Title: Disgaea 4 Complete+
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Reviewed On: Switch
Genre: Tactical RPG
The Disgaea series has always been there whenever I needed a good tactical RPG to play. Its over-the-top presentation and silly characters are only some of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed the series across each entry. Developer Nippon Ichi Software has spent some time bringing the series to new consols, and now it’s time to resurrect 2011’s Disgaea 4 with the release of Disgaea 4 Complete+ on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. With a handful of updated systems, this is easily the best way to enjoy this classic title.
Disgaea 4 Complete+ introduces Valvatorez, a vampire who is well over 400 years old and set on honoring a promise over anything else. This way of living has not only made him give up drinking blood, but it has also started a feud between him and the president of the Netherworld. The Prinnies, who are the lost souls of dead humans, are overcrowding the Netherworld and using up all of its resources. So, the way to mend this is to kill them all. However, this order just so happens to come after Valvatorez made a promise to them that they’ll all receive a sardine.
The premise is insane for the most part, and it leads them through some pretty intense realizations about how the Netherworld is run. Furthermore, it becomes much grander than the group could have ever imagined as they find themselves leaving the Netherworld. What’s hilarious is just thinking about and remembering that this whole quest started off to feed the Prinnies. If you’ve played this title before, it contains all of the new events and scenarios found in previous re-releases along with the option to play through the game with Japanese or English audio.
Gameplay in Disgaea 4 Complete+ offers more than just tactical RPG matches. There are many systems in this game that make it worth poking your head around the HUB world, Hades, and talking to the various citizens. Outside of typical shops to purchase items and equipment, players can create new units and as well as train them to become stronger. Also, skills and abilities can be taught to each of the groups to fit the player’s playstyle. Additionally, players can run a Cam-pain where they’ll be able to change rules and access new features in Hades. That said, some voters will need to be bribed with items to sway them to vote yes.
The systems in Disgaea 4 Complete+ are vast and make it possible to fine-tune your experience in the game by putting just a bit of playtime into learning how they all work. While some of these features are found in other Disgaea titles, I enjoyed how Valvatorez didn’t want to become this high and mighty ruler. Still, he goes with the flow so naturally that it made it fun to see him react to his various new responsibilities.
Gameplay revolves around choosing a mission from a list and entering a fight. Each mission begins and ends with an event that progresses the game’s narrative. Disgaea 4 Complete+ can be a grindy RPG if you don’t utilize all the various tools at your disposal. So, if you aren’t continually upgrading your weapons and building up your character’s skills, you may meet an early death. The game is played on grid-based maps where players will position their characters and execute attacks.
The tactical battles can be challenging at times, but there are some fascinating systems in this entry that makes encounters enjoyable. For one, players can morph their characters into a larger beast or even turn themselves into a weapon that another character can equip. Furthermore, Geo blocks are back to make players plan out the best way to approach levels and utilize their buffs or destroy them for a massive combo. Also, Peta-level spells are now in the game, which offers a nicely illustrated attack that causes enormous damage.
Disgaea 4 Complete+ has a lot going on, and it can be broken down a lot deeper than I have room to do in this review. However, it’s important to note that the systems all work. If used, players will have a more enjoyable experience overall. Although the game is challenging with many bad ending that can be encountered, there is a nice auto-save feature that triggers after a battle, which is helpful during those times that you forget.
Other new additions to the game include an increased resolution, which makes all of the illustrations look wonderful and several quality-of-life updates that make battles easier to get through like a skill speed adjustment option. Also, the updates added to Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited are all here from what I could see, but I might have missed something. However, the systems in the game rely on the player to understand how they all work, but given that there is so much, things can either get lost or forgotten as the player focuses on more necessary systems.
That said, I did run into a few errors where enemies were allowed to attack me through walls, and sometimes a character’s head would disappear when next to a stone. The missing heads might have been caused by the camera and didn’t affect the gameplay, but the attacks through walls did leave me confused.
Disgaea 4 Complete+ is a vast game and one that any fan of tactical RPGs should play. There’s no need to play the other titles to enjoy this one, so if this is your first time playing the series, then you’ll be experiencing one of the best. Each system in the game works towards making the player’s experience better, and the battle system is as addictive as ever. The story and characters are memorable, and that becomes truer in the later parts of the game.
Fans returning to the entry will find some adjustments here and there, but it might just leave you wanting a new experience overall. If you are a massive fan of Valvatorez, then, by all means, jump right back into this adventure. Disgaea 4 Complete+ is by far the definitive version of Disgaea 4 and offers so many hours of enjoyable storytelling and tactical RPG gameplay that it would be tough not to recommend.
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