Review by richardewi

Reviewed: 05/31/16

Best Disgaea thus far!!

Wow! The reviewer before me was very thorough, so I won't be going into as much detail as he did. In fact, I will begin this review by suggesting that, if you've never played a Disgaea game before this one, go to their specific website for this game (Disgaea5.com), or go to NIS America's website and link up to it. The custom website does a great job of giving you a broad overview of this game, all the new features, and character profiles. I highly recommend it.

Now, for this game itself, it is simply the best of the Disgaeas thus far, hands down!

The first thing I noticed (on my new PS4 system, of course) were the finely-detailed HD graphics, making the game look bright and cheery..and the game is covering demons and Netherworlds and such, so you wouldn't expect those locations to be called bright and cheerful, but there you have it. Each location you visit in the game has its own theme, more or less, and as you play through the game you will notice that each map has a special effect that will hinder you in most cases.

Secondly, as a veteran of this series, I was happy to note how easy it is to level my characters during the main story. If it was easy before, it's really easy now, with such game "tricks" as the item levelup feature (every time you use an item 8 consecutive times you gain a level), and of course the tried-and-true tower stack method for distributing EXP to multiple characters. There's even a map very early in the game that you can use to levelup your characters expressly for that purpose (2-1)! You say you want to level up your mages and witches, who are not frontline fighters? No problem! Just complete map 2-1 a couple of times using the tower-stack method, and your weaker characters will be caught up to the same levels as your mains.

Now, all the other features that we've grown to love and appreciate, such as the Item World and the Chara World, are back and better than ever! In particular, the Chara World is now fun to play, and rewards you for continuous use by improving your characters' basic stats and aptitudes.

Other new features are: the Quest Shop, and the Alchemist. These are my two personal favorite additions to the series, but I also loved having the Innocent Farm and being able to craft my own dual-stat innocents! I absolutely love the fact that item duplication was reincorporated back into the game, as well, with the Mystery Room feature!

And finally, I will talk a little about the story. Up until now, I treated the main story of each Disgaea as simply a means to an end--after all, you have to complete the main story to get the platinum trophy, right? The main story is referred to by most veterans as "the warmup to the main event." During the main story, you can refine your battle tactics; select your favorite characters and start leveling them up; and practice some of the finer points and skills that are available to you (anyone remember having to first learn then levelup Big Bang in Disgaea 4?). Well here in D5 the main story is a whopping 16 chapters long, the biggest by far of any game in the series, and you know what?--it's actually a good story. I won't be revealing any spoilers, but I will say that this main story is all-encompassing and really does a great job of fleshing out the main characters and making them matter to the player. Right now, everyone that I spoke to about this game loves Red Magnus and hates Seraphina. I happen to have loved the character of Seraphina, and would love to see her and Red Magnus appear in future Disgaea games as well. Really good story development for this huge game, and I appreciated it.

Well, that's my amateur review of this terrific game. I didn't give it a 5-star (perfect) rating because then there would be nothing to strive for on the next game of the series. After all, how do you improve on perfection? But I do hope that this review will entice you to purchase this game if you haven't done so already. It's well worth the price of admission! Happy gaming everyone!!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (US, 10/06/15)

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