Disgaea Has Arrived On PC, Is A Bit Of A Shambles

Disgaea PC [official site], the touched-up PC port of NIS’s 2003 RPG, came out last night. Unfortunately, it seems to suffer similar the wonky portness we see from Japanese developers and publishers new to PC releases. While the game runs dandy for some, others – including folks with some monstrously powerful PCs – are reporting awful performance and other problems. NIS say they’re looking into it, but you might want to steer clear until things pick up.

Check the Steam player reviews and you’ll see complaining about crashes, lost saves, and getting awful performance on mega-powerful PCs. You’ll also see plenty of people happy with the game and how it’s running.

“We spent a total of ten months on researching and developing this game for PC users, two months of which were spent on rigorous testing,” NIS say in a post on Steam. “However, we have been made aware of the fact that some of our customers have been experiencing issues when playing the game.”

They’re asking players with technical problems to dive into those comments and report all they can.

“We will do our absolute best to fix these issues as quickly as possible, and we will make sure that all your voices are heard by the dev team,” NIS say.

One player suggests these tweaks to improve the FPS and screen tearing – turning off Blur, Depth of Field, and SSAO.

I suppose Steam’s refund policy means you can buy Disgaea, see if it works, then refund if it’s wonky for you or, if not, keep it and hope you don’t run into bugs later. I’d probably still wait. But if you’re a bold sort, Disgaea PC is £14.99 on Steam.


  1. Simes says:

    From what I’ve read about Disgaea it seems like something I’d be interested in, but the “wacky incredulity” ad style… it’s like they aggressively don’t want me to play their game.

    • Kestrel says:

      I can’t speak to the PC port, but the original was fantastic. It was like a funny Final Fantasy Tactics, with a better combat system, worse story, and good voice acting.

    • Reapy says:

      Then ad definitely hams it up a bit more. I was younger at the time it came out, but the story I remember having a bit of some serious undertones along with some over the top satire. I think the ad just pushes it to cringeworthy when the original felt right on par.

      The underlying game is excellent, and can keep you as busy as your OCD will allow, leveling up EVERYTHING.

    • Siegfried says:

      Had the FPS issue there had to Force the nvidia control panel to run game on card and not to use intergated graphics after that no problems
      there have been reports of steam Beta affecting it aswell load of ppeople that turn it off magically fix the game

  2. king0zymandias says:

    I don’t think I have ever seen anything like that video before in my life. That was certainly something else.

  3. int says:

    The graphics look exactly like Ragnarok Online’s.

  4. Ashabel says:

    As someone who’s been playing NISA releases since PS2, I’m mostly amazed it took them this long to botch a Disgaea title. I suppose that with every Japanese developer on the market having more or less disowned them, they had no choice but to bring their complete inability to release something functional to their cash cow.

  5. onodera says:

    I just want to say that PCSX2 is a much better option if you want to play Disgaea on PC.

    The game is really, really grindy, though.

    • roothorick says:

      I have a friend that’s a rabid fanboy. He claims it’s not really supposed to be grindy; a central mechanic is the game gives you ways to manipulate the experience system to gain ridiculous amounts of XP in a relatively short time. An important early-game tactic is to throw enemies at each other to combine them into something that should be way out of your league, and then exploit your now far superior numbers to dogpile them into submission anyway.

      The game doesn’t exactly explain this, resulting in its reputation. I bounced off the PS2 version for exactly that reason.

  6. Cropduster says:

    It’s a shame, I’ve been wanting this series on PC for years.

    Honestly though, even if performance was fine it’s not a great port. The UI is so big, and the game so zoomed in it’s like playing a portable game on a cinema screen, KB+mouse support is bad – you’ll have to use hotkeys just to navigate menus properly, and the HD treatment to the UI doesn’t cover everything so there’s still ugly SD icons and portraits everywhere.

    It’s still a great game, but the other versions/platforms are probably a better place to start.

  7. Alberto says:

    From my consumer-with-no-technical-knowledge I can only wonder how can you port a turn-based ps2-psp game and screw its performance.

    Also: Disgaea 1 is in my opinion the worst of the lot. There’s a lot of work in each iteration and the game mechanics/character designs are only better with each new game. And a portable with a ‘sleep’ function is the way to play.

    • Cropduster says:

      I’d have to agree, there’s a lot of rough edges to 1’s mechanics that make it an odd place to start the series on a new platform. Even 2 was a drastic improvement.

      • stringerdell says:

        I think 1 is the best place to start. You cant really appreciate the improvements the later games bring without playing them in order, it would be really grating to go back and try to play the first game already being used to the improvements from later titles.

        also D1 has by far the best and funniest storyline in my opinion.

        • anHorse says:

          I’d say the one with the sardines (4?) is the funniest but overall 1 definitely has the best story

    • Ashabel says:

      NISA’s past track record includes taking three PS2 games that worked seamlessly in their Japanese versions and stuffing them full of memory overflow bugs that completely froze your console during localization, as well as a PS3 game that is unbeatable because it has a bug that severely overclocks the CPU and forces the console to shut the thing down after 30 minutes in order to avoid becoming a pile of molten plastic.

      As far as preposterously destructive bugs go, you can trust them to find a way.

      • thekelvingreen says:

        Crikey, which game is that? The only NIS game I have is Disgaea 4 and I’m a bit reluctant to play it now, in case it explodes my PS3.

        • Ashabel says:

          The Witch and The Hundred Knight. The game has a bug that causes a massive memory leak and forces the console’s CPU to go faster and harder as it runs, eventually reaching the point where the CPU simply melts.

          Thankfully the PS3 is a smart console and doesn’t like being messed with, so it will simply shut down the game without warning once it reaches a certain temperature in order to avoid overheating. But what it means is that if you do decide to play that thing, you’ll need to save every 30 minutes and spend every moment praying for the console to not kill the process and cost you all the progress since the last save.

          I generally recommend researching every NISA-branded game except Disgaea because every single release they did so far had preposterously bad localization, missing content or ridiculous bugs of that caliber. The only exception is their European releases, which are largely them peddling ATLUS’s American catalog to UK in order to stay afloat.

      • Algester says:

        Ar tonelico 3… well there was the incident with Mana Khemia 1 and Ar Tonelico 2… and people say that the localization with FE:Fates was bad enough

        • Ashabel says:

          Mana-Khemia, Ar tonelico 2 and Mana-Khemia 2 all had the memory overflow bug that causes them to freeze under certain circumstances and doesn’t exist in the Japanese version of the game. Ar tonelico 2 is merely the most famous instance of that bug because it’s triggered in a battle important to the story by an attack fired by the boss on its third turn.

          Mana-Khemia 2 mostly slipped under the radar because people were so pissed about the horrible localization and bugs in original Mana-Khemia and Ar tonelico 2 (not to mention Rhapsody DS simply missing its entire second half on top of also having the overflow bug), that they simply avoided that one like wildfire. I unfortunately didn’t and can confirm that it’s their worst PS2 release both in bugs and translation quality.

          FE: Fates’ localization is in that state precisely because people have been giving NISA a pass for years, so we have reached the point that most localization teams think that when you’re translating an anime-themed game, internet memes, creepy misogynist jokes and chopping out content wherever you get lazy are the way to go.

  8. lowprices says:

    If you’re one of the 17 people that bought one, you’re better off getting into the Disgaea series on the Vita. The PSP ports of the first 2 and the Vita ports of 3 and 4 are pretty good, and seem to be on sale semi-regularly.

    • Themadcow says:

      As one of the Mighty 17 (as we call ourselves during our weekly Vita owner conference call) I can wholeheartedly endorse this message. Disgaea on a handheld is just perfect and the only title I’d rank above the PSP / Vita ports is Disgaea 5 on the PS4 which I’m about 80-90 hours into.

      Sad that they’ve botched this port – it’s a fantastic series that deserves a wider audience.

    • amateurviking says:

      I too number among the 17 and can attest to the Vita’s top notch S/T RPG credentials particularly if you like a little ‘J’ in your acronyms too. FFT, Tactics Ogre, all dem Disgaeaseses, in a lovely package that is perfect for the bus, the train, or a particularly extended toilet visit.

  9. lagiacrux says:

    i played about an hour or so on the pc version today, and it worked fine for me, so i cant comment on the problem other people are having. tbh i didnt try m+kb though, since playing it with a controller seemed preferable.

    like suggested it seems like a “try on your system and refund when bugged” port.

    the combat system seems fun, even though im still struggling with the mechanics thrown at you with minimal tutorial.

  10. crowleyhammer says:

    Love the series,Game works fine for me barring having to turn SSAO off.

    One of the big problems seems to be an OpenGL drivers on older Nvidia cards. (who knows about AMD?)

  11. Eight Rooks says:

    It’s great to see them trying, even if they have sort of possibly maybe I don’t know screwed up the port, but Christ, I’ve tried so many times to get into NiS games and failed, failed, failed. Not particularly funny, not particularly interesting, and sure, there’s depth there, but over time the games all seem to be aggressively courting the hardcore fans who see every single one as some extended puzzle lasting 400 hours or more, where the only point is to find out how exactly they can do 9,999,999 damage every hit, and everything else (atmosphere, narrative, just messing around for fun etc.) is either superfluous or merely an annoyance. Give me FF Tactics or Tactics Ogre any day.

    Still, I really am chuffed to see it on sale. Once they fix it I’m sure it’ll make quite a few people very happy.

  12. Jalan says:

    Almost bought it blind (since I’ve never played it previously and it looks interesting enough that I’d enjoy it) until I read about these issues. Decided to hold off until things look more “fixed” than they do currently.

  13. TheMopeSquad says:

    It’s good that I put in my 500 hours on the PS2 version and have no interest in this one then. Can’t wait for when they start releasing the sequels. I am annoyed though that it’s the PSP version and they changed Etna’s voice. Although….. I just read the wiki and this version has some differences from the original including “Etna Mode” so maybe I’ll end up buying it anyways, sigh.

  14. crowleyhammer says:

    Seems turning off Steam Beta has fixed a lot of peoples frame rate issues.