Disgaea 5 Complete (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Adam Riley 27.01.2017 10

Review for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

Even after numerous releases of the original Disgaea, it holds its own against competitors in the Strategy RPG field. The entire series has been heavily praised, and now Nippon Ichi and NIS America are bringing the fifth game to Nintendo's new system, which is quite the surprise given the lack of support on the likes of 3DS and Wii U. This is not a mere vanilla port of Disgaea 5, though, instead being the Complete edition with extra scenarios, characters, and classes included. Cubed3 got the chance to try it out at the recent Nintendo Switch Premiere event.

Ever played games like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, or Final Fantasy Tactics? Well, you will feel right at home with Disgaea 5 Complete. The action takes place in an overworld location, but one restricted in size and broken down into numerous squares, each representing one unit of movement. In the demo on offer, the action kicked off by allowing those in control to bring each member of the team through a special portal into the field, ready to take on the foes at hand.

The player and the enemy each take turns to move their pieces around the board with the smartest strategy, ultimately aiming to get into the right place and unleash attacks on the opponent and claim victory. Each character comes with its own limitations in terms of how far they can travel in one turn or the range of their attacks and/or magic, and the age-old formula of being able to hit harder from the side, behind, or an elevated position comes into play to add to the strategic element. All the core elements needed for an enjoyable SRPG are present and correct, as expected from a developer of such quality. The only confusion was why the demo was not being shown off using the Nintendo Switch in its portable form, allowing for the touch screen to be used. Instead, the older, clunky controls were required, dragging the cursor around using the analogue stick to carefully place it over the character you wanted to move/fight/and so on.

Screenshot for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

Only one battle was attempted due to time limitations, but figuring out the best plan of attack was still as engaging as ever. Strategy fans will be in their element, carefully placing weaker characters with long range attacks in the correct place, and then charging full pelt at less powerful foes with the leader of the allied group, but ensuring they do not get swarmed by too many enemies and quickly overwhelmed. Care and attention goes into how to take charge of the scenario, and whilst Has-Been Heroes seemed to try a similar style but in a different, more frustrating format, Disgaea 5 Complete hits the nail on the head in how to balance the action and strategy perfectly.

Keep on battling until the end, check out special collectible items around the arena, get allies close to each other to instigate powerful combination attacks, and even take the opportunity to hop onto another team-mate and reach platforms previously inaccessible whilst alone - the fun never stops! The Disgaea titles are renowned for their depth, and although this short hands-on obviously did not reveal that, there was still enough from the first battle to show excellent promise.

Screenshot for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

There is plenty to see and do amidst the turn-based fighting, and with eight extra scenarios promised, as well as four fan-favourite characters included, and three character classes new to this edition, Disgaea 5 Complete will not only appeal to newcomers, but long-term SRPG fans, as well. The depth of battles will test players' tactical skills, and the variety included will appeal to those new to the series. If the touch-screen works as smoothly as anticipated, this will be a must-buy for early Nintendo Switch adopters.


Nippon Ichi


NIS America





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Does it actually utilise the touch screen for gameplay? It surely does? Giving these types of games a new movement option would be a big bonus, since touch makes so much sense in these games.

I didn't get round to playing this on PS4, so even though I probably won't pick this up on Switch, it might make me get around to my PS4 copy sooner. Metallia is a DLC character, which I assume will be packed in for free in the Switch version.

Hmm, the only report I can find is NLife's from the US event where they say it wasn't working...but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't be in the final version. I've sent a Tweet to NISA about it. Would be a crazy omission...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I'm so glad this was announced. Easily my favorite Disgaea, just because of how accessible post game was.

Still debating on that limited edition though...

Image for

Tempting! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I am pretty hyped for this! Not because I am interested in getting the game as I have already beaten it, but because it looks like Nintendo is finally getting the JRPG makers interested in their home consoles. If this holds up and keep delivering new releases when they arrive I might not get the next Sony system as I personally get those almost solely for the JRPGs...

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

Thankfully, Nippon Ichi has already said that this isn't the only game it's bringing to Switch, which might be a blessing as it looks like the Switch version isn't doing too well in Japan, going off early pre-orders. You do have to wonder what sort of sales will be deemed "good enough," though. 20-30k lifetime? In Japan, the Day One offerings are:

- Zelda,
- 1-2-Switch,
- Bomberman,
- Disgaea,
- Nobunaga's Ambition,
- I Am Setsuna
​- Puyo Puyo Tetris

...and I might be forgetting something. From what I've been reading, those first four are the strongest sellers so far. It's interesting that reportedly 80% of console stock is sold out in Japan, although how that's been figured out, given we don't know the allocation for Japan, is beyond me.

( Edited 28.01.2017 15:49 by Adam Riley )

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Yeah, I do not expect Disgaea 5 nor Nobunaga's Ambition to reach any huge sales numbers as everyone who are interested in those games have them already, and many JRPGs have terrible replay value as they are long and story dependent. I know I am not going to use my sparetime replaying a 100 hours game anytime soon as my backlog of games I want to play is pretty long already. So I hope they do not go by this when deciding if it is worth it or not to deliver new games on the Switch.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

It'll be the same sort of situation again, with these launch games available on other platforms not really shifting many units on Switch. NIS games' home is well established on Sony platforms too, but the hope is that once the Vita eventually drops off, the Switch will be the next logical step for JP devs to bring their JRPGs to. It really would be amazing to turn the Switch into a JRPG machine, and NIS has already stated that they will likely be bringing their games to both PS4 and Switch going forward.

Even if it doesn't get great Western third party support, there is hope on the JP side. I think the fact devs have the opportunity to make their games portable is a big enough temptation, personally, so it's a shame more Western devs haven't jumped on and are declining to bring their games to it. Portable Mass Effect would be ruddy awesome.

The problem is that portable gaming does not exactly have the same status in the west as in Japan. I have sincerely seen people arguing that the fact that the Switch can be used portably makes it a worse console and that the games for it HAS to be cheaper to buy because of that... That alone says a lot about how portable gaming is viewed here in the west, and that mentality will affect the decisions of western AAA developers...

The Switch has all the potential in the world to turn into that JRPG machine though as that is a genre that benefits heavily from being portable and does not have to pay too high of a price for it. The problem is that most who want to play JRPGs already own the PS4 and/or PSV. The Vita is not that much of a problem as it is likely singing on its last refrain atm, but the PS4 might be a hard nut to crack. The advantage is that some people into JRPGs are not that heavily into western AAA titles that losing those would be a dealbreaker when buying a system, the disadvantage is the already HUGE instalbase of the PS4 and the fact that those who are also interested in western AAA titles are not going to switch to the Switch.

Nintendo really have to push that market as I think they can make a great profit long term if they can gain the long term loyalty of that market, and with that crushing Sony in Japan. Sony's biggest asset atm is that they sell great both in Japan and the west.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

I agree on a number of things there.

Definitely true that the JRPG fan base is basically at home on the PS4/Vita, but what Nintendo should be hoping to try and do is not try to become the number one JRPG machine, but coexist with Sony's systems as another place to play JRPGs.

Become what Xbox is in the West, and let consumers take their pick between which JRPG machine they want based only then on which exclusives they each have.

PS4/Vita = Sony exclusives and JRPGs
Switch = Nintendo exclusives and JRPGs

If Switch can get that JP dev support to be near the same level as what Sony is getting, people only then need to pick which one they want based on which exclusives they both have. But this is assuming Nintendo works to get that support. Releasing a console in the middle of a gen is always making things difficult for themselves, so it is understandable that they simply will always lag behind on support.

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.