Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

Disgaea 3′s Evil Academy for demons is the place where ne’er-do-wells learn their craft, some young demons even taking their delinquency so far as to become heroes – though only as a means to disappoint their parents. Anti-hero Mao happens to be the current Overlord’s son, and so when his dad crushes his games console (as evil overlords are want to do) he too turns “good”, or as close an approximation to it as he’s able.

Disgaea 3 is of course a re-release of a slightly aging PS3 game and as such lacks a little visual polish, particularly when you compare it to the later Disgaea 4 which has yet to make the same migration from PS3 tp Vita. Still, fans will know what they’re getting: a tactically astute and immensely entertaining experience whose characters’ are only too happy to remind you they’re in a videogame and whose parts are scripted and acted perfectly.

Away from the storyline the turn-based battles on offer are just as compelling, offering a richly diverse range of attacks, character types, spells and weapons, all of which can be used in conjunction with other characters to create a quite mind-boggling array of potential attacks. Add into the mix a levelling-up system which unlocks ever more ludicrous moves and even penguin henchmen that refer to you as “Dood” and you have not only have the most original Vita game yet, but also one of its best.

Format: PS Vita
Price: £39.99
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: NIS America

FIFA 12: UEFA Euro 2012

Remember when the biggest football tournaments, the likes of the World Cup and European Championships were greeted by full price gaming tie-ins? The Road to World Cup 98 stands out (simply because it featured literally every single international team) but there were several released from within the FIFA series alone, each sharing the standard formula of allowing you to enact you own version of events of each show piece event – hopefully without the ubiquitous missed penalty which so frequently did for England in real life.

FIFA 12: UEFA Euro 2012 breaks the mould, EA releasing the tie-in as a top price downloadable extra as opposed to a boxed release meaning those looking to play will have to own FIFA 12, while those looking for an improvement to the established visuals and on-field mechanics will be left disappointed. For your money however you do get not only a full sim of the impending tournament, but the promise of online updates as the competition progresses. More interesting still is the Risk-meets-football “Expedition” mode where you expand your squad by carving a path across Europe’s online scene, so adding to your team roster by “vanquishing” enemy territory.

You do have to question EA’s decision to price it so high (especially when they haven’t even got the full licensing rights for every team) but FIFA fans clamouring for more should still be happy.

Format: PS Vita
Price: £15.99
Developer: EA
Publisher: EA