-suited for strategy-RPGs, it’s worth picking up for anyone interested in the series.

Pros: Accurately replicated gameplay, included add-ons bring value
Cons: Tutorials are dry and ill-suited, battles can get dull after a while

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.