REVIEW / Disgaea 5 Complete Edition (Switch)

 

The Nintendo Switch has slowing been building its collection of games throughout its five-month lifespan. With new games hitting the store almost every week it looks like Nintendo is trying to keep its promise when it comes to an abundance of third party support. And, among those games, is Disgaea 5 Complete Edition. Disgaea 5 was originally released on the PlayStation 4 in 2015. The game was then ported to the Nintendo Switch in early 2017.

 

 

Disgaea 5 is a tactical role-playing game that gives you the task of defeating the demon emperor Void Dark, whose goal is to conquer the Netherworlds. Void Dark’s army The Lost hops from Netherworld to Netherworld taking down its Overlords. Overlords are the strongest demons in their respective Netherworld. Our main character Killa runs into the Overlord of Gorgeous Seraphina while fighting Void Darks army and the two reluctantly join together. The two recruit other demons to their cause and eventually form a rebel army in order to oppose Void Dark.

 

 

Disgaea 5’s battles fought out on a grid map. Maps have random items on them that can change the pace of battle and it is good to have a healthy collection of warriors at your disposal. You can spawn units into battle using a stationary spawn point and you can even spawn them out of battle to protect them. You do have a set number of characters that you can spin into battle and once those characters are defeated then you lose. Characters can be recruited at your pocket Netherworld Base. You can recruit mercenaries at higher levels and with better skills but it will cost more. At your base, you can do things like buy items, weapons, take on missions, manage skills, and talk to the demons that you have already recruited. It’s in this pocket world that a lot of the hilarious dialog takes place. From blown-out-of-proportion pissing contests to  arguments about laundry, Disgaea 5 isn’t short on conversation.

 

 

In battle, your army can use different skills and abilities in order to take advantage of the field around them. Characters can attack, defend, use special abilities, and even lift other characters and throw them in order to clear large distances. The Prinny, a race of demon penguins that serve as Seraphina’s servants, explode when thrown making them useful to clear out a group of enemies. However, the explosion kills them so you sacrifice a unit in the process.

 

 

The story of Disgaea 5 was the primary draw to the game for me. Every character has their own primary goal driving them forward but then changes and grows as the story moves forward. Seraphina believes that every man was designed to serve her and originally teams up with Killla so that she can make him fall in love with her but her personality changes and she becomes much more of a team player as the hours pile on in the game. You also learn a lot more about the mysterious Killa and why he wants to take down Void Dark in the first place. Dialogue is plentiful in this game but it doesn’t feel like a huge drag like it does in other Japanese RPGs. It could be because the characters don’t feel like one-dimensional placeholders.

 

 

If you couldn’t tell, Disgaea 5 Complete Edition is amazing. A gripping story, hilarious characters, and an interesting combat system is what sets this franchise apart from the several other games that do relatively the same thing. But what makes it a real winner for me has to be the form factor. Being on the Nintendo Switch I was literally able to play it anywhere, from the car to the bedroom. This freedom of control has me waiting for other games that I already own to come to the Switch so I can play it there as well. If you are a Switch user that loves RPG’s this is a must buy.

 

 

 

This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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