Disgaea is a charming experience, but takes a lot of work.
I really enjoy strategy role playing games, so it was great to hear that the Disgaea series was making its way to the Switch. I’m not that far into Disgaea 1 Complete yet to give a comprehensive review, but I can tell you at this point that Disgaea does scratch the SRPG itch in a satisfying way. That said, it’s also a bit daunting for new players, such as myself, who are just getting their feet wet with the series.
Disgaea’s main protagonist is Laharl, a demon prince who awakens from a two-year slumber to learn that his father, the king, has passed away. His goal is to reclaim the throne that rightfully belongs to him. Along the way, he’ll encounter many characters that help—and also hinder—his quest to be king. The first Disgaea game is chock full of humor, and thus far I have very much enjoyed all of the characters and their interactions, including the Prinnys, d00d.
Gameplay-wise, Disgaea is like any other strategy RPG: you put out a number of characters with standard job classes whose job it is to clear out a battlefield full of imps, dragons, mages, warriors and more. The core of the gameplay is perfectly fine, and not too out of place compared to other role playing games. But to be really good at Disgaea, there’s a ton of other little things that add to the gameplay, such as using the right weapon, chaining bonus combos for more items, and effectively using geo panels (panels that effect gameplay stats if you or the enemy step on them).
It’s a lot of take in, but there’s also a ton of other things that take time to learn, such as finding ways to earn money or effectively using the Dark Assembly (where you create characters and bribe senators for perks). There’s a ton of content to wade through. There has never been a time so far where I’ve grown frustrated over the learning curve, but there have been a number of times where I’ve felt lost and have had to read tutorials just so I get through a level successfully.
Disgaea 1 Complete is a fun strategy game thus far, but not without its flaws. The game is a total grindfest, taking hours just to make some small progress. And there’s so much information and so many gameplay quirks to learn that it took me a good while just to fully understand it all. I don’t think that Disgaea is for everyone, but it’s a very competent strategy game with good humor. It’s worth a look if you’re willing to put the time in.