Review: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance – A Colorful Tactical RPG
Being a long-time fan of the Disgaea series ever since its debut on the PlayStation 2 back in 2003, I have anticipated every title, including the spin off and remakes releases on handhelds. With Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance bringing in new features, it is safe to say this is definitely one of the best in the series and one of the best titles within the genre available on PlayStation 4.
Luckily Disgaea 5’s story is different from its previous entries so if you’re looking for your strategy RPG fix on PS4 and haven’t had the opportunity to try out the Disgaea series, you can definitely pick up the game without missing anything.
In Disgaea 5, the demon emperor “Void Dark” along his army of soldiers known as the Lost has been devastating numerous Netherworlds. The Overlords of those Netherworlds, desperate to defeat “Void Dark,” begin an unlikely alliance to save their realms.
The game introduces Seraphina, a sheltered princess and daughter of the demon king of the Gorgeous Underworld, and Killia, a young male demon protagonist who seeks revenge against the Demon Emperor, Void Dark. These protagonist alongside the rest of the cast are vivid and likeable, and follow pretty the tropes of your typical JRPG.
My gripe with the game’s story however is that it starts off a bit slow in the beginning, particularly during the 10 hours or so of the game. The only thing that keeps you hooked is the over the top dialogue and its not until later on in the game where the story and the character development evolves.
Once your adventure begins, you will be able to access the main lobby where you can buy items, equipment and skills, as well as take up some quests. Additionally, you will be able to go the Hopsital as well to heal yourself after a dreadful quest where most of your characters have low health or have died. The main lobby is small but it offers everything you need during your adventure.
Disgaea 5 follows the same traditional strategy RPG gameplay from its predecessors, which gives the player control of many different colorful characters in traditional grid-based maps. Unlike your typical turn based JRPG, strategy RPGs require more tactical actions as how you set up your moves is imperative for victory.
It features the same gameplay mechanics as its predecessors such as lifting and throwing other characters into Geo Panels that are out of reach. This can be useful if you want to send characters even further in return of using a character’s (the lifter) turn. Additionally, when throwing Prinnies, they can be used a bombs, but in return they die.
Additionally, the game brings a new feature called “Revenge Mode” where a character can gain new abilities, receive stat boosts, bring their critical hit rate up to 100% and allows them to perform a special “Overload” skill. Each Overload skill defers by the character, for example, Seraphina’s charms all men around her. Revenge Mode is usually triggered when party members are fallen or hurt.
A new a new type of special attack known as Maougis is also introduced. This type of special attack allows certain characters are able to pair up in specific duos to unleash special moves known as fusion skills.
With the new introduced features as well as the returning features established in the previous entries, Disgaea’s gameplay mechanics has definitely improved. The game just offers so many strategies, allowing players from all different playstyles to join the fun.
Like most traditional strategy RPGs, all the characters and environments in Disgaea 5 may be 2D, but it honestly fits with the style of gameplay. Additionally, the sprites are definitely gorgeous looking and have a high level of detail and color. Even with sprites, I can definitely say that Disgaea 5 is one pretty looking game.
Unfortunately, Disgaea 5 isn’t one of those games were it offers a decent English dub. For the most part, the voice acting felt irritating trying to fit the character’s personality. Naturally, Disgaea’s characters and humor are intentionally over-the-top, but it just felt a bit unnatural listening to it in English. Luckily, the game offers its original Japanese voice track.
The Disgaea series has always offered a good collection of tracks, even with this latest installment. However, my main complaint is that the track that usually plays in the main lobby can be kind of irritating, which makes it kind of annoying to spend any time there.
Overall, for those looking for their Strategy RPG fix, especially on the PS4, should definitely pick up Disgaea 5. The new features make the gameplay experience even better. Of course, the over the top humorous setting of the game, including the story and the characters never ceases to entertain.
I’ll definitely going to be spending many hours into this entry.