Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Review
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Box Art
System: PS Vita
Dev: Nippon Ichi
Pub: Nippon Ichi
Release: April 17, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 544p Alcohol Reference, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes

Now, this is a game that's so perfectly suited to the Vita that it's hard to see the necessity of ever bringing it to the PS3 in the first place. You see, the sprite-based graphics caused a lot of grumbling when it first landed on PS3, and I admit that these character sprites look like they could have come out of a PSOne-era tactics game like Final Fantasy Tactics. But on the Vita's screen, they've been shrunk down to a point where they don't look all that bad. On top of that, the anime-style character art during the cutscenes looks great on the HD screen.

Additionally, there have been a few uses of the Vita's touchscreen/touchpad added. Personally, I would recommend shutting off the rear touch panel as soon as possible (which you can do easily enough in the game's options menu), but the touchscreen makes changing the angles of your battlefield view pretty convenient. As a completely unnecessary touch (though quite an amusing one), you can swipe your finger over NPCs to send them hurtling across the room. Once you realize you can do this, you'll probably spend more time than you'd be comfortable admitting just wandering around the school, trying to find the most bizarre places to deposit these quickly flung NPCs.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot

Another completely unnecessary use of the Vita's hardware is a brief segment that allows you to tilt your Vita to move a Prinny around the screen during the game's one loading screen. (Yes, there is one loading screen when you first start the game. Other than that, the transitions from place to place are seamless.) It's something I'm sure a lot of players won't even notice, but it's a cool little quirky addition for those who actually manage to discover it.

As far as the audio goes, I'm tempted to call it a mixed bag. But it's really not. You see, when I first started playing, the music got on my nerves and the voice acting was a little annoying. But as I developed more of a feel for the game, I found the music growing on me, as it's all bizarre enough to perfectly compliment this insane, demonic world. The voice acting, as well, grew on me as I got to know the characters better. You see, they're intentionally annoying at times, but their personalities are so unique that you'll start to forgive them pretty quickly. And many of them have character arcs that cause them to grow less annoying (or less flawed—heck, even more flawed in some cases) as the game progresses.

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Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is here to scratch an itch that no other Vita title has been able to so far. It provides an overwhelming amount of content and enough depth to keep you satisfied no matter how many hundreds of hours you spend in its demonic world. If you've already put in your time with the PS3 version, completing all the DLC chapters as they were released, there's not a whole lot here to bring you back. For anyone else, though, it would be hard to find a tactical RPG with more to offer than Absence of Detention.

By
Josh Wirtanen
Editor / News Director
@joshwirtanen
Date: April 23, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
Shrinking down the character sprites definitely makes them look better than they did on PS3. And the cutscenes look great on the Vita's screen.
4.0
Control
The controls here are surprisingly intuitive, which you'll be thankful for when you're exploring the incredibly deep tactical combat system.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is appropriately bizarre, and the voice acting is a perfect fit.
5.0
Play Value
If you want more content than this game offers, you're probably insane.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • New Vita-exclusive content and features: Two new characters and story chapters, new quests and bosses, new skills specific to each job and character class, new moves, and new GPS positioning functionality take full advantage of the of PlayStation Vita!
  • Advanced item customization: In previous Disgaea games, new items could be created based on the stats of something else, but the customization stopped there.
  • Compete with your friends using the Record Shop: View other players' game stats and rankings on PlayStation Network to determine who the most hardcore Disgaea player is!

  • Screenshots / Images
    Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention Screenshot - click to enlarge

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