Too Many Overlords | Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance Review
Disgaea returns on the PS4 and I had a lovely time going deep inside the nether realm once more. Nippon Ichi Software has been known to make excellent SRPG games that provide a lot of hours of fun. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is no slouch in that department, as it’s the fifth mainline installment of the series. What makes Disgaea great is the fact that it never takes itself too seriously, which is great because it often pulls humor from pop culture and current events. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance follows the story of Killia, a demon who happens to have lost his memories.
He is seeking revenge against the Demon Emperor Void Dark. Killia meets up with Princess Seraphina, the other main star of the game, at the very beginning while Seraphina’s army was attacking another army named The Lost. Every main character in this Disgaea is an overlord demon. As you move along, you start meeting other overlords to join forces with to take down the Dark Emperor Void Dark. I kind of like the Killia character more than the other leads, if only because he’s not over the top like the rest of the characters. He reminds me of Disgaea 2’s main, Adel. The story does feel been there done that and it’s kind of disappointing as i didn’t really like much of the main cast.
Disgaea 5 does many things right to please it’s fan as well as newcomers. Since I haven’t played Disgaea since 3, I needed a refresher on how things worked. As you moved on in the story you are given tutorials on how certain skills and events work in the game. Disgaea 5 also gives you the opportunity to skip them entirely if you already know these things, but you can always reference back to them during gameplay. The difficulty in Disgaea 5 is just about right. I had no trouble with it after spending some time upgrading weapons and leveling up. All your options are not unlocked at the start of the game like recruiting members, and the infamous item world; they roll out after the first few hours of Disgaea 5, which is not a bad thing that it slowly teaches you how to use them.
Disgaea 5 is easy to play but hard to master unless you powerlevel your way up to lvl 9999 and even then, the enemies will still be challenging. A lot to do with that is the Geo Panels which give specific tile sets attributes that can either make or break your attacking formations. The Geo Panels are not exclusively new, but they do make some interesting bouts with enemies. New to Disgaea 5 is Revenge Mode.You go into Revenge Mode by filling up a meter which can only be filled if you and your allies either take damage or die in battle. In revenge mode, you gain a special attack that can really help you even out the odds. Also added to Disgaea 5 is the ability to use two weapons and you can use weapon skills of the second weapon.
Disgaea 5 runs smoothly. You may think that having HD sprites is not taxing, but it certainly was in Disgaea 4 on the PS3 and Vita. Disgaea 5 can run about 100 characters on the screen in full hd without hitching with full effects on, which is a big improvement of the previous titles. While the HD sprites do look good, they are not as sharp as they can be. It’s slightly jarring when the character portraits show up on the screen and they are all sharp and clean. Another thing i noticed is when the characters do show up in portrait style to move the story along, their mouths don’t move. You see a standing character portrait making expressions, but not actually talking out the words.
Overall, everything is presented well with the over saturation of colors and funny nods here and there; exactly what you would expect from a Disgaea game. One thing Disgaea 5 totally slays in is the music. I literally love the main hub world theme song. It might be a bit cheesy when the vocalist starts singing, but theres something about it that immerses me into the nether realm. I really love the item world theme. It’s practically a remix with something new in it, and it reminds me of the previous games.
Disgaea 5 will provide you with hundreds of hours of gameplay. The story is around 30-40 hours give or take, but the real fun begins afterward. If you’re a stat freak and like seeing real high level damage, leveling up your character is the way to go. Item world provides a very glamorous Disgaea experience. Newcomers need not be afraid of item world as it’s there to help you. It’s a very simple concept that will provide tons of hours of gameplay, and also get you thinking of different strategic formations.