Disgaea 5 Complete Review
The latest entry to the quirky Disgaea franchise sees new life on the Switch bringing its grid-based strategy on-the-go or right at home. Disgaea 5 Complete includes all the content from the Season Pass found in the PlayStation 4 version, making it the definitive edition of Disgaea 5.
For players unfamiliar with the DLC, it is comprised of sub-scenarios with characters from previous games. They are completely unrelated to the main story and must be cleared to unlock characters from the previous games. Each scenario is suited for lower leveled parties, so players can unlock them early! On the flip side, acquiring this DLC content will make the beginning part of the game a complete breeze.
Certain DLC characters come with weapons that are very strong early on, letting you wreak havoc with just a single character. New players should be aware that relying too much on the DLC characters may cause them to ignore some fun key elements of the core Disgaea 5 experience. These include unlocking certain jobs and abilities that require leveling specific sub-classes to unlock them. It's best to maintain a balance between the DLC and the content of the base game for first-time players. Luckily, Disgaea 5 Complete starts off players with a whopping 1,000,000 HL (Disgaea's currency) which reduces the incentive to grind for money early on.
Disgaea 5's story opens with Seraphina, an overlord, completely in over-her-head against the evil Void Dark on his conquest to dominate the Netherworld. During one of her skirmishes, she's rescued by the protagonist, Killia. After their encounter, Seraphina insists that Killia be her servant and the two wind up as partners with similar goals.
Stories in Disgaea are known to have overexaggerated humor and they never take themselves too seriously. I found the storyline to be highly entertaining, with decent pacing and a likable cast. However, the humor never quite reaches to the upper echelons of the first Disgaea; it's even a bit more serious in tone. Thankfully, Disgaea 5's storyline is greatly enhanced by the voice acting leads. The performances of Vic Mignogna and Kira Buckland are fantastic in this entry. For players that enjoy Japanese voice acting, Mamoru Miyano gives an outstanding performance as the lead.
Disgaea 5 Complete's technical performance on Switch is almost identical to the PS4 version outside of slightly longer loading times when booting it up. There's also slight stuttering if you're intentionally trying to rotate the camera wildly in the populated base area. Otherwise, every transition is quick and smooth; you can even switch the audio language mid-battle and it works instantaneously.
In terms of gameplay, there are no universal changes between the two versions. Trophies are not there of course though in exchange, the Switch version does have a built-in achievement system as a substitute.
To those unfamilar with Disgaea 5, I mentioned earlier that it is a grid-based strategy game. Unlike other games of the same genre, Disgaea lets you queue up actions and will not execute them until you have confirmed the commands. This allows you to synchronize attacks and perform other various actions in tandem with one another.
Although each Disgaea game starts off simple, they become progressively more complex as players gets further. Veterans of the franchise will feel right at home. However, newcomers may easily feel overwhelmed with all the features the game includes, especially since Disgaea 5 was packed full of advancements to begin with. The assembly hall unlocks new features at the cost of your mana. The randomized Item Worlds return for post-game grinding. There's even a cheat shop that lets you tinker with some settings to power yourself up to an absurd degree.
Its character customization also has plenty of features. I preferred employing the storyline characters, but you can swap them out to your heart's content. Storyline characters have their own unique jobs and skills while using the other generic classes lets you unlock new jobs.
If you're feeling gutsy, you can brute force your way through Disgaea 5 Complete by using the newly introduced Revenge system. This greatly powers up your character based on how much of a beating that character has taken. Revenge also lets you use the Overload ability which pretty much breaks the entire game in a good way. When all is said and done, there is always something to do in Disgaea 5 Complete.
If you own the PS4 version of Disgaea 5, there isn't a strong reason to get the Switch version unless you want to play it on a handheld device. Now if you haven't picked it up yet and need a dose of an amazing strategy game, I would highly recommend picking up this version over the original release. Disgaea 5 Complete also doubles as the best portable experience of any Disgaea game to date. Unlike the Vita version of its predecessor where certain things had to be removed to fit in the cartridge, nothing has been cut. You get the full experience wherever you decide to play it.