Look out, he’s on the hunt for pudding, dood!
Prinnies, unite to save yourselves… and your salaries, dood! Disgaea Infinite trails one particular Prinny as he adventures through Laharl’s castle trying to make sure the Overlord doesn’t find out that you fell asleep on the job and to stop Lord Laharl from being assassinated (well, not really, but don’t tell HIM that, dood!). It’s intense, and scary, and very explodey, dood!
[image1]Okay, as much as I like Prinnies (not quite as much as Hudak… his desk tells the story of a man obsessed), I can’t say “dood” nearly as often as I should. Especially after this, which is a bit harder for me to grade than usual, since it’s not really a “game”.
First of all, the name: Disgaea Infinite. The title is totally misleading, as this adventure has an ending. Really, multiple endings that don’t take that long to reach. But they are endings, so still, not entirely truthful there. Anyone coming here to find a deep and ever-expanding, long-lasting SRPG is going to be disappointed, because this is not that game.
This is, in a nutshell, interactive fiction: A “choose your own adventure” book if you will, on a disc starring characters you already know. This isn’t building up an army of vassals and Prinnies to do your bidding on the battlefield; this is the story of one little blue fella who just wants to get through his day without owing any more money than he already does.
There’s very little “game” here, more like a thin series of menus that will tell you the story of how Laharl was “assassinated” and his search for Etna‘s super-rare pudding. Through the spirit of the Prinny suspect, you can possess and even control the minds of people through the story, finding out just what lead up to the events of the “assassination”. If anything changes, or if you find yourself indirectly leading to the same end, it’s a good thing you’ve made a new friend: a pocket watch with the ability to turn back time, back to a safe spot to start your flubbing up events that should happen time and time again.
[image2]I wish I could call this an “interactive novel”, but it’s really too short to be that, either; it’s more like manipulative fan-fiction. What gives it length, of course, is trying to figure out which people to possess and when, as well has how to change their mind to reach the next step. Changing minds only happens to certain characters in certain situations so while you might want to tell Flonne to shut her screechy mouth, you’ll have to find the right spot (and the right person) to have it happen (sadly, I have yet to find that option come up).
The rest of the time you’re stuck with the standard dialogue. It really isn’t too bad, but when you have to hear and read the same lines over and over again, it can really wear on a player no matter how good some of the voice acting might be. And you have to hear it over and over again anyway out of trial and error; only after seeing the outcome of a situation can you figure out what and whose mind(s) need to be changed. So you’re forced to hear grumblings about someone hating one character, or searching for pudding, or how much Laharl hates sexiness and bouncing boobs (along with hatred toward the billboard-flat Etna).
There is one strong point: the voice acting. The actors from earlier games reprise their roles here, and as perfectly as ever. They’re not just acting out their regular characters, though; with every mind change, they find themselves saying something they shouldn’t be, and there’s always a “dood” sprinkled on top. A few times it can be seriously funny, but a few of the actors – for Laharl notably – has more work to do to summon their true inner-Prinny.
The only thing infinite about this game is how often it feels like you’re running through the same situations and scenarios. There’s just not enough to this to get excited about, other than getting into the heads of some of the main characters of some much, much more interesting games with the same name. If you need a distraction for a little while this can definitely do the trick, but one you’ve played through the different endings there’s nothing to go back to. Unless you’re a fan-fiction glutton, then I suppose this should keep you happy.
Me, I’d rather spend my money on the pudding.