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Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless (Switch) Review

by Jordan Loades - November 8, 2023, 2:51 am EST
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One hell of a game, Dude!

Disgaea has long been a franchise I’ve had the desire to jump into. Not until the Nintendo Switch with Disgaea 5, as an early title to the system, did I have the opportunity to dip my toes into the series. For one reason or another (stares at Breath of the Wild), its deep amount of options and customizability made it a game that I couldn't devote the time to and so it sat in my backlog. Well now I’ve had the pleasure to reacquaint myself thanks to Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless and I’m happy to say it has definitely turned me into a fan.

Brought to us by Nippon Ichi Software and published by NIS America, Disgaea 7 is the latest entry into the long running strategy role playing game and aims to shake things up with a new setting for our underworld dwellers: Hinomoto, based on the Edo period. You begin your journey as Pirilika, an Otaku of Hinomoto and the Ewwdo period as it’s called in game. She longs to experience everything the land has to offer and her naivety and enthusiasm is a great conduit for introducing the fresh world to the player. She quickly meets up with Fuji, a wandering warrior who’s allergic to empathy and they quickly end up wrapped up in a quest to gather the seven founding weapons, those being weapons of immeasurable power typically held by a territory's shogun. If this premise hasn’t highlighted it enough, the story of Disgaea is oftentimes as silly as it comes, and that is a huge plus. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and yet the characters all have enough charm that when the stakes do get high, I found myself undeniably rooting for them. The story is told through visual novel style interludes before and after a stage, and you’ll want to sit through them all. The voice acting from the main cast is absolutely spectacular. From the bubbly (to the point of popping) Pirilika to the party shogun Yeyasu, everyone is entertaining to see evolve through the main campaign.

Gameplay is similar to previous entries in the franchise; you have a warp zone where you bring in your devilish hoard of units one by one, and these can be playable main characters or those that you have created and named yourself, of which in this entry there are 45 unique character classes. They range wildly but a key differentiator is that you’ll have human and monster character types. Certain weapons are only usable by monsters and vice versa, with classes specialising in different weapons between them as well as having unique special abilities. Your goal on any given stage is usually to defeat all enemies or the stage boss alongside a subset of five missions that you can try to accomplish for bonuses. The new gimmick of Disgaea 7 is the Jumbification system. When your rage meter is filled, by either taking damage or eliminating enemies, you’ll have the option to “Jumbify” one of your party members. What this does is make your chosen character tower over the map. You choose one side of the stage to spawn outside of and then you’re on your way to a crushing spree as if you just summoned all the Power Rangers’ Megazords. Your character abilities change in this form, too: you have an attack which will be an AOE strike against the enemies on the battlefield, and a “Gigaster Attack,” which is used if the enemy has Jumbified as this allows you to strike them directly. The chosen Jumbified character will additionally have a new passive ability. While initially it seemed like not much more than a gimmick, Jumbification does keep battles engaging as it can swing the momentum of a battle drastically, in your favour or otherwise.

There is a lot to do in Disgaea 7, with countless hours that you could speed honing your perfect team. Not only do you have the campaign stages, but you also can go into your items in something called the “Item World” and level them up. There’s so much possible with min-maxing every individual aspect of your characters. With that comes a lot of potential grinding; however, now it is generously mitigated through certain kiosks in your netherworld base. For example there’s a vendor that will accumulate additional exp from battles that you can choose to give to any one of your teammates reducing the grind required; in addition, you have the ability to auto-play stages you have previously completed with the help of AI. This is limited, however, with a currency called “Poltergas” that you accumulate from completing stages. Suffice it to say, D7 knows you’re going to want to grind and it has implemented systems to make that easier. Having a good set of AI rules for party members will also serve you well in the online multiplayer. For the first time in the series you can battle other players, but it is solely through AI-controlled characters. Essentially you wind up your favourite toys and let them go at each other. It’s a shame it’s not full blown online battling, but it’s worth giving it a shot for the possible rank rewards.

Lastly, we turn our attention towards the visuals, audio, and performance. This is the second entry that is moving away from the 2D sprites of the past. And personally the sprite look still resonates with me more, specifically when zoomed out and looking at the battlefield. Up close, these are nicely detailed models and they do get showcased very well with class special attacks. The musical tracks in the game feel “Ewwdo” era appropriate, and while nothing stands out as something to look up on Spotify, the sheer number of times I’ve listened to the music in the netherworld and still find it pleasing is worth noting. The Switch version has two performance modes–graphics and performance–which can be found in the settings. Docked or handheld with performance mode enabled, the game looks and runs well. I don’t recommend using the graphics mode as some stages have noticeable frame drops for very little visual benefit, but overall it’s extremely solid performance wise.

Disgaea 7 has been a fantastic ride. It’s a meaty game to say the least and should you wish to pour hundreds of hours into this game, you easily could. I for one am excited to see what I’ve missed from previous entries and will be there day one for the hopeful Disgaea 8.


  • Engaging story
  • Great voice acting
  • Lots of content
  • Can be grind heavy
  • Frame drops in graphics mode
  • Lack of true online multiplayer

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Game Profile

Genre RPG / Strategy
Developer Nippon Ichi Software

Worldwide Releases

na: Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless
Release Oct 03, 2023
PublisherNIS America
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