- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Publisher: NIS America
- Release Date: 29/06/2021
- Price: £53.99 / $59.99
- Review code provided by NIS America
Introducing: Disgaea 6 Nintendo Switch Review
I’ve always enjoyed a good strategy role-playing game, and even though Final Fantasy Tactics hooked me on the genre, it’s not the one I think of when I imagine a game setting the bar for the genre. There have been numerous srpgs over the years but lately it seems a wellspring has burst, flooding the Nintendo Switch with tactical games. Though I can’t claim to own them all, I can say I have a pretty hefty collection. Disgaea 5 Complete was the first srpg I picked up on the Nintendo Switch and I later added Disgaea 4. So picking up Disgaea 6 for review seemed right up my alley, right?
I had previously played a few entries from the series on the PS Vita so I knew what I was getting into, more or less. But for some reason, the Disgaea series has always intimidated me. And for good reason. There’s a lot to unpack in these games and the gameplay mechanics tend to be more complex. I hesitated picking up Disgaea 6 for review for that reason, but I’m glad I took the leap because it quickly became one of my favorite strategy rpgs. Keep reading to see why.
The Dramaturgy of Reincarnation
Like I said before, I’ve only played a few of the Disgaea games. From what I’ve seen, they’re all standalone stories, and sarcastic ones at that. The writing is over-the-top hilarious with the most bizarre cast. Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is no different. It centers on an underworld zombie, Zed. Zed, like other zombies, are at the bottom rung of the Netherworld pecking order and rarely account for much. Only Zed’s willpower is uncanny. There’s an ultimate God of Destruction who’s flexing his power and laying waste to any world or anyone in his way. Zed is persistent in his quest to vanquish the God of Destruction and is willing to die over and over again to see his wish through. He has a powerful motivator for wanting to succeed and is blessed with Super Reincarnation which lets him gain strength every time he dies.
The story in Disgaea 6 is entertaining and has a unique look on the traditional, “hero saves world” narrative common to rpgs. The writing is witty and the characters are so absurd to the point they’re charming in their own right. There’s a large cast and it was fun to see who would be added to the roster throughout progression. But having an A+ story and characters isn’t where my accolades end.
The King and the Hero
I mentioned how Disgaea can feel a bit overwhelming when you first step onto the battlefield. This is an srpg unlike any other. The battle system mechanics are intricate and just as absurd as the characters. Fortunately, Disgaea 6 was really easy to pick up. Each level introduces a new system both on and off the battlefield. Sure, it helped having a little knowledge from past games, but this entry is more accessible to new players with a lot of conveniences added. There’s a mode for repeating past battles and letting your team auto-fight. This makes grinding much easier. There are also new ways to share experience with your whole team and customize them in beneficial ways.
Returning fans will be pleased to see stacking characters and throwing your teammates around is still present. You can rack up huge levels and deal impossible amounts of damage. Disgaea is all about making every punch overdramatic and it fits perfectly with the outlandish plot and characters. Afterall, you’re facing the most powerful God of Destruction any world has encountered.
The turn based combat is still present but you can execute attacks and moves without ending your turn. Doing so lets you chain attacks and create team attacks to work toward the best bonuses all the while dealing exorbitant amounts of damage. There is a lot of strategy and tactics you can employ in every match which makes this one of the most comprehensive strategy games.
One of my favorite systems in the game also makes it infinitely replayable. Every item has its own random dungeon which lets you enter it. Each floor you clear upgrades the item. It’s a clever approach to improving your most used weapons or armor and makes grinding a bit more fun. And if you’d rather stick to the story levels, you can assign a squad to tackle the item upgrades automatically. The list of unique battle systems that make Disgaea a bizarre and memorable experience, go on and on.
Happily Never After
Disgaea 6 takes place in the Netherworld and as such uses a lot of dark shading and drab backgrounds. That’s not to say they don’t look beautiful. The artwork is gorgeous and the 3D characters look crisp with fluid movements. As the game opens up, it moves away from demonic characters in a hellish landscape to more luscious plains. Each level takes place on a unique world which are creatively concocted.
The music is just as eccentric as the rest of the game. For the most part it’s typical RPG background songs to fill out the game. At your home base a melodic tune plays with an artist singing beautiful lyrics. I couldn’t help but feel like the song was out of place, but that’s what made it perfect for the ambiance between battles.
The Meaning of Justice
From a technical standpoint, Disgaea 6 ran flawlessly. I didn’t encounter any bugs or glitches. Since I got my first Disgaea fix on a handheld device, it was hard to make the switch to the full screen. But once I did, it was hard to go back. Disgaea 6 looked and sounded incredible on my television. But whatever your preference, it played well in either mode.
I was reluctant at first to take on Disgaea 6 for review. Past entries weren’t as accommodating and the complex mechanics can be daunting. Disgaea 6 has a lot of quality of life improvements over its predecessors and has added new systems to make the whole experience flow better. It jumps right into the game without wasting time and I felt like a pro early on. There’s an abundance of content which makes it a great value for a high quality SRPG. If you’re on the fence at all, I highly recommend picking Defiance of Destiny up.
- Ton of Content and Customization
- Unique Take on Tactical RPGs
- Wonderful Cast and Story
- Excellent Replayability
- Complex Battle Systems can Turn Some Away