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Disgaea 5 Complete (Switch) Review

by Donald Theriault - May 22, 2017, 3:25 pm EDT
Total comments: 5


A fine collection, but we’d be better off if one piece of DLC was left out.

Aside from a port of the first game in the series to DS back when it ruled the Japanese gaming world, Nippon Ichi’s Disgaea series has avoided Nintendo platforms until the Switch. The recent success of Fire Emblem, among other series, has given the company the confidence to bring a mainline Disgaea to the Switch, and it includes content that introduces every psychopathic main character in the series plus a few of the spinoffs. Disgaea 5 Complete is the first of what will hopefully be many high-quality Switch RPGs, but a couple of stumbling blocks might keep it from being remembered as one of the best.

The story’s driving factor is simple, almost to the point of an absurdist anime. The main character is Killia, a demon of the Netherworlds out to destroy the evil villain Void Dark with the “help” of the female demon Seraphina who seeks to have all men under her control. Together, they fight various other demonic overlords and form a rebel army to try and bring down the brute, bickering with each other and the rest of the party along the way. I found myself skipping the story sequences, especially when playing on the TV with other people around as the voice acting can get extremely grating. One person even compared it to the worst anime dub ever. Thankfully, it’s easily skippable. The vignettes for optional character introduction are more bearable since they don’t have as much voice work.

Each of the battles that move the story forward is a separate isometric battle map in which your army of 10 characters faces down the enemy. Different units have different movement ranges and attack distances depending on the move being used. The last army with a unit standing wins. The 10 character limit, which is in place for the majority of the adventure unless you take action to increase it, is both restricting and excessive. I found that I wanted to bring more units in for bigger enemies to get experience, but also found that too many units with similar movement ranges bunched up and caused them to take more damage from enemies or friendly fire. Increasing your party size involves a weird negotiation system that literally involves politicking your party members and a vote. Since all the characters are demons, it's perfectly legal and encouraged to partake in duels or bribery to try and swing votes.

The most common activity in any Disgaea game is grinding. Although it’s possible to roll credits on the game in 40 hours or so, completing all of the requirements for the in-game trophies will run you more than 150 hours. (Note: The trophies appear to be straight carryovers from the PlayStation 4 version.) Between easily repeatable levels and the Item World’s ability to power everything up, the grinding is simple. But achieving level 9999 and getting all of the bonuses from each of the maps based on your speed and skill in combat? Not so much.

Since this is a Complete edition of Disgaea 5, all of the PlayStation 4 version’s downloadable content is included. The character recruitment is fun and brings a lot of cool references to other games in the series, but unfortunately a character referencing the notorious kusoge series Hyperdimension Neptunia is included. As well, one of the included pieces is 1,000,000 HL (pronounced “hell”, the game’s currency) which makes the early game laughably easy. I kitted out my entire team with gear normally only affordable in chapter 6-7 following chapter 2, and still had 800,000 left when I was done. The option exists to heal all between chapters, and under normal circumstances it would be a difficult choice since the cost varies on health and spell points lost. But with a million on hand, it was no issue whatsoever.

While the voice acting is suspect at best, the music is totally fine. Graphically, the game looks great whether portable or on TV. The world is filled with a variety of little environmental touches that I only picked up on the third or fourth time through. The sprites stand out enough even working within the same gimmick: a lot of Disgaea games have red-haired heroines and blue-haired sidekicks, but even fighting on the same team they stand out. The conversation skits back at the home base also show off some fun character designs.

Plenty of competition for the strategy RPG dollar is out there – Disgaea 5 Complete hits Switch days after a new Fire Emblem on 3DS, after all - but Disgaea 5 is one of a kind on the Switch right now. It’s worth picking up if you have any interest in playing on the big screen. Just don’t download Nisa.


  • Great spritework and environment design
  • Lots of ways to adjust the difficulty
  • Most of the added content is fun
  • Contains Hyperdimension Neptunia references
  • Cringeworthy voice acting at times
  • Party size limiting

A code was provided by NIS America.


Triforce HermitMay 22, 2017

I laughed at HDN being a con.

EnnerMay 23, 2017

The Nega-Power of the Nep-Nep!

ForgottenPearlMay 23, 2017

I take it the original Japanese voices aren't an option?

Anyway, I liked Disgaea 1 and 2, but why do these games have to be so darn long?  I'm thinking of getting back into the series, but I don't know if I really have the time to complete this.

so, I was in the middle of Computer and PS4 borked crisis when this game came out originally, so I'm super duper stoked to install this on my switch and have a beefy SRPG with fun grinding aspects to both stream AND take around with me.

StratosMay 25, 2017

I was just talked into checking this game out by some co-workers. Might pick it up in June once school is out.

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Game Profile

Disgaea 5 Complete Box Art

Genre RPG
Developer Nippon Ichi Software

Worldwide Releases

na: Disgaea 5: Complete
Release May 23, 2017
PublisherNippon Ichi Software
jpn: Makai Senki Disgaea 5
Release Mar 03, 2017
PublisherNippon Ichi Software
eu: Disgaea 5 Complete
Release May 26, 2017
PublisherNippon Ichi Software
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