The over-the-top Tactical Role-playing game, Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance, by Nippon Ichi Software, will arrive to the Nintendo Switch this month as a definitive version with every bit of content released for the PlayStation 4, and way more cheesy comedy writing than ever before.
Price: $59.99 (Nintendo Switch)
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Strategy RPG
Release Date: May 23rd, 2017 (US), May 26th, 2017 (EU)
Disgaea 5 tells a story of vengeance, rebellions, and war, about the young and mysterious demon driven by hate, anger and vengeance, Killia, who embarks on a journey to kill a new up and rising Overlord, Void Dark, who’s capturing and enslaving the many Nether worlds the Disgaea universe has to offer.
Demons, monsters, exploding penguin looking creatures, and Overlords, who are the leaders of each Nether world, think of them as small planets or islands. That is just but a small portion of what Disgaea has to offer on its hours of game play. There are many features that make this entry in the Disgaea series great, but the biggest selling point for me, is the portability of the Nintendo Switch. The game features a party customization system, where you get to create every single character/monster/ally in your party, name them, pick their color, voice, stats, skills, passive abilities (called Evilities), etc. and if you’re like me, who enjoys creating as many characters as I can think of, you will spend (waste) a lot of time in the character creation screen, thinking of what to name a single member, so you can end up with your dream team party of Fred Flintstones, Mario, B0n3rf4rts, that one Japanese name you heard once, and Go Ahead and Ask Me (Yes, that is a suggested name from the game itself).
Character interaction and dialogue in this series is usually set in a comical but serious way that fits perfectly with the way characters are developed and shown. An “edgy” main character, getting stuck by accident leading an army of people he doesn’t even know, multiple Overlords, and monsters who want to fight for the same cause, getting rid of Void Dark.
My biggest issue is that the story can feel flat, forced, or straight up boring at some points, but the jokes, even when not funny at all, won’t stop coming to keep you entertained. Some unnecessary comedy doesn’t do that for me, instead it makes me want to skip to the next battle.
The battle system on the other hand, is one of my favorites in the Strategy RPG genre. Take up to 10 characters into battle that you can move around a grid depending on their movement speed, height, or strength. There is a lot of things that could happen in just one turn. Have your characters attack an enemy while they have allies adjacent to them, and there is a possibility of a combination attack, that has a crazy and hilarious animation depending on the weapons you’re carrying, or number of allies in the combination attack. Something I do a lot, if you have a strong but very slow character, you can lift up your allies… multiple times, so you can have a tower of all 10 characters and either throw them one by one so you can reach farther places faster, or you can just unleash an attack with the stack of characters, don’t worry, experience will be split between all of them. Character Towers are great and everything, but if you have any monsters in your party, the won’t be able to lift anyone, instead, they have an ability called Magichange, which transforms them into a weapon that you can give to party members for them to use.
One thing to look out for is Geo Effects, random grid spaces that have different passive effects that could either help or affect you, there will be maps where you can change the effect of these spaces. Some maps will also have random effects, like early in the game, you’ll visit a poisonous beach Netherworld, where if you end your turn inside the water, your character will be poisoned.
The most iconic and time-consuming feature in the Disgaea series for me, has always been the Item World. Think of it as a side dungeon, where you can strengthen your weapons or items, by going into the item itself, and fighting through multiple randomly generated floors of enemies, treasure, bonuses, and many more stuff I probably haven’t been able to find at all. Did I mention you lose all progress on the item if you die? Well you do. I’ve spent sometimes up to 2-3 hours trying to power up a single weapon, probably the wrong way too.
There’s a feature called “Strategy Assembly” where you can go into a council meeting, and bribe council or board members to change different character options, or even world rules. Give your character a sub-class, reincarnate yourself, have the stores sell better items, create new shops, ask for more money! Examine every board member to see what they like and have them be on your side to win the debate, if not, you’ll just waste your mana (currency to upgrade skills, or ask for an assembly).
Disgaea 5 has a very upbeat but sometimes repetitive soundtrack, as well as very quirky voice acting, so be ready to hear “Dood” multiple times throughout the game dood. Every voice in the game has a different attitude, some funny, some more serious than the rest, others just straight up creepy, and not the scary kind of creepy (Looking at you “Pregnant♥ Healer”).
Unlike the PlayStation 4 release, the Nintendo Switch version already includes all of the additional content originally released as DLC, without having to purchase anything extra. This extra content includes 8 bonus scenarios, 4 fan favorite characters (Including Metallia from The Witch and the Hundred Knight!), and three character classes from the Disgaea series. Some of these include old characters from past Disgaea games, which is awesome, since I loved the third entry in the series.
Despite its flaws, Disgaea 5: Complete is a great addition to the Nintendo Switch library, and a must have for any Strategy RPG enthusiast, thanks to the option to be able to play anywhere you want with the Switch. Disgaea 5: Complete, gets a solid 8 Prinnies out of 10 from me dood, not only because it makes the mechanics of the series feel fresh, but thanks to all the hours I spent (and will spend) customizing, and leveling a lot of characters, AND, no frame rate drops during the crazy combo attacks.
If you think it’s time to take a break from Hyrule, or you’re tired of drifting off of multi-colored roads, be sure to pick up Disgaea 5: Complete on May 23rd for the Nintendo Switch, and tell us what crazy names your party has in it over @NerdworkTweets! Good luck dood!