Disgaea 5 Complete truly is the best way to experience Disgaea 5. Full of charming characters, ridiculous humor, and exceptional gameplay that could last you an eternity, Disgaea 5 is not one to be missed.
Disgaea 5 Complete
Developer: NIS America
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
MonsterVine was provided with a Switch copy for review.
Few series have the sense of humour that the Disgaea series prizes itself on. From meta RPG observations to blatant weeaboo mockery, Disgaea has a snappy sense of wit that sets it apart in a landscape full of RPGs.
Serving as a prequel to the rest of the series, Disgaea 5 stars Killia and Seraphina. Killia, a mysterious and eternally hungry wandering demon, has to help Seraphina, the apparently seductive Overlord of the Gorgeous Netherworld, to kill the villainous Demon Emperor, Void Dark. Along the way, this unlikely duo meets such large personalities as Red Magnus, the rambunctious lord of the Scorching Flame Netherworld, and Christo, the meek Overlord of the Certain Giant Planet Netherworld. Each character adds a new voice to the story thanks not only to their vastly different motivations, but because of how well this motley crew of weirdos blends personality-wise.
Each character you meet, from the biggest Overlord to the most pathetic Prinny, sets themselves apart as their own comedic gem in the story, which makes the otherwise alright story a complete joy to play through. Even when compared to the classic greats of previous entries in the series like Laharl and Etna, Disgaea 5‘s cast is exceptionally fun to hang with for the duration of the game.
Disgaea 5‘s gameplay is its greatest strength, as the depth of its combat and levelling mechanics know no bounds. As you’ve likely heard, the Disgaea franchise lets you level up beyond the usual confines of level 100, into the thousands and beyond. Even beyond the basic level-ups and stat increases, characters increase their strength based off of unique characteristics like their personality type, their class, and the kind of special weapons and equipment they have. Even the most devout RPG fans will be overwhelmed by the amount of content at their finger-tips, and that’s without the new content in the complete edition. Newbies need not fear however, as the game is fully playable and beatable with only a minor understanding of the basic concepts. These concepts are primarily explained throughout the tutorial, which regrettably takes up the first couple chapters of the game. The tutorial itself is thorough, but dry and somewhat intrusive for those who understand the game.
The core gameplay is standard for strategy RPGs, in that you control a team of units on a grid, and use your turns to advance units, to attack enemies, and to accomplish the goals of each level. Typically these goals revolve around killing all enemies on a map, or a boss unit, using the provided units from your own team. Outside of the usual turn-based physical and magical attacks, players can lift units and throw them to other parts of the map to further their own strategies, or use their Revenge meter to land character-specific Overload skills; flashy and explosive attacks that destroy everything in a units area. These attacks are fun to watch and to perform, as they’ll help you out immensely while looking like a ridiculous anime battle.
Outside of combat, the hub world is full of things to do, all of which can contribute to the growth of your units. Whether you want to create your own blank units from the ground up, or level up items by beating different floors in the Item World, there’s a great deal of content if you don’t want to finish the main story yet. Even then, the extra characters and story-lines that are available as part of Disgaea 5 Complete‘s collection of released content provide plenty of side-stories and fun. The numerous new scenarios, classes, and DLC characters are available from the get-go, meaning even veterans of the base game who have yet to experience the DLC can play as they want from the start.
Disgaea 5 Complete‘s visuals are quite pleasing to the eye, thanks largely to the distinct visual style the Disgaea games are known for. The unusual mix of chibi expressions with shonen-manga style proportions makes for an aesthetic you won’t see in many other games, which is complimented by the exceptional illustrations and sprite-art. The designs of the main characters are memorable, perfectly complementing the characters and their personalities, while the series icons, Prinnies, look as dopey and charming as ever.
From an audio standpoint, Disgaea 5 succeeds with flying colors. A great number of the game’s tracks are memorable enough to almost instantly mine their way into your mind. The songs have an odd composition to them that fit the weird world of Disgaea, as they emit a feeling that mixes the supernatural with pure wackiness. The voice acting is even better than the music, with more serious lines and joke delivery alike standing out. Each voice is perfect for its character, which is easier said than done with a cast as ridiculous as Disgaea 5‘s.
The Final Word
Disgaea 5 Complete is a fantastic strategy RPG that’s filled to the brim with every type of content. Series veterans will have plenty of levelling to do, while newbies will be able to get a hold of the basic mechanics rather easily. Though the tutorials are a bit long-winded, this is one Complete edition that is worth the buy.
-MonsterVine Rating: 4.5 out of 5 – Great