PS4, PC, PS5
June 28, 2022
NIS America, Inc.
Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
Ah Disgaea, you are a uniquely attractive and enticing series. Resting on its ultra-anime and fan servicey laurels, Disgaea as a series leads the pack when it comes to niche Strategy Role Playing Games (SRPG). Initially released as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (which we previously reviewed) dropped in mid-2021 to moderate fanfare and acclaim. Never a series to truly break through into the mainstream, it has enjoyed a dedicated fanbase since its inception in 2003.
Breaking out of Switch-exclusivity and onto PlayStation & PC with Disgaea 6 Complete, this is a repackaging of the main game plus all previously released content.
For the uninitiated, Disgaea 6 Complete follows the story of Zed and his companion Cerberus in their struggle against the God of Destruction, who threatens their very way of life. Utilising his unique ability, Super Reincarnation, Zed revives himself over and over again, getting stronger each time, as he strives to overthrow and destroy the God of Destruction to save the Netherworld, and more importantly his sister Bieko.
Our review of Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny said “Nothing really comes close with such a zany story, beyond ridiculous levelling, and an extreme amount of systems within the game… The 3D modelled characters will be hit or miss, and the current level balancing issues and lack of classes will certainly annoy fans.” A sentiment that I too share, as I found the game ridiculous-yet-entertaining, a bit of a systems overload, and completely imbalanced.
Our reviewer went on to ultimately say that Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is a “delightfully addictive game packed with personality and content”, and while I may be sitting around 20% shy of this overall assessment, there is certainly a lot to praise, and a lot to question, about Disgaea 6 Complete.
One of the defining features of Disgaea 6, and the series as a whole, is the sheer amount of systems thrown at you. There are the standard story missions, then quests, the Item World, the Squad system, the Juice Bar, the Dark Assembly, the Cheat Shop… it really does go on and on and on. Objectively there is too much to engage with, yet the game does a fair job of steering the player through each of these various systems so they at least make some rudimentary sense and can perform their functions.
As mentioned above, Disgaea 6 is totally imbalanced. The first chapter is a literal walk in the park, and about halfway through the third, there is an immense difficulty spike. As a newcomer to the series, but not to SRPGs, I found these difficulty spikes and dips to be really frustrating. It certainly ramped up the strategy aspect of the Strategy Role Playing Game, but in my opinion, to a level that was simply serving to annoy the player. Thank god for the ability to leave levels to grind without losing progress, right?
“…the included add-ons throw a slew of items and new characters at you that greatly alleviate this difficulty spike…”
With Disgaea 6 Complete, the included add-ons throw a slew of items and new characters at you that greatly alleviate this difficulty spike but throw the balance in the other direction by making a large majority of the game a breeze. I appreciated it overall – it made settling into the game quite easy and gave me a range of good characters to level up. Disagaea 6 Complete also comes with a generous helping of experience boosts to really push your levelling capabilities in the early game.
This is really it for new content for Disgaea 6 Complete, and honestly I felt like the package left me wanting more for its PlayStation and PC debut. With such a long lineage and history with PlayStation especially, I would have expected something a bit more substantial. The DLC packs that bring in the new characters are enjoyable little vignettes that give each one some light and often amusing backstory but adds nothing to the overall plot. These new characters are objectively some of the best in the game, and not having them tied to the plot in any way felt a tad disappointing. There are some clear improvements in visual fidelity and stability that come from porting from Switch to the more powerful consoles and PC, but for the most part, the game experience remains unchanged and much like the original release.
- Same engaging and entertaining base game
- Included DLC improves difficulty and aids the player in the early-game
- New characters are enjoyable, funny, and among the game's best
- Stability and performance improvements from the base game
- Game remains wildly imbalanced
- New additions are overall quite lacklustre
- Even with the reduced difficulty, the game's many systems are still overwhelming
Disgaea 6 Complete is, overall, a stronger entry in the series than the original Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny, yet still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to game balance, quality of life, and ease of use. The many game mechanics are simply too varied and plentiful, and while the game’s cast and plot are a fun ride, the best of them are left as afterthoughts as part of the pack-in DLC. The performance and stability fixes will be welcomed by those who struggled with the Switch port, as the powerful PS5 and PCs run the game with ease. I would say fans of SRPGs should definitely give Disgaea 6 Complete a spin, but expect a devilishly cheeky time that does not conform to the genre’s traditional values.