Review: Disgaea 5 Complete is the inescapable demon realm of your dreams

When we wrote about the original PS4 release of Disgaea 5, we said it was a maddening mix of content that would either consume your every waking moment or bring you down trying. It had so much to do that you’d never be able to escape.

Here’s the thing, though: with Disgaea 5 Complete, that’s actually okay.

First things first: Disgaea 5 Complete is essentially the same game we reviewed in 2015, and you can read that if you want to know more about the game’s systems. We’re only going to talk about the differences here, which are few but ultimately very important.

Included in the package, as you may have guessed from its “complete” moniker, is all of the game’s add-on content. And it’s a lot!

Included in the package, as you may have guessed from its “complete” moniker, is all of the game’s add-on content. And it’s a lot! Not that this game needed any more stuff, but a collection of guest characters from other Disgaea games (and even some from adjacent NIS franchises) is welcome. Not all of the stories in the series are great, but chances are that you have an affinity for one or two, and you can revisit old friends while you stare into the endless abyss of tactical combat. There are also a few interesting character classes, which can shake up the early game if you’ve played it before. If you’re concerned about this extra stuff being too much stuff, well… know that Disgaea crossed the “too much stuff” line about a decade ago and isn’t looking back, so a few extra pieces won’t tip the scales.

The transition to the Switch from the PS4 was… actually great? Complete loads more quickly and runs very well, and never will you feel like you’re playing a compromised experience. This is especially true undocked; the sharp screen makes Disgaea look visually impressive for what may be the first time in its history.

Past handheld ports have shown just how much better the series is as a travel partner than something to settle down in front of the TV and play for uninterrupted hours on end.

More importantly, though, the Switch makes Disgaea 5 portable. Past handheld ports have shown just how much better the series is as a travel partner than something to settle down in front of the TV and play for uninterrupted hours on end. Now it’s also the best version to play when you are at home, and this freedom and ease benefits Disgaea more than any other game we’ve seen. It lets you combine a deeper console experience with the sort of always-there addiction of mobile titles, a hybrid for which Disgaea seems suspiciously well-suited.

And at the launch window? There’s no better time to have a Switch title worthy of depth and repeat play, a game you can switch to whenever you need a Zelda break, or a Super Mario Odyssey break, or a break from whatever big game Nintendo releases in 2021. Because you won’t be done with Disgaea yet then, either.

Score: 9/10
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Platform(s): Switch
Questions? Check out our review guide.
A review copy was provided by the publisher or developer for this review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *