Disgaea 5 Complete (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Brandon (Michael) Howard 17.05.2017

Review for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

Nippon Ichi Software's Disgaea series has always excelled at pushing RPG tropes to their ultimate limit. Whether it's grinding out hundreds of thousands of levels for those few extra stat points, or maxing out items through complicated systems, Disgaea has found ways to make the mundane aspects of its genre exciting through its over-the-top visuals and characters. With so many different challenges and levels to complete, Disgaea 5 Complete feels right at home on Nintendo's newest platform.

Disgaea may take a few cues here and there from other strategy role-playing games, such as the Fire Emblem series and Final Fantasy Tactics, but that isn't what's driven the series' success. Disgaea still has classic strategy at its core, but it's made a career out of subverting the tropes that have made RPGs so successful over the years, and Disgaea 5 Complete is no exception, with its deep and immersive systems and overwhelming flair.

Unlike many RPGs, Disgaea 5 Complete isn't a story of heroism, but instead one of revenge. Seraphina and Killia, two powerful demons who have been wronged by the demonic Overlord Void Dark, somewhat reluctantly join forces to overthrow his growing regime. Throughout their journey they meet other Overlords who also seek revenge against Void Dark for various wrongdoings, creating an alliance bent on carrying out vengeance against the demon.

Screenshot for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

All of Disgaea 5 Complete's characters are vibrant and memorable, and the voice acting is especially on-point. All the characters might be demons with vastly different agendas and extremely loose morals, but they're charming and lovable in their own ways. The character development comes through in scenes before and after every stage, which provides a nice balance of gameplay and story; neither section ever feels too overbearing at one time.

The story is told throughout the course of 16 multi-stage chapters, making it one of the longer entries in the series to date. Each stage features unique environments, puzzles, and enemies that require careful strategy and outright grinding to complete. Stages are infinitely replayable, making it easy to come back to challenging stages after a few rounds of practice on easier levels. The new questing functionality even offers rewards for completing older stages, making it feel a little less painful to take the time needed to pump out those extra few levels.

Screenshot for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

Each stage offers a single point from which to deploy characters, who can move around the map based on their movement range, and attack enemies with various weapons, skills, and magic. Each character class has their different strengths and weakness, so building a well-balanced team is the key to success. Characters can also be picked up and thrown, making for some unorthodox battle strategies, and new ways to tackle foes open up as the story progresses.

Characters can level up all the way to 9,999, although the main story won't require quite that level of commitment. Most of the post-game content will require a bit more of a time sink, however, and players who want to explore all Disgaea 5 Complete has to offer should best be prepared for a long haul. Equipment is a whole other ball game, with each item having its own methods of powering up through the randomized dungeon known as the Item World. Again, the story mode generally won't require too much dabbling in this, but for post-game content, it'll be essential in claiming victory over the challenges faced.

Disgaea also allows players to directly influence game mechanics by passing bills or through the in-game Cheat Shop, which can adjust the power level of enemies, as well as experience, money, and resource modifiers, allowing for more efficient grinding, or gruelling challenge runs. There's tons of different ways to tailor the experience to best fit an individual playstyle, which definitely helps as players dive deeper into the wealth of content hidden deep within Disgaea 5 Complete.

Many of the Disgaea series' more opaque systems are a lot more accessible this time around. The character creation is still both extremely detailed and easy to master, while unlocking new classes (something that was often somewhat hidden in older games) is loaded into the much more visible quest system. The "Innocents" system, which can power up and strengthen items, is also a lot more user-friendly, offering a convenient place to store and manage the various parts the system requires.

Screenshot for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

All the accessibility options make this one of the more beginner friendly Disgaea titles out there, especially for those looking to dig deep into the post-game. The natural progression systems feel much less steep than in previous titles, and it never reaches the point where it feels like a slog to keep going on. The DLC added from the PS4 version also works overtime, simultaneously offering new challenges and a variety of characters to make the game a little easier for series newcomers.

The controls all work great, whether through the Joy-Con, the Joy-Con Grip, or the Pro Controller, though it must be mentioned that the lack of touch controls is slightly disappointing, if not understandable given their absence on the PS4 version. There's also options for inverting the control set-up for those who want a slightly different input/output correlation, so the controls will always feel very natural.

Disgaea 5 Complete retains the over-the-top spectacle of its predecessors, while never feeling like an unending, impossible grind. The story and characters are just as hammy as ever, but that's one of the most endearing parts of the series, and there are still some standout impactful moments that keep the plot engaging through its 16-chapter long epic.

Screenshot for Disgaea 5 Complete on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Disgaea 5 Complete is a natural fit for the Switch, as the features that make it more accessible than older titles in the series are highlighted through the portability of the platform. While already an excellent SRPG in its own right, the DLC added into the core game both provides a definitive experience for series veterans, while also offering several slight handicaps to newer players. Disgaea 5 Complete's strategic depth and genre-savvy charms feel perfect at home or on the go, making it an excellent addition to any growing Switch library.


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   


Comments are currently disabled

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.