Disgaea 5 is the 5th entry of the Disgaea series and the first to be released on the PS4. The game is actually a prequel to the previous games in the franchise and retains its familiarity while being accessible to newcomers. The game takes place in multiple netherworlds and provides a more intimate exploration of the lore. The story as always, completely embraces its otaku nature and has the same kind of hilarious dialogue we would expect from a Disgaea game.
The plot focuses on Killia, a lone wanderer who vows vengeance Void Dark, the current emperor of the netherworld. He’s very modest and humble and treats everyone equally. He actually believes in doing the right thing in standing up to Dark Void. He doesn’t jump before he acts especially compared to some of his other overlord allies like Seraphina, Red Magnus and Zeroken.
Void Dark is responsible for the destruction of many netherworld realms and wants to conquer more. Killia forms alliances with other netherworld overlords in order to stop the emperor. Void Dark leads a powerful army known as The Lost. The Lost soldiers are not necessarily villains but were forced to join because of Void Dark taking over the realms.
Disgaea 5 exploits the PS4’s powerful hardware resulting in incredible graphics and seamless scenes. The art style is as sharper than ever, even more so than in Disgaea 4 and D2. The user interface looks way better and it cuts down on the excessive amounts of micromanaging and is much easier to use. Combat maintains the core features seen in previous games and just as in previous games. You can have extremely high stats and level up to 9999 and deal massive amounts of damage up to billions. Geo blocks were replaced by geo pyramids. Destroying them has the same effect as geo blocks which can help fill the bonus gauge and inflict damage to enemies. You can now use consumable items to gain xp points and to fill your bonus gauge in combat. Combos are formed by executing a series of chain attacks to enemies.
A new feature in this game is the revenge mode where after a character’s ally falls in combat or gets attacked multiple time,s the revenge gauge fills up and through it, you get increased damage attacks, increased defense and all skill points cost only 1 sp.
Magichange and dual magichange are back and functions just as before where beast enemies can turn into weapons with exclusive skills to use based on the type of beast that’s in your party. You can also equip more than one weapon in the game and it is called a sub weapon that inflicts additional damage to enemies. Another new feature is the overload feature that can be activated once you are in revenge mode. As you progress through the game you can also have the chance to unlock other overload abilities.
An unfilled Revenge Gauge is maintained between stages, but once a character is deployed with a filled Revenge Gauge, they will immediately enter Revenge Mode and the Revenge Gauge will be cleared after the mode expires or the stage ends. Enemies can also enter Revenge Mode and gain the same advantages player characters do, but defeating an enemy in revenge mode will award one of various types of Shards, an item type that can be used on a character to permanently improve one of its stats. Armor mastery is a new feature and the more you increase your armor mastery the more damage a character can take against an enemy.
Returning features from the previous games like Disgaea D2 is the ability to retry stages or return to the hub. You can finally reposition your characters within their movement range freely now. The weapon mastery system makes a comeback from Disgaea D2 as well where the more you use a certain weapon, the more effective it becomes and you can also learn new skills the more you use it. Sometimes you can unlock and find skill scrolls to learn new skills.
You can now equip even more evilties than before and also unlock additional slots for evilties. You can convert certain evilties for mana points. You earn mana just the same as before, by defeating enemies, and the more powerful, the better.
Squads function the same in Disgaea 3 where you assign characters to different groups and each of the groups has their own specialty. Capture groups gives you the skill the to capture enemies and interrogation group allows you to interrogate enemies. The prisoners you capture can be used to level up the squads to have more members and also for the squads to be more effective. Squad attacks is where you and your fellow squad mates do an all out attack to an enemy. Special combo skills can be executed when you and a party member that’s nearby perform a deadly attack an enemy.
The cheat shop also comes back from Disgaea D2 where you can alter enemy stats or gameplay features to make it as easy or hard as you want it to be. You can earn cheat points as soon as you complete chapters and levels in the game to spend on stuff you like.
You can visit the nurse to heal and earn prizes with frequent visits.The way you earn prizes has to be purchased via the amounts of damage you have taken and you can now choose which prize to have instead of it being randomly generated.
The item world has been overhauled in the game. It functions the same as before where you can level up different kinds of items to become even more powerful and fight enemies. You can level up items not only by clearing levels but also by filling up the bonus gauge and it could increase by not one but even 2 levels. A new item in the game is the chance to skip to every 5 to 10 rooms.
Items are not randomized every time you visit so you don’t have to go through multiple visits just to win the item you want. The more you buy, the higher quality stuff you can get to purchase. A new shop has been added which sells you curry that restores your health and sp and the more you upgrade the curry shop, the more high-quality curry you can give your characters. Level spheres are there to help fill up the bonus gauge in the item world. You can also find items in game outside of the item world to boost up your bonus gauge as well.
You can find treasure chests in the netherworld every time you finish a chapter. You can replay chapters every time you beat one and you can always revisit certain levels as they are not closed off after completion.
The randomized rooms are back where you can unlock new shops like the music shop. Other rooms you could find is the thief who is in charge of the item world selling really expensive mana and xp boosts, a fortune teller who has a really cheap luck session. Dungeons are randomized and now sometimes they have effects of their own. You could attack statues to increase your bonus gauge or get the bonus items from the dungeons. Some dungeons are bonus rooms that are dedicated to leveling up and getting special items and could only be cleared once you kill all of the enemies. You can take all the time you like to get the bonuses you want. At every 10 levels, you can escape or continue dungeons and you can also now visit the nurse to heal you and receive bonuses and also visit a shop that sells items based on the quality you have depending on the type of dungeon you visit.
You can attack bunny like humanoids to receive special items or xp boosts. One such special item is a resistance shard which increases the resistance a character can take in battle. The game now adds in a new elemental resistance feature: Star resistance.
Invaders from other netherworlds through the psn or switch network could appear anytime you are exploring the item world and defeating all of them gives you special bonuses but you could choose not too by going offline. The innocent world makes a reappearance which you can choose the type of allies you would like to have help you in the item world. There is also even an innocent farm in this game which means by leaving innocents in the farm while you complete battles, they grow and become more powerful as time goes by.
Unlike previous games where the maximum amount of floors one could traverse in an item was determined by its rarity, there is no limit to the maximum amount of floors for an item. Rarity now determines the stat multiplier for the item, and it is increased by the Item World.
The interrogation room is a new feature in the game where the enemies you caught in the capture squad are tortured through various means. Each method of torture can either be useful or not depending on the type of enemy you have captured. After interrogating them, you have various options. Create a magical extract based off the enemies you capture and the more powerful the enemy the more powerful the extract. You can make them a citizen of the pocket Netherworld, you can solicit a class that you have to an enemy of the same class to join you.
The Chara world is a reintroduced feature from Disgaea 4. It is similar to the item world but it plays out like a board game and you can choose your character. You have to spend a certain amount of mana to access the Chara world. You move around similar to how much you can roll dice and the step you are placed on has a different effect. You can also encounter rare exclusive challenging enemies and defeating them gives you lots of rewards like extra evilitiy slots or stat boosts.
When you reach the end of the Chara world before you could lose any turn, you warp to the special item room where you can acquire a variety of bonuses.
You can create maps and have your friends play on them and customize the Netherworld however you like. The strange assembly returns and functions just the same. Randomly one of your fellow overlord allies may be there to join a meeting and they can also use a special effect to get all of the senators to agree with your bill. You can build relations with other senators and have them on your side. You can change the playable character and change their colors through the strange assembly. You can also unlock more colors to get for your characters through the character color shop.
You can recruit characters through the character recruiter and you can spend money to give you extra bonus points to spend on increasing the recruited characters stats. You can even choose the type of personality your class character can have. You could increase the amount of characters you can have in your party the more you level up classes and your party.
The musical score is good but repetitive. There was some hiccups in the game. You have to fight the same bosses over and over again. Post game enemies become very challenging and you are going to take quite a lot of time grinding just to defeat them. When you beat the game, you also have the chance to go through new game plus with all of your stats and also the alchemy shop where you can create rare items.
This is by far my favorite entry in the series.
It gets 5 out 5 stars.
Well this is the best entry I have played in the series and it is on the right track to modernizing the series to really bring it to the next level.
Go for the console versions like the Switch or the PS4 like I have as I am aware of the fact that the pc version oddly has some missing features like the map editor.