Hello again everyone! This is the first of two reviews to be published this afternoon and will continue the SUMMER OF VITA campaign on InsideTheBox. We now have the excellent Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention by NIS America prepared for review.

Disgaea 3 is a tactical RPG. The game allows you to command a variety of characters which you can create or remove in between battles and story scenes. You can equip items to these characters and also have them learn and perfect special abilities. As you move around on maps in an isometric view, you can have characters attack other characters nearby using a weapon or ability. You can also have them throw items and other characters, move or (Magichance allowing one character to use another as a weapon).

Fans on the series will already be fully aware of how gameplay works, however, it is more complicated than the average game, so, the best way to learn is to find out as you play through the game.

Disgaea 3’s story focuses are the main character, Mao going on a journey to become the top honour-student in the world. In this world, everyone is encouraged to be evil and not attending school is key. An honour student tries to miss as much school and be as bad as they possibly can. On his path, Mao encounters a variety of allies and enemies. One of the allies is a group of delinquents, lead by Beryl. Delinquents follow the rules in the world, thus making them the ones who are truly “bad-ass”, as they call themselves (in this twisted, confusing world).

The story is quite long for a handheld game and you WILL get your value from this title. It focuses on chapters, which lead up to the final scene in which Mao battles his father, King of the world in which the characters inhabit. To be the number one honour student, he must defeat his father.

(Please note: The trailer above refers to the PS3 version of the game, Absence of Justice, however, the Vita version is a port of this game. It is close to identical with the PS3 version in most respects.)

Graphically, the game has quite an old-school, almost retro feel. Sprites look quite pixelated, and, for long-time gamers, it brings back memories of the PS1 and Gameboy Colour/Advance. The sprites are designed to be quite pixelated, this is obviously intentional because story scenes in which the characters talk contain smooth, clear and high quality flat 2D images of the characters.

I absolutely love the music contained within this game. It has a very cartoony soundtrack and it feels the art style and story of the game perfectly. This game really is a gem in all aspects.

The control scheme works excellent, the only use of the touch screen is at the corners (which function as extra buttons), so, people who enjoy to use buttons as their primary control method will love this game.

It plays and looks brilliant on the PS VITA, the screen makes the colours vivid and really displays the intentionally pixelated sprites nicely. If you are looking for something to play on your Vita, Disgaea 3 is the way to go! Also, for people who have not played any games from the series, I suggest you pick up a few of the titles. If you don’t have a Vita, purchase Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice on PS3 (it’s the same game!).

So, to close off the review, Disgaea 3 is an absolutely fantastic title in all respects and is one of the best games currently available on the PS VITA. Both fans and newbies to the series should pick this up and play as soon as possible! Thanks for reading, here are the scores: