Sober and efficient transfer
Prinny presents Nis Classics Volume 2, a classic port. There have been no major graphical changes or gameplay adjustments, however, the Japanese studio has taken the trouble to change a few technical aspects to make these games more enjoyable to play on the Switch.
The graphics are the same as in the original versions. But the display has been adapted for the style of 16:9 Switch and TVs. There are no distortions, the texts are read perfectly. Textures have also been anti-aliased by default. This option will certainly not appeal to all players. The graphics are less aggressive, but the overall rendering is more blurry than the original version. This option can be turned off at any time, either for the interface, or textures, or both. Such attention to detail is nice to see on portage.
The music is generally pleasant, but not memorable. The style is very typical of the early 2000s and fits perfectly with the quirky atmosphere of the two games. All dialogues are dubbed and of very good quality. They are available in English and Japanese. There is no good choice here. We advise you to test both to determine your preference. Moreover, you can change the language at any time through the option available in the settings.
Unfortunately, all texts are in English only. This is a missed opportunity for francophones. Because the Disgaea franchise is known for its funny pun-filled dialogue, sometimes with varying levels of reading. This also applies to two games in this collection. A good command of English is required to understand all the humorous and ironic subtleties hidden in the dialogues. But, fortunately, the texts are generally easy to understand. The plot is very linear and most importantly without fuss.
Makai Kingdom: too old-fashioned tactical RPG?
Makai Kingdom was originally released in 2005 on PS2 as Makai Kingdom Chronicles of the Sacred Tome. It has been renamed to highlight the changes made by the port. We will return to these points later.
This game is a classic tactical RPG. It has the same advantages and disadvantages as Disgaea. We invite you to take a look at the tests available on Nintendo Power to learn more about the mechanics of the game. Story and dialogue are Makai Kingdom’s strengths. The player follows the misadventures of a demon lord named Zetta with an unusual personality and huge ego. So much so that he manages to destroy his kingdom by mistake. He must merge with the magic book in order to survive. His only hope is to accumulate the energy called mana to recreate his kingdom and restore his body.
The only way to collect mana is to kill demons in different worlds. Zetta can summon minions from various items (trees, stones, weapons, armor, etc.). There is a huge variety of classes with different skills, characteristics and equipment. Nippon Ichi even added some of this port. The player must build their dream team and progress to unlock more advanced classes.
All preparations take place at the main base. The main missions can be completed indefinitely. The goal is simple, shoot down enough enemies to complete the level. Combat follows all the rules of old-school tactical RPGs. Characters move based on their speed. However, the landscape does not have the aspect of verticality or complexity found in modern Disgaea. Generally speaking, the cards are relatively small. This really emphasizes the constant fighting and reduces the strategic aspect of the placement a bit. But the environment can hide many secrets for the most curious players.
Battles are turn-based. The player always starts in the offensive phase. Then you need to move the characters and choose actions (attacks, skills, use of an item, etc.). These actions are performed in the chosen order before giving way to the opponent’s offensive phase. The fights are relatively simple and do not present any particular difficulties for fans of the genre.
Finally, it’s important to point out that farming phases are inevitable. This game requires repeating missions many, many times in order to build up the mana needed to progress. This is where the age of the game begins. This repetition is sometimes a bit extreme and a little distracting from the action. The absence of additional modes that can be found in the latest Disgaea (automatic combat, challenges, etc.) is strongly felt.
ZHP: Exotic Roguelite
ZHP Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman was released in 2010 on the PSP. Unlike Makai Kingdom, ZHP’s graphics are very dated. The environments are relatively empty and are recycled between levels. This is a roguelite with elements of tactical RPG mechanics. The principle is very simple: participate in battles to gain power, die and start again. Of course, every death brings something. Defeat is actually relatively calm. The protagonist restarts at level 1 with each death, but the stats are increased by lost levels. In addition, there is no loss of progress in missions and only equipment is actually lost.
But we talked about the main character without introducing him. This is because he is a nameless stranger. The hero of this story is actually a very normal and innocent poor young man. He had the misfortune of witnessing the accidental death of the invincible hero Invincible Ranger. He is on a mission to take his place in saving the world. But he is immediately killed. However, don’t panic, he saves himself at the last second and goes into intensive training to become stronger.
The main character will have to complete many missions in an alternative world. He can prepare for adventures in his center, where there is a house, a forge, and other buildings that are very useful for his adventures. The missions only consist of conquering a small dungeon, moving from square to square. All methods are good to use. You can exit in a straight line, avoiding collisions as much as possible. Or vice versa, it can be interesting to explore every corner and shoot all the opponents present.
The enemy detection zone system is fun and adds variety to the strategies. Enemies attack as soon as the character enters this area. This mechanic creates a kind of puzzle to successfully avoid most encounters. They also run in real time. The player’s action (movement, attack, object, etc.) triggers the opponent’s action. The bestiary is well stocked. The boss phases are more like puzzles than frantic fights. The reward system is well balanced and fairly rewards all playstyles with experience points, money (HP), and equipment (weapons or armor).
The character customization is great. This system is intuitive and complete. It’s pretty classic. Some gear changes between each playthrough and constant upgrades help make progress easier. You can also adapt the game mode at any time to diversify your enjoyment. The transition from hand-to-hand combat to ranged combat is accomplished by simply changing weapons. Armor changes the appearance and characteristics of the hero.
If you’re a fan of fashion, you’ll have a lot to choose from, because the equipment on offer is sometimes just as crazy as the game’s humor. And, as previously announced, all items are lost upon death. So sometimes you have to think outside the box and make do with what comes to hand. But you can store them in your inventory to get around this problem. There is even an option to instill them into the main character to permanently change the base stats.