June 26, 2017

Disgaea 5 Complete - Review

It usually takes a bit of time for full RPG’s to come to a console, but within the first three months, we have scored I Am Setsuna as well as Disgaea 5 Complete and while they are both RPG’s they are also very different and after spending a lot of time with the former, I was unsure if I could enjoy the later.

It should be noted right away that the game itself is not new, it was originally released for the PlayStation 4 back in later 2015, what sets this version apart is that it now comes complete with all of the DLC and there is a lot of it and the best news, it is not paid DLC. The game is literally bursting at the seams with extra content, but it never makes you use it, if you don’t want to, you can play the game as if it was the original release. Given that the game is on the Switch, it also lends itself to taking it on the go, which is something I did a lot of and I felt I enjoyed it more than playing at home.

The story sees Seraphina, attempting to take control of the netherworlds from a host of evil doers, whilst defending her realm from invaders as well and during the opening battle Killia wanders into the midst, only to sit down and start to eat. After eating he decimates the enemy and then is reluctantly forced to partner up with Seraphina, something he is loathed to do thus begins the adventures of this unlikely pair. As far as story goes, it is pretty standard, everyone is doing what they are doing for their own reason and as everyone’s ultimate aim is to take down, defeat or kill the dark lord, Void Dark, they form a team.

The gameplay is the king here and while I am usually not a fan of the turn based games, but here things are a little different, the entire game is broken up into two parts, the battles and the time between battles. Starting with the battles, they all take place on isometric stages, where each character can select a square to take control of and then if there is an enemy nearby, they can attack whenever they want, rather than waiting until everyone has moved. While something like that, may not seem like a big deal, what it allows for is that players can move around and take out an enemy and now rather than having a second player waiting there, with nothing to do now, you can direct them elsewhere, letting you make full use of the members of your party. At the end of each stage, the three characters that did the most, will be ranked and earn xp, letting them level up and get more powerful, depending on how well you perform overall as well, you can unlock a host of gear that you can use later on, if you don’t level up as much as you might like, you can replay the level.

When you are not in battle, you return to the realm of the Gorgeous Underworld, where you can manage your party, upgrade your gear and a host of other things. It is also the location where you can interact with the members of your party, where you can learn more about them and discover their backstories and finally, it is where you will also undertake side missions, which can help you earn new gear and currency to buy new gear. The hub world has lots of places to explore, but you will likely find yourself just repeating visits to the same 4 or 5 spots when you return. Once you change up your roster or gear, you can venture out to Item world, where you can increase your gears stats, which is nice, if you find that a piece is not working for you, you simply return to the hub world and swap it out.

The games biggest problem for me at least, comes in the form of its presentation, the visuals are nice, but don’t stray too far from the usual Japanese style. The issue comes in how conversations are presented, there are times when the game will present a conversation and its fully voiced and lets you enjoy the story, then there are times when characters will want to speak with you, but will only do so, as playing cards, with some characters sliding onto the screen to make a comment or two and these are not voice acted. The final way is that some characters will have minor things to say and do so via text bubbles that appear and while none of the methods are bad per say, the inconsistent approach to the presentation is a pain.

In addition to that, the game also struggles to make the characters relatable, thanks in part to some strange voice work. Killia is what one would consider the main character of the game, the problem is, his character and the voice work behind the character are both very dry, there is nothing to his character and no reason to care about it. Listening to him speak, I also go the sense that the voice actor was as interested in reading the lines as I was, not a good thing to have for your main character. The music does make up for this, though it still feels repetitive and after 40 hours, I was more inclined to mute the game and listen to my normal music.

Disgaea 5 Complete is a package that is hard to pass up, not only does it offer up some wonderful gameplay, but it comes packed with all the previously released DLC. If you can look past the odd presentation issues, the game is absolutely worth your time.

Thanks to NIS America for supplying the game for review

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