A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disgaea 5 Complete is the latest release in the strategy role-playing game (RPG) franchise, and includes all of the previously released downloadable content (DLC). Players control a large cast of demon overlords, warriors, penguin-like characters, and others as they fight other monsters. In battle, players will wield everything from their fists and firearms to special abilities and even other characters. Attacks are cartoonish and over the top, with animations that are designed to make players laugh rather than cringe. There are plenty of innuendos within dialogue, as well as comments about sexual harassment and peeping toms. Female demons are shown pole dancing, and many female characters wear outfits with lots of cleavage. Alcohol can be gained and used to make senators drunk (which is encouraged) while "s--t," "bitch," and "ass" are used occasionally in dialogue.
What's it about?
DISGAEA 5 COMPLETE is set amidst numerous Netherworlds, extra-dimensional planets ruled by demon overlords. But when Void Dark, the evil demon emperor, suddenly appears with an army of more than one million soldiers called The Lost, he begins to conquer and devastate most of these worlds. It's up to a ragtag group of demons to join forces and seek revenge against Void Dark. Players will travel to worlds, gathering groups of allied demons and will engage opponents in turn-based battles. Expanding on the gameplay of the original title, this game includes new fusion attacks between teammates, a revenge meter to unleash on opponents, and squad based strikes that target every onscreen enemy. Disgaea 5 Complete also packs in all of the previously available downloadable content, which included characters, episodes, and character classes from previously released NIS America games.
Is it any good?
This edition of the tactical strategy packs additional content into a game that already bursting at the seams. One major feature of the Disgaea franchise has always been the sheer amount of gameplay included, but Disgaea 5 Complete is possibly the largest game released in this series. Players can make characters with more than 40 different classes to choose from, and work on increasing their skills to level 9999. They can learn new skills in shops and reinforce their equipment by fusing spirits to weapons and items, giving them new abilities. Players can even explore the worlds of items to strengthen this gear, or interrogate captured enemies to turn them to their side. That's not to mention the adjustments to the battle system, with its revenge gauge that unlocks powerful abilities, the team up skills that can be wielded by two or more characters in close proximity, or the squad strikes that can release group attacks against every onscreen enemy. Add to previously released content, like eight bonus episodes, seven fan favorites (like Laharl from Disgaea 2), and three new character classes, including Celestial Hostess and Kunoichi.
Needless to say, this game is deep – there's many more details that haven't even been mentioned that can take you hundreds or even thousands of hours to explore in this game. Arguably, that could be one of the issues against it – it's so big and involved that you might not ever fully explore the whole thing. Another issue that arises is that even with a degree of experience, you can still completely get lost with some of the battle mechanics. It can be very tricky to fully determine how to control the geo panels and geo symbols, environmental modifiers that can affect characters that step in their path. Strike an ineffective one, and nothing happens. Strike the wrong one, and you can damage your characters, while hitting the right one can create a chain reaction that makes your fight easy. It's a balancing act that clearly takes a lot of time to learn and master. Even with that caveat, Disgaea 5 Complete is a massive game that will appeal to a large group of gamers, especially strategy or role-playing game fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in this game acceptable because the combat is so over the top and cartoonish? Should you be concerned when some of the characters turn on their teammates in cutscenes?
Talk about strategy. Disgaea 5 Complete frequently requires you to adjust your tactics to survive situations that change in the middle of battle, but can you use these adaptive strategies in real life?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: NIS America
- Release date: May 23, 2017
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.