Disgaea 7 Review – A Triumphant Return to Strategic Excellence
Disgaea 7 aspires to restore the franchise to its former glory, a time when it was hailed as the pinnacle of strategy RPGs, distinguished by its unique anime-inspired aesthetics and irresistibly engaging gameplay. Over the years, this allure began to diminish as the developers diverted their attention from the core elements that made Disgaea captivating, opting instead to clutter the experience with superfluous gameplay features. Disgaea 6, the most recent installment in the main series, fell short of expectations when compared to its predecessors. However, Disgaea 7 promises a return to form.
In contrast to earlier titles where the narrative centered on the Netherworld and its demonic inhabitants, Disgaea 7 introduces a fresh thematic twist with a Samurai backdrop. The story revolves around two primary characters: Fuji, a nomadic samurai, and Piririka, a young woman deeply committed to the Bushido code. Their alliance is an intriguing juxtaposition; Fuji is primarily motivated by financial gain and lacks a moral compass, while Piririka adheres strictly to her own Bushido-inspired principles.
The version of the Netherworld presented in Disgaea 7 adopts a feudal Japanese milieu, complete with residents who strive to maintain their age-old customs. Although Fuji identifies as a samurai, his principal focus is on amassing wealth. Piririka enters the picture by offering him a financial incentive to steer Hinomoto, the game’s setting, back toward its traditional cultural roots. Their collective journey evokes fond memories of the dynamic between Laharl and Edna from earlier games. The duo’s humorous exchanges with both allies and adversaries consistently enliven the gaming experience, even if the overarching storyline tends to be somewhat monochromatic.
Disgaea 7 successfully builds upon its legacy by incorporating the best elements from its predecessors while ensuring that the narrative and character development align with the qualities that made the original games unforgettable. By returning to its foundational principles, the game not only delivers one of the most compelling Disgaea experiences in recent memory but also introduces enough fresh content to attract newcomers to the franchise.
The game continues the series’ tradition of offering mechanics that could be considered game-breaking in the context of conventional RPGs, along with astronomical damage numbers that defy typical RPG norms. The Dark Assembly feature makes a return, allowing players to gain various advantages by passing bills. Additionally, the Cheat Shop provides an avenue for customizing resources. Essentially, the game actively encourages players to push the boundaries of its gameplay mechanics, unleashing outrageous combos and damage figures. While this approach may not appeal to purists who prefer a more traditional RPG experience, for those familiar with the older Disgaea titles, the gameplay feels even more exhilarating.
A noteworthy enhancement in Disgaea 7 is the introduction of new character classes, which add considerable strategic depth to the gameplay. The game offers nearly four dozen classes, each customizable, and most of which are unlockable through in-game quests. This design choice ensures that players are not overwhelmed from the outset. The level architecture is ingeniously built around geo panels, requiring players to exercise strategic acumen when positioning their party members. These panels serve as a creative outlet for the developers to introduce varied objectives in each level, making every mission a unique experience. It’s worth noting that Disgaea 7 is a challenging game that demands a high level of strategic thinking. If you are someone who finds the intricacies of party placement in strategy RPGs tedious, this game may not be to your liking.
In Disgaea 7, the complexity of combat is further enriched by the elemental and statistical weaknesses of enemies, which must be carefully considered alongside the influence of terrain and geo panels. Experimenting with new character classes, such as Zombie Maiden and Maiko, added another layer of enjoyment to my experience. In total, the game introduces four new classes, including the aforementioned ones. A novel mechanic that debuts in Disgaea 7 is the “Jumbify” feature, which transforms characters into colossal kaiju-like beings, each endowed with a unique “Jumbility.”
The game is replete with content, continually challenging players just when they believe they have mastered its mechanics. The customization options in Disgaea 7 are extraordinarily extensive, surpassing what I recall from previous entries in the series. The game’s length is justified by its depth; completing the main storyline merely scratches the surface of what it has to offer. To fully optimize your characters, you will eventually need to venture into the Item World, a realm with its own set of randomized levels and enemies. The Item World essentially provides an endless array of challenges, as it can be accessed through every item in the game.
I was genuinely impressed by the high quality of Disgaea 7, including its PC port. Notably, the game is compatible with the Steam Deck right from its launch, running smoothly at 60 FPS. This performance makes it a compelling portable option, particularly when compared to the Nintendo Switch version, for those considering the PC release.
Disgaea 7 Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software
- Developer: NIS America
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher