Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless
- Story And Setting
- Visuals And Performance
Disgaea 7 is the pinnacle of the series. Whether it’s improving existing mechanics or introducing new ones, it simply does everything better.
- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software
- Release Date: October 3, 2023
- Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 5, PC, Nintendo Switch
- Tested On: PC, Nintendo Switch
- Great Combat
- Team Building Possibilities
- Strategy Focused
- Humorous Dialogue
- Performance Issues On Switch
- Grinding Could Scare Newcomers
From Nippon Ichi Software comes the latest entry in the long-running Disgaea franchise, Disgaea 7: Vows Of The Virtueless. On the title’s official Steam page, it reads ‘Disgaea is back and better than ever,’ and you know what, that statement rings true for the most part.
The game polishes up all the mechanics from the previous games, while also introducing a ton of new content to keep the formula fresh. So let’s dive into the review and see what the hype is all about.
Story And Setting
Instead of the classic Netherworld setting that the Disgaea series is known for, this game is set in an Edo-era Japanese setting this time around. The story starts off with Pirilika, a wealthy businesswoman who is engrossed by the land of Hinomoto Netherworlds.
On her first journey there, she quickly realizes that the people of Hinomoto have long forgotten the concepts of Bushido and have become enamored with power. She also lands herself in a bit of trouble soon enough, and Fuji, our protagonist, intervenes to save her just as she is about to be attacked.
The majority of the entries in the series follow a formula that incorporates quips and witticism into the conversation, and the same is true here.
However, he states unequivocally that he will only protect her if she hires him as a sword. So in order to repay his massive debt, he enters into a contract with Pirilika.
So as a down payment, Pirilika offers Fuji a renowned weapon, one of the Seven Weapons of Origin no less, and our protagonist quickly realizes that the sword is one of the seven founding weapons and even gets accepted by the sword as its owner. So the two join hands and set out in order to restore Bushido to the land.
Throughout the story, more faces are introduced and each of them grows in their own unique way. By the end, I had grown attached to most of these characters, particularly their endearing connection with one another, which made the dialogue feel quite natural.
The majority of the entries in the series follow a formula that incorporates quips and witticism into the conversation, and the same is true here. There are some serious beats here and there, but everything is delivered with a heavy dose of humor.
At first sight, Disgaea 7 may appear to be your typical strategy-based RPG, but there are several factors that work in its favor and distinguish it from other games in the genre.
Of course, battles are conducted in a turn-based fashion, like in other strategy RPGs, and You must methodically plan your moves and take out your opponents while staying out of harm’s way. How it differs, is that you can move all of your units around during each turn.
Disgaea 7 may appear to be your typical strategy-based RPG, but there are several factors that work in its favor and distinguish it.
Orders do not have to follow a specific logical flow, and they can even be out of order. You can, for example, send commands to your warrior to fight the opponent and then retreat to the backlines to be healed.
The advantage of this approach is that you may issue these complex commands to your forces on the battlefield. However, the actions will not be carried out until you press the Execute button. This allows you a lot of leeway when it comes to strategizing and maximizing your plan of action.
Once you have committed to your actions, the other side gets their turn, and the cycle continues until one party is wiped out. On the surface, this core mechanism may not appear to be difficult to grasp, but the vast number of elements that you must examine before each engagement is what makes Disgaea 7 so difficult.
With over 40 classes at the player’s disposal, the amount of teams and strategies that may be devised is virtually limitless. Furthermore, the type of vulnerability, the style of the map, and the new Geo Panels all have an impact on the combat.
These Geo Panels can grant buffs or debuffs to the units standing on them, and you can also destroy them to change their colors. Keeping all of these considerations in mind, maneuvering a squad around the unpredictable battlefield is not easy.
Jumbification is another new feature that allows your units to transform into massive, powered-up versions of themselves. In this boosted form, your units can deliver massive damage over a wide area or even attack other Jumbified units. This state only lasts three turns and only four units can use this ability simultaneously.
A few units can also employ the previously described Seven Weapons of Origin. Characters with this ability have a Hell Gauge that slowly fills up during battle, and when full, you will be able to enter Hell Mode and gain access to incredibly strong techniques.
All of these features add a lot of variety to the combat, and it’s a lot of fun to see the numbers go up anytime you use these. One of the most appealing aspects of Disgaea games has always been the ability to grind out levels to your heart’s content.
One of the most appealing aspects of Disgaea games has always been the ability to grind out levels to your heart’s content.
It is an absolute joy for people like me who enjoy progressing through levels and dungeons until their units and equipment reach maximum level. But, like with all games in the series, there is always potential for improvement, and Disgaea 7 is no exception.
The level cap for characters is only a suggestion, as you can rebirth your character and grind up their stats again. Furthermore, you can level up your skills, items, and equipment. There is a large variety of equipment and items in the game, thus there is a lot of room for personalization.
Taking all of this into account, grinding levels and equipment might easily consume several hundred hours in Disgaea 7.
In addition to the primary game mode, you can access a variety of different modes. These include a tournament mode, a ranked match mode, and a Demonic Shogi variant. All of these other modes are enjoyable on their own, and you can easily get lost in them while attempting to complete a specific side quest.
Visuals And Performance
Disgaea 7 takes and improves on Disgaea 6’s 3D art approach, polishing it even more. Character models have much smoother animations that bring them to life, and each strike seems fluid and weighty at the same time. Takeshi Matsumoto’s OST is an excellent complement to the game’s themes.
When it comes to how the game plays, players have two options when it comes to the Nintendo Switch; Graphics and Performance modes.
Disgaea 7 takes and improves on Disgaea 6’s 3D art approach, polishing it even more.
If you don’t mind the occasional framerate drops, go with Graphics Mode. This makes the game look really pretty, but when it comes to special abilities and Jumbification, the stutters are very obvious.
Performance Mode, on the other hand, provides a steady framerate at the expense of a minor graphical reduction. However, this method is not without flaws. If you choose Performance Mode, you will have to deal with frequent texture pop-ins, which might become very bothersome after a time.
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is possibly the pinnacle of the series’ trademark formula. Whether it’s fine-tuning existing mechanics or introducing new ones to keep the formula fresh, it does everything better than ever before.
The game is also visually appealing, with flowing animations and an excellent soundtrack. Although there are some performance concerns with the Nintendo Switch, they are not significant enough to prevent you from playing the game.
And because there is no actual bridge to the prior games’ stories, Disgaea 7 is the ideal starting place for newcomers to the series. Furthermore, the game concepts are simple to comprehend but difficult to master, making it ideal for those looking for an outstanding SRPG to play.
This has been our Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
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- Resident Evil 4 – Separate Ways Review.
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- Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Review
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Why You Should Play This Game
You should play this game if you are even slightly interested in SRPGs. The sheer variety of items and team-building allows the players to come up with virtually endless strategies and play the game in their own way.
Why You Shouldn’t Play This Game
You shouldn’t play this game if you’re looking for a story that takes itself seriously. This game is also not for you if you are the kind of gamer who does not like grinding at all.
Who Is This Game For?
This game is for both, long-time fans as well as newcomers to the Disgaea franchise. Everything has been polished to the max and the Disgaea formula is truly at its peak here.
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