Game Info:

Disgaea 5 Complete
Developed by: Nippon Icchi Software
Published by: NIS America
Release date: May 23, 2017
Available on: PS4, Switch
Genre: Turn-based strategy
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Teen for fantasy violence, language, and suggestive themes
Price: $58.00
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you NIS America for sending us this game to review!

Disgaea 5 was originally released on the PS4 in 2015. The Switch version does not add any new content, but it does bundle in all of the available DLC. At the netherworld base you can talk to the Special Content NPC and receive powerful characters, extra episodes/levels, better starting weapons, and even one million HL (hell) currency. The optional character, Nisa, is powerful and says funny things like “To protect game industry!” during her attacks. Another free character is a witch named Metallia who often says “sh*t!” during her attacks.

Between the cartoon violence, cussing, and sexual references, Disgaea 5 does earn its Teen rating from the ESRB. The main overlord you’ll be playing as is the temptress Seraphina who often charms her male targets in order to have them do her bidding. She definitely dresses the part as a temptress and many of the male characters are showing off their muscular chests as well. A powerful wanderer named Killia is immune to her charm spell yet still agrees to fight alongside of her army since they have a common enemy, Void Dark. One third of all of the netherworlds are under Void Dark’s control and in order to take him down, the rest of the netherworlds need to band together and form a rebel army.

In the beginning you don’t know too much about Killia’s past or the source of his tremendous powers, though you do see him regaining energy by constantly eating whenever and wherever including on the battlefield. You’ll get to see some of Killia’s hazy memories and quickly learn that his main driving force is revenge.

Disgaea 5 Complete

Strong Points: Looks and runs great on the Switch; funny dialogue and characters; lots of bundled in extra content
Weak Points: Lots of grinding required to complete the game
Moral Warnings: Foul language (hell, d*mn, sh*t, b*tch, b*stard), lots of skin shown by male and female characters; crude and sexual  dialogue; references to homosexuality; cartoon violence; magic use; some characters are revenge driven

Gamers who are familiar with the previous Disgaea games will feel at home in this entry. The turn-based battles are the same and all of the silly moves like the ability to counter-counter-counter attack are still there. Geo effects play a big part in many of the levels which can either boost the enemies or players significantly. Some Geo Panels will damage, buff, or level up players who are on squares of matching colors.
One newer feature for me is the character’s “Evility” which are unique character specific bonuses. For example, some enemy characters will have increased attack power if they surround an ally. Besides abilities, characters also have weapon preferences so be sure to equip them accordingly.

Each level has a player limit of how many party members can be deployed in battle. You’ll want to keep a wide variety of classes in your squad. Along with your strong brutes, you’ll also want a mage and a healer nearby. Some areas have environmental hazards that can be worked to your advantage if you use them on your foes. For example, if you throw a mushroom at an enemy it can harm. There's a whole netherworld filled with poison which can harm a party member left standing in it at the end of your turn.

The main story is broken down into sixteen chapters with five maps in each one. Besides the story missions you can visit item worlds to power-up your favorite weapons and armor. The item worlds are a great place to grind and level up which is required to complete the game. If you don’t like grinding, then the Disgaea series is not for you.

Disgaea 5 Complete
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 92%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 63%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 2.5/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

While you can get lots of great loot in battle, chances are that you’ll be buying a lot of your equipment and items at the shops in the netherworld. In order to have the shops carry better items you’ll need to win over the council members at the strategy assembly. If the vote does not go in your favor, you can attempt to have them re-consider by beating them into submission. Besides loot, you may also bring back prisoners from battle. After successfully interrogating them you can convince them to join your cause or extract a useful item out of them. If you don’t want to interrogate them you can simply make them citizens of your netherworld to increase its population.

As solid as the battles are, the characters and dialogue are what make these games great. The characters are likable and funny. There is much banter about Seraphina and Killia’s relationship. She denies being in love with him despite her referring to him as her husband at times. There is also some speculation about why Killia is immune to her charm and his sexual orientation is called into question.

Most of the lines are voice acted and sound great. The background music is excellent as well. Since my previous Disgaea experience is limited to the first two games, it’s safe to say that this is the best looking entry I have played yet. I’m happy to report that it ran flawlessly on the Switch as well.

The $60 asking price is a bit steep, but this game will entertain you for a long time as long as you’re okay with grinding. Like other Disgaea games, there are some moral issues to consider before purchasing. If you’re fan of the previous games, then Disgaea 5 Complete is a worthy addition to your Switch library.

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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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