Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny Review – Over the Top, Dood!

    Title: Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny
    Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
    Release Date: June 29, 2021
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: NIS America
    Genre: Tactical RPG

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is the latest entry in the Disgaea series. Known for its over-the-top presentation and story, along with its addictive tactical RPG gameplay, this series alone has brought hundreds of hours of entertainment to fans. To further evolve the series, we are introduced to a 3rd-dimension and a new protagonist that kept me coming back to the Netherworld.

Disgaea 6 introduces Zed, a zombie with a goal to defeat the God of Destruction who has threatened to destroy the world, which puts his and his little sister’s life in danger. The God of Destruction is said to be the strongest in the entire Netherworld. However, Zed possesses the ability of Super Reincarnation, which allows him to come back from death and become stronger.

Throughout his adventure, he meets plenty of other characters who join him on his quest. Some of the standout characters are King Misedor who preaches the value of money to an absurd degree, Princess Melodia, who wants to have a happy ending by any means necessary, and Piyori who is the leader of the Ultra Chroma Power Squad Prism Rangers that wants the show to gain high ratings.

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The story doesn’t take itself too seriously, even with the fate of the world on the line. However, the characters show plenty of charm and personality as they interact with each other, which quickly became the highlight of the scenes. The over-the-top satirical narrative is bolstered by a fantastic localization effort that nails the comedic aspect of the series.

Disgaea 6 has made the series transition from 2D to 3D. The anime art style and character models look great, mainly when they perform their special attacks. However, some of the animations during cutscenes take a few liberties when it comes to smooth transitions. Regardless, the locations visited throughout the game serve as decent set pieces for the adventure.

Disgaea 6 offers options for a Graphics mode, Balanced mode, and Performance mode. In Graphics mode, the game is noticeably more vibrant, but having too many characters on the field causes some slow down. Performance mode solves the framerate issues, but the character models appear unfocused. Finally, the balanced mode is the happy medium, which is what I ended up using.

There’s a fantastic soundtrack here that covers different styles while maintaining the unique Disgaea feel. Special mention has to go out to the base theme that goes for a jazzy vibe with vocals. The voice acting is available in English and Japanese, and they both sound great. The English voice actors did a great job of capturing the characters’ personalities provided comedic timing to the story scenes.

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Disgaea 6‘s tactical RPG gameplay has you fight your way through various stages and enemies. Many elements from the previous games returned, such as the Geo Panels, that have multiple effects, from boosting your experience to boosting your enemies’ attack power, among other things. Geo Blocks can also be destroyed to change the colors or completely wipe out Geo Panels, which fills up the Bonus gauge. The ability to throw your allies and enemies returns expanding your movement options, or you could just throw a Prinny, but they’ll explode when where they land.  There are some missing features, such as the Magichange, but to use in exchange for that, the Monster Class characters can now equip weapons that they couldn’t.

Like other games in the series, Disgaea 6 can be a massive grind, especially with the Level Cap being increased to the ridiculous amount of 99,999,999. However, the experience has been streamlined to include features that make grinding a little easier, such as the Juice Bar, which allows you to Level up your characters, Increase their Mana or increase their stats. There is also an Auto-Battle Mode that automatically plays battles for you, but this is a somewhat controversial feature as this isn’t limited to stages you have cleared, unlike the Auto-Repeat function that allows you to repeat stages you already cleared. I would’ve appreciated it if the Auto-Battle Mode was only reserved for those stages that I already cleared since the feature has been implemented to make the grind a little less intensive on the player.

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Characters can be equipped with various weapons with the option to use Super Reincarnation to set their level back to 1 but keep their current stats which can be enhanced depending on how much Karma you have accumulated for that character. In addition, each character has D-Merits, which are challenges that you can clear for bonuses. There’s a decent level of depth when it comes to customizing your party that emphasizes some of the series’s best systems.

You get to explore the Base between stages, where you can purchase weapons and items from the General Item Shop while getting the most out of the other shops such as the Juice Bar, Quest Shop, and Skill Shop. The Cheat Shop can be found here, where you change things such as the enemy’s difficulty or how much EXP you gain, along with the Dark Assembly where you can pass various bills, but you’ll have to convince the senate first.

Different from the previous titles, the Hospital grants you prizes since you heal after battles. The Item World levels up your equipment by exploring various worlds and defeating enemies. Unlike the story battles, you don’t auto-heal between the Item World stages, so you need to get to an Innocent Town to use the Hospital and replenish your items.

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Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is an awesome entry in the series that brings forth new characters and 3D graphics. The battle animations and tactical systems are as prominent as ever, with a cast that carries the story campaign from beginning to end. There are some moments of growing pains found in this updated graphical direction and added auto systems, but I still found plenty of enjoyment taking down the God of Destruction and showing my SRPG skills. Too bad so many Prinnies had to die along the way.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Heather De Boer

Been around the block as a Games Journalist for a year. Loves JRPGs, Fighting Games and Action games a lot but loves to dabble in adventure, horror and visual novels as well.

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