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Revisiting Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness as Etna

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etna2.jpgIf you ever wondered what would have happened if Etna had succeeded in murdering Prince Laharl in his sleep, then wonder no more; the Etna Mode add-on to Disgaea for the PSP answers exactly that question.

 

Etna Mode starts off with the surprising murder of Prince Laharl and contains just as much hilarity and silliness as the PS2 game. My favorite part is the prinny 'dressed' as Laharl whom everyone can tell is a fake by just looking even though he has "antennas just like Laharl!".  Don't worry, Etna fans, her tongue is just as sharp in this add-on as it is in the main story.

 

etnam1.jpgI was worried that the new chapters would be just more of the same thing, which in essence they are, but then I realized that if it's more of the same thing that I liked, then it's not necessarily a bad thing.  Long time Disgaea players will feel right at home with the gameplay, but will be treated to an increased difficulty (Etna Mode is an endgame feature afterall) as well as an alternate story featuring some of their favorite characters from the main story.  (Yes, even The Dark Adonis.)

 

etna3.jpgWhile just Etna Mode alone might not be worth the purchase of a Disgaea port, the portability of playing one of my favorite SRPGs on the PSP is.  Sleep mode on the PSP is great since the monotony of grinding can brake up the monotony of a bus ride.  This might show my bias for the game, but as soon as I heard that Disgaea was being ported to the PSP, I exclained, "Good! Now I finally have a reason to get a PSP!"  Another feature added to the port is the ability to skip those long outrageous attack animations; that definitely cuts down on the time it takes to finish a map.

 

Fans of Disgaea have probably gone out and bought this game already, but if you're on the fence about it, I say: buy it.  If you're new to the game, you can play the main story mission and the portability makes it more accessible.  If you've already played the game and liked it, Etna mode is good for a laugh and power-leveling suddenly doesn't seem like such a chore anymore thanks to sleep mode.

Louise Yang