[PS4 Review, Dood!] Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is the first entry in the series for Sony’s PlayStation 4, and the jump from PS3 to PS4 has definitely helped this entry to become the craziest, most packed Disgaea ever.
As a new and terrible Overlord named Void Dark seeks to enslave the countless Netherworlds, one young demon has stood to end his reign—Killia. In Disgaea 5, lead Killia and his tenacious army of rebels on their dark and dangerous path to vengeance. Filled with more over-the-top action and hilarious writing than ever before, Disgaea 5’s damage numbers are surely headed for the record books.
New to the Disgaea series, your relationship with your teammates influences a new battle system called Alliance Attack. These special moves are only available to main characters and only when their relationships are appropriately aligned.
A familiar feature for Disgaea faithful, this system lets you choose from over 40 races and jobs, and identify new party members with the exact traits you desire.
A game about vengeance wouldn’t be complete without a character stat boosting system based on revenge, would it? The Revenge Mode empowers your characters with bonus stats when they’ve become fed up of their allies being beat on.
Explore the Netherworlds
While previous games in the series have shown a glimpse of the darkness that is the Netherworlds, Disgaea 5 takes you to a myriad of those dark lands.
Definitely over 9,000
In true Disgaea fashion, Disgaea 5 harnesses the power of the PlayStation®4 to deliver battles with a ridiculous number of enemies and outrageous damage.
Your main objective in Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is to travel across the Netherworlds as you try to unite all the Overlords and heirs to fight against the Demon Emperor Void Dark. Players take control of Killia, an enigmatic character that seems to be hiding something from the rest of the group. But will this secret be helpful for defeating Void Dark or will it jeopardize the whole thing?
After a short introduction, the game will properly begin in a pocket location under the rule of Seraphina, the Princess Overlord of Gorgeous, where players will be able to tend to their wounds, purchase items, weapons and armor, train to become stronger, and even purchase the DLC for Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance. This mini-hub will also provide players with access to the game’s campaign levels as well as to the tricky Item World, a realm where great items can be found but where great danger lurks around every corner. Oh, and before I forget, the DLC Shop is VERY important because you not only need to acquire the DLC you want, you also need to APPLY the DLC, and that can be done at the DLC Shop.
The Netherworld Hospital is an interesting element of the game where the more damage you get, the more prizes you can win. Yes, you read that right, I said prizes. You see, if you receive a lot of damage, then you must, therefore, be treated for it, which means you’ll need to spend more money to recover. Think of the prizes you get as a VIP client program where the more you “buy,” the more free stuff you get. And since you need SP to use skills, even if your HP is fine you should also visit the hospital to always have all of your SP available!
Items can be bought from the Rosen Queen Co. (for those of you who don’t know, the NIS America online store used to be called Rosen Queen before being changed to the much more formal NIS America Store). As is the case for the Netherworld Hospital, spending a lot of your money at the Rosen Queen Co. will be good for you. For this particular location, the more you buy, the better your Customer Rank, and when your Customer Rank increases the service will be better and you will, for example, get access to special discounts or get a better deal when selling your stuff.
New to this entry is the Revenge system that is triggered when party members fall in battle (hence the name), and it fits perfectly with the greater theme for the game. Another new element is the Alliance system (hey, look at that, so that’s where the game takes its name from!), where your relationship with the game’s main characters will directly affect the special attacks and skills at your disposal, all depending on how you’re getting along with him/her/it.
As usual, the first stage in the game serves as a tutorial where you’re taught the basics of battle. To get things started, in every stage you must select the Base Panel to access the list of characters under your control to be able to dispatch them into battle. Once a character is on the battlefield, you’ll be able to move them around, placing them close to the enemies to be able to attack or use a skill within the corresponding attack range.
Actions are only registered at first and must be executed before you can unleash your wrath on your enemies. Why doesn’t the game just allow you to select an action and have it register instantly? Because you need to exploit the game’s system and mechanics in order to use the most of enemy and ally units placement, using Team Attacks (where up to four characters can participate) and combos to maximize your damage output. The order in which you register the actions is also important since it will be the difference between defeating as many enemies as possible (and healing your group if you have the skill or items for it) and wasting valuable resources and time due to an improperly planned strategy. Also, the better you do in battle, the better the bonus you’ll get once you win, and this can include rare equipment, extra money, extra EXP and more!
At the end of each stage, the three MVP characters who helped the most with filling the bonus gauge will be rewarded with bonus EXP and Mana for being so awesome. Deciding who becomes the MVP for a stage can help you balance your team. Having a couple of overpowered characters is nice, but if you don’t balance everyone you’ll meet the game over screen before you know it.
And speaking of balancing your group, a visit to the Recruiter now and then is a must. This particular character will allow you to recruit (well, duh!) new characters for your team, and he’ll offer most of them in a male and female option. At first this might seem like a merely cosmetic difference, but the male and female versions of each character feature different stats and growth patterns, making one better at a particular thing in comparison to the other. Hiring a new character for your team costs money, and you’re also charged for the bonus you decide to grant to your new character. Once you’ve applied the bonus points to the stats you wish you improve, the final step of the process is selecting the level for the character. There are two things to consider when selecting the level for a new hire. First of all, the higher the level, the more money he/she/it will cost you. The second thing to consider is that you can’t just, say, hire a Level 9,999 mighty warrior into your team. You need to level up and be at least as strong as the level you want to bestow upon your new hire, so no cheating!
Thanks to the extra power of the PlayStation 4, battles are now crazy huge, with a ton of characters on screen. This also means that you must always be on high-alert as to not be overwhelmed. Seeing the classic characters from past Disgaea games is always fun, and the new characters from Disgaea 5 – dark nights, maids, fairies and more – fit nicely with the old gang. Seeing all of them together on the screen (the game can display up to 100 characters at once!) makes for a completely different experience when compared to previous entries in the series.
As you can see by now, I could go on and on about Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance. I’m a big fan of the series, and the latest entry is the best one yet. If you’re a Disgaea 5 fan, then Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is something that you probably have already pre-ordered, but if you’re new to the series, then this PlayStation 4 entry will definitely turn you into one.