What is Disgaea 5 Complete?
Disgaea 5 Complete is a grid-based, turn-based strategy role playing game on the Nintendo Switch. A "complete" version of 2015's PS4 game, this new edition comes bundled with all the game's downloadable add-ons for free, which adds several powerful new characters, and plenty of extra stages for you to play through.
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Set in a bizarre world populated by many weird and wonderful characters (each of which is a ruler of their own equally wacky Netherworld), Disgaea 5 tells the tale of Seraphina, the seductress Overlord of the Gorgeous Netherworld, whose hand is offered in marriage to the nefarious Void Dark, in an attempt to bring an end to his rampage. Preferring to deal with things a little bit more directly, Seraphina instead decides to take the fight to Void Dark personally, teaming up with a ragtag bunch of outcast Overlords, in an attempt to take on - and defeat - Void Dark once and for all.
How do you play Disgaea 5 Complete?
As a turn-based strategy role playing game, Disgaea 5 sees you both taking part in strategic, grid-based battles, and enjoying character driven conversations between battles as the story progresses. With a wide range of unusual characters, from "Logan" the wrestler, who talks about "eating his vitamins, saying his prayers" and calls everyone "brotha", to Seraphina herself, whose special power makes all men fall in love with her, you're in for a pretty wild ride in terms of the story alone.
Punctuating the plot are countless turn-based strategy stages, which see your gang of mistfits face off against a group of enemies that'll usually outnumber you, if not outgun you too. With a grid-based system underpinning the battles, each stage is divided up into a number of squares, with each character being able to only move, and attack over a certain number of squares in each turn. By positioning your troops wisely, and choosing the right attacks, it's up to you to overcome your enemies.
How easy is Disgaea 5 Complete to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Disgaea 5 can certainly seem pretty complex when you first set out, with a bevy of menus, options, and stats as far as the eye can see. With many unusual ideas, like the ability to form towers of your teammates; use crystals to change/apply bonuses to certain squares; and a turn system that means your troops won't actually attack until you explicitly choose the "execute" command, giving you time to create fancy combos and chain attacks, it can all feel at little overwhelming at first - however, once you scratch beneath the surface, you'll realise that despite its complexities, the basics of Disgaea 5 aren't actually all that tricky to get your head around.
In battles, there are a few easy strategies you can use to make the most out of each turn. One of the most important things to remember is that adjacent units can team up for attacks - so if you keep your troops in small groups, you'll have the chance to attack with four troops rather than just one.
While there's no adjustable difficulty level here, there are two surefire ways to get past any tough stages you may encounter. The first is to "grind" - by replaying earlier stages, your characters will earn XP, level up, grow stronger, and you'll be able to afford better equipment. On the other hand, if you make use of the "Complete" edition extras, you'll be able to add a variety of particularly strong characters to your squad from the off, which should make any tough battles that much easier. It's also worth nothing that, unlike Fire Emblem, there's no "perma-death" - any characters that fall in battle can be resurrected afterwards.
While many scenes have voice acting (and everything is fully subtitled), some character chats, and all tutorials are delivered through text only, making a strong reading ability a must. Sample sentences include:
- Tch! Weaklings! They're popping up out of nowhere!
- If I don't do anything about it, it's gonna tarnish my title of Overlord! I have to face him!
- You want to make it up to me for what you did, right? If you don't follow me, I'll take it out on random Netherworlds.
In terms of mature content. Disgaea 5 Complete is fairly mild, with minor violence, occasional mild bad language, and slight innuendos.
In terms of bad language "piss", "b*stard", "turd" and "sh*t" all make appearances, albeit infrequently. While battles see characters duelling with swords, magic spells and even sometimes guns, any impacts are unrealistic, with many moves often being totally over the top and comedic.
On the innuendo front, with the game's lead character being a seductress, it's perhaps to be expected that the dialogue can sometimes get fairly sexually charged. About as blatant as it gets is one scene which sees Seraphina debating who the lead character, Killia fancies - "Sir Killia just has to take a look at my beautiful legs, or even my cleavage", and Killia's threat that "I'll need to discipline you until you learn how to obey my every desire", which another character points out "sounds kinky". The other innuendos are much more mild - one sees her asking a male character if he's into "boys love", while a prinny penguin reminisces about how he could "lick a girl's recorder". Visually, things can sometimes get a bit more heated, with one end of battle picture sees a group of female characters having a bit of a water fight, with tiny bikini tops on, with one being partially removed.
As you play, you'll also unlock an interrogation chamber, when you can "torture" enemies you've captured until they'll join your party. However, in practice, this basically boils down to choosing "hit", "threaten", "starve" or "ignore" from a menu until the interrogatee's health is reduced to zero, and they choose to join your team.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Switch