From my experience, Disgaea is one of those franchises where you’re either going to really love what is there, or it just isn’t going to hold your interest for very long. With the first game releasing back in 2003, for the longest time, I found myself on the side where the games just didn’t appeal to me. That all changed when Disgaea 4 released on the PlayStation Vita. Something about that one just sucked me in and finally turned me into a fan of the franchise. Since then, I have gone back and invested time into the other mainline releases (typically on handhelds if possible… just feels so natural to play there!) as I’ve had time. When Disgaea 5 was announced and subsequently released, I was actually waiting on the eventual handheld release, which I assumed would arrive on the PlayStation Vita. I’m shocked and very excited to see Disgaea 5 Complete arrive for the Nintendo Switch, allowing for the best of both worlds, and is the absolute perfect system for a game such as this. Read on for our full Disgaea 5 Complete review.
Title: Disgaea 5 Complete
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Available On: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Review Copy Supplied by Publisher
To start off, it’s worth mentioning that Disgaea 5 Complete is the exact same game that released on the PlayStation 4 last year. The only difference here is that all of the DLC that has been released for the game on the PS4 is included for free on the Nintendo Switch. There isn’t any additional content to be found here, which is honestly fine. There’s enough to love with the original package, that simply having it on a console capable of being a handheld is a big enough selling point. Having that DLC included for free though is a major deal. It can be accessed fairly early on in the game, and completing it will unlock new characters and extremely powerful weapons that make the game honestly feel like a joke at times, and eliminates a lot of the challenge that is normally present in Disgaea games.
This is also a perfect title for newcomers to Disgaea, fans of previous games that may have skipped an entry or two, and diehard fans alike to jump in and become a part of this world. It’s not uncommon for newcomers to feel lost when jumping into a numbered franchise, but fear not! Disgaea 5 Complete takes this into consideration, and makes it very easy to adjust to the story, learn the mechanics, and really start making progress with the story. Not only does having the DLC included make things a hell of a lot easier in the beginning hours of the game, but they also start off players with 1,000,000 of the in-game currency, meaning you won’t have to spend hours upon hours grinding away.
If you are unfamiliar with Disgaea, it’s a Strategy Roleplaying Game much in the same vein as Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, Valkyria Chronicles, and Advance Wars. It doesn’t get as much recognition as those four titles do, but it absolutely should. Disgaea is a solid SRPG franchise that seems to keep getting better with every entry as the years go on. It’s sad to see the series not selling very well in both Japan and here in the West, but thankfully the developers keep pushing on for their loyal fan base.
The story involved with Disgaea 5 is similar in nature to previous games. The main character, Killia, is a demon of the Netherworlds, of which there are many in this universe. His main goal, and the goal for all of the supporting characters, is to get revenge on the Demon Lord Void Dark, the evil villain, and ultimately destroy him. Along the way, this misfit band of characters will travel through various worlds and partake in battles against other enemies and demons. While it seems simple enough, the story is actually quite good thanks in part to the cast of characters, which is some of the strongest that the franchise has seen to date.
Obviously, the main draw for these types of games is the combat. Disgaea 5 Complete does not disappoint in this aspect. As mentioned earlier, it is a turn-based strategy roleplaying game that requires you to place your characters on a specified battlefield grid at the start of each one. Each time it is your turn, you can choose to either move your characters around, attack an enemy unit, use items or spells, and come up with different strategies depending on what the opposition is throwing at you.
Taking advantage of the DLC scenarios makes everything feel less challenging than it did the first time around on PlayStation 4. Some people will find this as a negative, but in all actuality, it’s a nice change of pace. Not having to worry about grinding for levels and money thanks to the additional content offered for free allowed me to appreciate the story and mechanics in a way that I haven’t been able to do before.
When it comes to performance, Disgaea 5 Complete runs just as good on the Nintendo Switch as it did on the PlayStation 4, which is a huge plus. These types of games thrive on a handheld environment, and it felt so much better playing on the Switch when it was undocked than it did in docked mode. The voice acting is hit or miss, with some characters being a long stronger in this area than others.
The visual style is very much in line with modern anime’s, and it’s extremely appealing. Especially when story elements are being presented through dialogue boxes and still frame shots. The soundtrack is also particularly good, with styles such as Japanese rock moving into more melodic tunes and full orchestral pieces.
Disgaea 5 Complete marks the return of the series to Nintendo consoles, and it feels like it never left. If Sony doesn’t produce handhelds going forward, it’s nice to know that the franchise will always have a home on future Nintendo systems. With all of the DLC included for free and the complete package that was offered on the PS4, if you have yet to experience this game, now is the perfect time to jump in!