Disgaea 5 Complete – Review
Follow Genre: Tactical role-playing game
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software America
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Disgaea 5 Complete – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Visual style, Voice acting, Massive
Bad: DLC throws the beginning off balance, Difficulty curve
User Score
8.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)

We haven’t had that many Switch titles pass the revue on our site, simply because there are hardly any for Nintendo’s latest handheld/console combo. Many of the Switch’s library of games are either part of a handful of new games, or simply rereleases of other games that appeared on other consoles already. Disgaea 5 Complete belongs to said last batch of titles, that has already been released for PlayStation 4, albeit without the DLC content that you’ll get for ‘free’ on the Switch. Once again we find ourselves in the midst of the colorful Netherworld that is a part of the Disgaea series, and it doesn’t look like hell will freeze over anytime soon.

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Story

In what we may call hell, there are many different overlords, who are in control of their specific region in this so called netherworld. Nonetheless, as of late, a lot of the territories are being conquered by Void Dark, a self-proclaimed emperor that is clearly unrivaled in power, as soon more than half of the netherworld already falls under his rule, safe for a few pockets of resistance, and Seraphine, the overlord of Gorgeous. The latter has risen up against Void Dark, as she was supposed to become his wife, in an arranged marriage. As she doesn’t want to follow someone else’s rules, she decided to fight him, until one of them bit the dust, and thus forcing to call off the arranged wedding. Even though she was in a dire situation in one of the last battles, she is rescued by a peculiar demon by the name of Killia, who soon finds himself in Seraphina’s pocket netherworld, fighting alongside her to bring down the vile Void Dark.

Overall the story is brought in a rather funny and lighthearted fashion, as is common with many of NIS America’s titles. You’ll get fun intermezzos before and after battles, which will help you learn the game, as well as progress the story bit by bit, into something very enjoyable.

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Graphics

The previous Disgaea games were all a very colorful mess, and the Complete edition of the 5th installment is no exception to that rule. You’ll be treated to very pretty 2D visuals, on a seemingly 3D playfield. All of the unique characters look great, detailed, and have a certain comical anime style that you can’t help but love. That being said, the variety of characters is fairly ok, but you’ll constantly see the same types of enemies reappear, making it somewhat dull to keep fighting the same demons over and over. Nonetheless, you’ll be treated to a very cute whole, even though the game revolves around hell and demons.

During some of the conversations, before or after battles, you’ll get to wade through visual novel-like sequences, which bring the characters to life, albeit in a fairly static fashion. These snippets, as well as the skits you’ll see during in-town conversations, add a lot to the game’s atmosphere, and contribute to the already cute looking whole.

Sound

While the Disgaea games always have a rather upbeat and captivating soundtrack, it’s often the voice acting that’s simply superbly done. NIS America has a knack for nailing the voices of their characters, and once again they hit the bull’s-eye when it comes to the sound design of this title, be it the music or the voice acting, which delivers every pun, quite well thanks to the clear, but enjoyable overacting. Having the choice between both the original language (Japanese) and English is a plus worth exploring for those who aren’t sure how they want to play the game.

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Gameplay

Disgaea 5 Complete is a rather tactical RPG, which will throw you in turn based battles from start to finish. As the game is rather expansive, you’ll be able to pump in over a hundred hours before the end credits pop up on your screen, at least if you don’t rush things, or don’t give up halfway through, especially now that the DLC adds a lot of extra chapters to explore, which offer more of the same, but in a certain theme.

As you’ll find yourself in the heat of battle rather early on, you’ll get proper tutorials helping you ease into the game, as all the beginning fights each handle new mechanics, which make sure you don’t get an overload by having to perform everything in the very first level. The DLC already gives you an advantage by giving you a hefty amount of free and powerful characters, which will certainly help you boost through the early stages of the game. This clear advantage will wear off over time, but it does help unbalance the beginning of the game, making things seem as if they’re ‘easy peasy’, before they crank up the difficulty a few notches and you’ll find yourself forced to think through every action you make on the battlefield.

Overall the gameplay is rather straightforward, as you can summon ten of your characters on the battlefield, which is a small arena, with a gridded overlay, showing you how far you can walk each turn, and what your attack range is. Before you know it, you’ll be giving orders to your characters, who can attack, defend, use their skills, or even lift up and throw other characters, making them cross the battlefield even faster. At the end of each battle, the characters you used the most will take the beefy part of the experience, but don’t fret, as you can make your characters stronger in other ways as well (in-game shops). The only missed opportunity is the fact that they ignored the touch screen for the switch, which would have made controlling and placing your characters across the battlefield a lot easier. Now you’re often struggling to select the right tile and/or character.

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As straightforward as the battle mechanics will become, it’s often rather confusing finding the proper gear for your characters, finding the right party composition or even finding which skills to level up, and which ones you’d better toss aside. The game does have a few mini tutorials on said material, but for the most part you’ll find yourself a bit in the dark, which is a shame, seeing the game relies heavily on teamwork, combos, the usage of skills and of course finding the proper gear. Rushing in naked is not a good plan, and while crappy gear will allow you to beat the first few levels, you’ll soon have to tweak your characters if you want to further progress in the game.

Conclusion

If you’ve been following the Disgaea series since the beginning, then we can immediately state that this game is a must have for your collection. If you’re on the fence about the genre, or its difficulty, the Complete edition will allow you to get in the game quicker than its original PS4 release, thanks to the DLC content that is given at the beginning of the game. While for some it may overthrow the balance, after a couple of hours, you’ll be properly eased in, and will still face enough challenges to keep the game interesting, as the DLC’s edge and/or advantage will have worn off by then. Certainly a title worth adding to your Switch library, if you’re looking to finally properly use Nintendo’s console, or simply love quirky titles.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Disgaea 5 Complete - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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