Review – Disgaea 5 Complete

One knows what to expect from a Disgaea game, the flagship title from NIS America as a whole; an adorable and instantly recognizable art style, gameplay akin to what Final Fantasy Tactics used to provide two decades ago, a good soundtrack, a mixture of innocent and mischievous humor, and a ton of penguins uttering the word “dood”. Disgaea 5 Complete for PC is no different, as this is game is (supposedly) the most featured-filled version of the fifth chapter of the franchise previously released on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Sadly, while the core game is good as always, calling it “Complete” is a bit misleading.

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Burn.

It’s only fair to start off by pointing out what’s good in Disgaea 5. Its presentation is very nice. While the game doesn’t stand out graphically, looking just like its first title released more than a decade ago, as well as earlier this year on the Switch, it more than makes up for it with its excellent character design and the fact that you can run it flawlessly with the less impressive of PC rigs.

The sound design is, without a doubt, my favorite aspect of this game, not only because the music in it is very good, but also due to its voice acting. It might sound weird, but I actually enjoy how corny it can be at times. Disgaea 5 Complete‘s voice acting follows the pattern from other Nippon Ichi games such as Labyrinth of Refrain: it’s well acted, but also campy and very over-the-top. It threads between the realm of cringeworthy and “so cheesy it’s good”, leaning mostly towards the latter due to the fact the game doesn’t take itself seriously to begin with. Just look at the Prinnies and their “dood”-infused dialogues and you’ll understand what I mean.

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Crashing a party with your entire posse.

This is fine and all, but there are two main issues with Disgaea 5 Complete that really annoyed me throughout the entirety of my playthrough.

The first main gripe is how the developers decided to ignore the implementation of the mouse in the gameplay. For some nonsensical reason, a game which could have profited a lot from having its entire interface accessible with the mouse has a limited usage of it. Character movements are limited to either the keyboard or a controller. Given the game’s huge amount of commands and weird button mapping, having a controller is more of a matter of necessity, bordering being an obligation, than just an option on how to control the game.

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If you’ve ever played a game developed by Nippon Ichi, you know what to expect from its art style.

The other big issue with this game is that despite the “Complete” in its title, this is not actually a complete version of Disgaea 5. Granted, all previously released DLC packs are included in the game, and there are literally hundreds of hours of content to enjoy, but there are some blatant features absent from this version, namely everything related to online features. No Strategy Assembly or Netherworld Edit Shop. No ability to share created levels online and let other players invade you. No other network tools you’d use in other versions in order to ease the grind that is Disgaea 5‘s endgame.

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Someone please gift me a Prinny plushie.

In a bizarre turn of events, the PC version of Disgaea 5 Complete ended up being the one with the least amount of features and bang for your buck. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a pretty good game and if you’ve ever played any other title from Nippon Ichi’s franchise you most certainly know what you’re going to get, but I can only truly recommend this specific version if you don’t have access to a Playstation 4 or Nintendo Switch. Not only are they more “complete” than this game, but I’m sure they’re also cheaper at this point.

Graphics: 7.5

The characters are well-designed and the game runs well even on less powerful rigs, but it’s the same visuals you’ve seen since the PS2 era. They do get the job done, but they are far from being jaw-dropping.

Gameplay: 7.0

The interface is decent and the controls are responsive, but the lack of mouse integration is a missed opportunity.

Sound: 8.5

The voice acting ranges from cheesy to so-bad-it’s-good, but all of the performances are so damn charming you can’t help but enjoy every single line of dialogue uttered in this game, especially when the Prinnies say “dood”.

Fun Factor: 7.0

The inclusion of all the previously released DLC is great, but the omission of elements that are present in other ports, such as online network interfaces, is baffling to say the least.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Disgaea 5 Complete is available now on PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Reviewed on PC.
A copy of Disgaea 5 Complete was provided by the publisher.

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