Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless – Review
Follow Genre: Turn-based strategy, RPG
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: Switch, PS4, PS5, PC
Tested on: Switch

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless – Review

Site Score
Good: Possibly the best Disgaea title yet
Bad: Clunky camera controls make it occasionally difficult to navigate stages
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(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It’s hard to believe that over two years have passed since the previous Disgaea title, Defiance of Destiny, debuted in the West. Part of this is of course because the game was released as a timed exclusive on the Switch, with PC and PlayStation owners having to wait a full year before they could get stuck in Zed’s adventure. With plenty of additional content included in 2022’s Complete release, the game has managed to stay top-of-mind for many gamers. The newest addition to the Disgaea series, Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless follows a more classic release schedule, with a simultaneous debut across all platforms it is available on. This means that no matter if you’re a PlayStation, PC, or Switch gamer, you can get stuck in the game right after reading on to find out whether or not Disgaea 7 is going to be up your alley.


Set in the Hinomoto region of the Netherworlds, which is inspired by Japan’s Edo period, Disgaea 7 tells the story of Pirilika and Fuji, two new protagonists. Pirilika is a bratty, spoiled rich girl who is obsessed with the Bushido code, and she’s taken her massive airship to Hinomoto to “experience the culture” for herself, in the most touristy way possible. Much to her disappointment, the Bushido have been driven out of the region by Demmodore Opener, an evil Shogun. Meanwhile, Fuji is a dishonest and opportunistic samurai who’ll do anything for the lure of riches. Our two protagonists happen to run into each other after Pirilika insults a noodle salesman. Fuji offers the girl his services as a guide, hoping to make a quick buck. However, he bit off more than he could chew, as he inadvertently bonds with a magical sword owned by Pirilika. This sword turns out to be one of the seven Founding Weapons, which are the key to defeating Demmodore and his magistrates. Naturally, Pirilika is more than eager to find the remaining six weapons, so together with Fuji, she sets out to do so, and return the Hinomoto region to its former Bushido glory.

In typical Disgaea fashion, what follows is an over-the-top adventure, starring a set of quirky yet loveable characters. Like other games in the series, the writing is a highlight, and although the overarching story may not be as epic in scale or grandeur as that of the previous game, there is still some light-hearted drama to be found here. Small details, like Pirilika not being able to properly pronounce Japanese words correctly, cementing her status as an otaku, really help in selling what these characters are about. Every single cast member is a larger-than-life archetype, but within the context, these just work, and we guarantee that seeing things play out will put a smile on your face.


Visually, Disgaea 7 doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it doesn’t need to either. The series’ aesthetics have been well established by this point, with exaggerated, chibi-like character models. Compared to previous entries, Disgaea 7 dials down the fan service by quite a bit, although the “lewd” content in the series has always been played for laughs rather than actually trying to entice players as a selling point. The game’s art style isn’t too taxing either, and it ran smooth as butter on our Switch. Our only gripe with the visuals, and by extension the gameplay, is that the awkward camera controls are still present, meaning it can sometimes be difficult to select a character or tile on the grid.


Composer Takeshi Matsumoto, best known for The Cruel King and the Great Hero, took over music duties from Tenpei Sato for this entry. The new soundtrack takes a different direction from what was established before, but given that we’re exploring a new area of the Netherworlds, this works surprisingly well. The voice cast, helmed by Alejandro Saab and Kristen McGuire does an admirable job in adding depth to the characters as well. While a Japanese voice track is present, this is one of the rare cases where the English voices actually outperform the original audio track.


The previous Disgaea title, Defiance of Destiny, felt like a massive step forward for the long-running strategy RPG series. By comparison, Disgaea 7 feels more like an evolution than a revolution. The game sticks close to what worked in previous entries in the series and streamlines those elements, while only introducing a handful of new ideas. Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot of room for improvement in the first place, and Disgaea 7 delivers the fantastic grid-based strategy gameplay we’ve come to know and love over the years. If you’re returning to the series, rest assured that this is Disgaea at its best, and if you’ve never played a Disgaea title before, there is perhaps no better entry point to the series. Of course, if you’re new to the series, you might be wondering what the fuss is about. Before we delve into what makes Disgaea 7 such a stand-out entry, let’s quickly recap the core experience.

Like the other titles in the series, Disgaea 7 is a story-driven strategy RPG that sees you take control of a varied party and participate in turn-based combat on battlefield grids. With over 40 different classes for your characters and a ton of items available, each of which can itself be min-maxed at a place called the Item World, there is almost no limit to the ways you can customize your party of fighters. Of course, you’ll want to have a balanced team, as you’ll need to be able to respond to the strengths and weaknesses of enemies and take terrain into account as well. Stat-altering Geo Panels and moveable, stackable crates can alter the flow of battle, in interesting and unique ways. Of course, returning veterans will feel right at home here, but even if you’ve played every previous Disgaea title, you’ll find something new here, with the Jumbification mechanic. A Jumbified character turns into a Kaiju-sized version of themselves for three turns, and can use special abilities during this time. Jumbification is basically Disgaea 7’s answer to Pokémon Sword & Shield’s Dynamax mechanic, and we’re all for fun and wacky ideas like this, as it’s a perfect fit for Disgaea’s characteristic over-the-top atmosphere.

In between the battles, you’ll mostly be spending time at Pirilika’s Nethership, which serves as the traditional hub area. Here you’ll mostly manage your party’s equipment, stats, and abilities, as more and more in-game shops unlock by progressing through the main story. Optimizing your party isn’t cheap, and you’ll need to make plenty of HL, the in-game currency, by replaying previous maps over and over again. While this does mean that Disgaea 7 can feel slightly grindy at times, this is mitigated by the fact that there are bonus objectives to clear on each map, and these carry decent rewards. Additionally, Disgaea 7 is a very fast-paced game and any maps you’ve cleared can be completed again thanks to the auto-battle feature, which returns from Disgaea 6, albeit slightly reworked to make it more balanced.

While Disgaea 7’s main story campaign is fairly short, clocking in at roughly 30 hours, veterans will already know that the true meat of what the game has to offer is found in the post-game content. Even tens of hours into the story campaign, new mechanics are still added to the fold, and in this regard, the story campaign is pretty much an extended primer for what you can sink your teeth into after the credits roll. According to NISA themselves, fully completing Disgaea 7 will take around 400 hours. We’ll take their word for that, as we’ve only scratched the surface of what the game has to offer, but if you like the series, you’ll be happy to learn that your €60 will keep you occupied for months. That’s without even getting into the DLC that is yet to come, although we should mention that you will need to pull out your hard-earned real-life cash to expand your game – HL won’t cut it.


We’d go as far as to say that Disgaea 7 is the best game in the series yet. In typical Disgaea fashion, the light-hearted, humorous story is over the top, which emphasizes the larger-than-life characters’ personality quirks. The fast-paced gameplay provides plenty of tactical depth, and with literally hundreds of hours worth of gameplay here, you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck too. If you’re a fan of the genre, even if you’ve never played a previous Disgaea title before, this game is an absolutely essential addition to your library.

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Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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