Disgaea 5 Complete Hands-On Preview: Switching Up Tactics

DualShockers had the opportunity to go hands on with Disgaea 5 Complete for Nintendo Switch. We weigh in on our thoughts about taking the SRPG anywhere.

I believe it’s unanimously agreed upon that the Disgaea series is one of the most well-known and beloved series in the SRPG community. Each release seems to one up the previous game and features more over the top attacks, as well as interesting characters.

In 2015, Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance was released on the PlayStation 4 to much critical praise. We here at DualShockers said the game was the perfect ingredient to aid your SRPG fix. However, unlike the previous entries, the game never saw a mobile handheld version. The value of bringing a Disgaea game around with you cannot be more beneficial as each game can easily have hundreds of hours sunk into it, while the main story alone can take 30-50 hours.

For someone like me, who usually only spends time at home when I’m sleeping, I loved bringing the Disgaea franchise with me on the go. Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice and Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten are two games that I constantly find myself returning to on my PlayStation Vita. I mean, one could easily sink 150+ hours into any entry in the series. So it’s obvious as to why this game works so well as a handheld game.

During an event, NISA allowed me to spend some time with Disgaea 5 Complete on the Nintendo Switch and I quickly realized that this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. For instance, while having the Switch in tabletop mode, I could easily navigate the game’s hub city and access the battle menu. Upon entering a fight, a story scene played and the character designs looked as impressive as ever running the Switch hardware. Additionally, the game’s music could easily be heard through the speakers on the Switch.

For those who don’t know, the Disgaea series has been a long standing SRPG franchise that stays true to classic tactical grid-based battles, but adds a flair to it that only Disgaea seems to posses. The cast of characters all inhabit a universe called the Netherworld where the main protagonist can vary between games. In Disgaea 5, players will play as Killia who is seeking revenge against the antagonist Void Dark, for various reasons explored through the story.

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Although the series is also known for its comedic interaction between characters, Disgaea 5 also has some heartbreaking scenes of love, jealousy, and emotional conflict. This type of plot is one that makes the game stand out to me as one of the best in the series: the developer seems to have gathered every great element of past Disgaea entries and put it in one game.

However with that said, the Disgaea series has never been known to graphically push the platform it’s running on, although it’s worth mentioning that some of the attacks are so insane and have so much going on on-screen that it’s sure to require a decent amount of power. I’ve always been a fan of Disgaea‘s dedication to the simpler times of tactical RPGs: the series never pushes graphics as a main selling point, but instead they seem to focus on beautiful character models and amazing attacks. For someone who enjoys these type of games, all you need to do is throw a good story in there and you have a winner.

During battle, I began throwing Prinnies and unleashing some devastating attacks. This is about when it hit me that I wasn’t playing Disgaea 5 on a television screen anymore, and that’s not a bad thing. Finally, I wasn’t tied down to the cords that chained my PS4 to my TV. I was free to go anywhere I wanted, and I could take Disgaea 5 with me thanks to its new release on the Nintendo Switch.

Yes, this is essentially just a port of the PS4 version with all the DLC available on the cartridge, but it fixes a gripe that I previously had with the game. It’s not always possible for me to sit down at home and put so many hours into playing Disgaea. Also, it’s pretty disappointing that I never got to finish Disgaea 5 due to the game’s length. However, Disgaea 5 Complete is sure to give me another chance to visit the game’s world, but this time, I’ll be able to take it with me.

Disgaea 5 Complete will release for Nintendo Switch on May 23rd, 2017 in North America, following a few days later for Europe on May 26th, 2017.

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Azario Lopez

Azario Lopez has held multiple positions in the game's media industry. At DualShockers he focuses on providing coverage for niche and indie video games in the form of news updates, reviews, and interviews.

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