Nippon Ichi Software has released its classic strategy RPG Disgaea 1 on the Google Play Store, seemingly out of nowhere. This new release goes by the name Disgaea 1 Complete, which means the title is indeed a remaster of the original Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. Better yet, Disgaea 1 Complete is a premium release, which means there are no in-app purchases or advertisements included. Of course, since this is a premium remaster of a classic SRPG that contains hundreds of hours of gameplay, a premium price is also attached.
The first thing I'd like to do is get the price out of the way. Yes, Disgaea 1 Complete is a premium release, but it also commands a premium price of $32.99. Now I know many of our readers will scoff at this figure, especially since we are talking about a seventeen-year-old game, but there are a few things to keep in mind that may sway your opinion. Currently, Disgaea 1 is available on Steam for half of the Play Store price, but Steam's version isn't a remaster, and it's really buggy, so there's good reason to skip that release. You can, however, pick up the remaster on the PS4 or the Nintendo Switch, but then you'd have to spend $49.99, which is $17 more than the Android version. So as you can see, the mobile port of Disgaea 1 Complete is currently the cheapest version of the remaster.
Of course, mobile ports are usually priced lower than their console counterparts, thanks to the mobile platform's inherent control issues, performance issues, and small screen sizes. Luckily, the SRPG genre lends itself very well to touchscreen play. Movement in Disgaea 1 Complete is tap-based (there is no digital d-pad to be found), which can cause gorilla arm on larger devices like tablets, but is precise, which is very important for a strategy game. Physical controllers are also supported, though I wasn't able to get my analog sticks to work, I had to use the d-pad.
It's also worth mentioning that since Disgaea 1 Complete is a remaster, fans can expect some notable improvements over the original. An auto-battle mechanic has been added to the mobile port of the remaster, and while I know this mechanic has terrible connotations, trust me when I say that this addition is a good thing. Disgaea is an extremely grindy series, and the first title lacked many of the improvements found in later releases, so alleviating some of the grind through auto-play can be a godsend for those that really want to sink their teeth into Disgaea 1 Complete. On top of this, a fast-forward button has been added to the game that ranges from 1x to 8x speeds, which should also help to improve the game's grind. A cheat shop has also made its way into this release, so if you find things are too difficult, you can always jump into the cheat shop to quickly improve your situation. There's also cloud save support, for those that prefer to play on many different devices throughout the day.
So there you have it. Nippon Ichi Software has surprised everyone by silently releasing Disgaea 1 Complete on the Google Play Store for $32.99. While I know the price will be tough for many to swallow, this is still the cheapest version of the remaster that's currently available. So sure, mobile may not be the first go-to for premium games, but as it stands, Disgaea 1 Complete is a competent port of a quality remaster that offers cloud saves, controller support, and hundreds of hours of strategic RPG gameplay. So if you are a die-hard Disgaea fan or are currently looking for the best SRPG on the Play Store, Disgaea 1 Complete is indeed the game for you.