Disgaea 4 Complete+ – Nintendo Switch Review

Overview – developed by Nippon Ichi Software and published by NIS America, Disgaea 4 Complete+ is the definitive version of the tactical RPG originally released for the PS Vita and PlayStation 3. This release features updated HD Visuals, refined gameplay and all additional content from the previous iterations. This version of Disgaea 4 is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam, links to purchase this game will be at the bottom of this review.

Disclaimer: this is a rewrite of a previously published article, updated to fit the quality and standard of other reviews that are on this site. The previously published version of this article is no longer available, so this is the only version of the review for reading. This release was provided by NIS America for review at the time that the initial coverage was published. The provision of this title has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.

Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review, starting with the story.

Story – the vampire Valvatorez, a former tyrant who once terrorized both the Netherworld and the world of humans has become a Prinny instructor in the Netherworld prison of Hades. Here he trains Prinnies, souls of dead humans transformed into demonic penguins in order to atone for their sins and be reincarnated. After the completion of training the latest batch of Prinnies, Valvatorez makes a promise to give each of his trainees a sardine.

However, before he can fulfill his promise, the Prinnies are taken away by a vortex that suddenly opens up. After locating the lost demons, Valvatorez learns that the president of the Netherworld Corrupternment has ordered the mass extermination of the Prinnies. Disgusted by the behavior of the president and infuriated that this will interfere with the promise he made, Valvatorez sets out to stop the plans of the president by reveling against the Corrupternment.

Gameplay – Disgaea 4 Complete+ features all the trademark mechanics that the franchise is known for. The isometric camera angles, 2D anime style sprites, vibrant 3D worlds and chaotic turn based battles return, with new features exclusive to this installment. I have covered the basic mechanics of Disgaea previously with my coverage of Disgaea 1 Complete which can be read (HERE). However, I will still provide a summary of the gameplay below.

The story takes place through several chapters, made up of a series of battle stages each with unique appearance based on that chapter.  During battle the player can deploy up to 10 units from the starting position, with each unit be able to make up to two actions per turn. The actions that can be used each turn include attacks, special skills, movement and item usage.

When actions have been assigned for that turn, the player can execute the current actions to make more moves or end the turn, executing current actions and passing to the enemy. Be aware that if a unit is defeated, the slot that the unit was using is depleted, meaning if all 10 slots are depleted the battle is lost. The player may then retry, return to the home base or go to the main menu.

In battle, the units that are deployed will gain experience by using skills, defeating enemies and completing objectives. After earning enough experience, the unit will level up, gaining new skills/attacks and boosting their stats. Alongside experience is Hell and Mana, two forms of currency that are earned during play, primarily used to purchase new equipment and giving access to various features while in the Netherworld home base.

The home base in this release includes many of the features present in other Disgaea releases, with the Rosen Queen merchant stores, Dimension Gate, and Item World present. Now with the summary covered, I will be discussing some of the new content that is exclusive to this release. Please note, that the features and mechanics I will be discussing here are new additions to this title when compared to both Disgaea 1 Complete and Disgaea 5 complete (which will be covered soon).

New Features;

  • Geo blocks – replacing the pyramids used in Disgaea 1 Complete, the Geo blocks are stackable and can alter not only the effects of the field but the terrain itself, being used as bridges, blocking steps and making up towers, if a matching block is dropped next to existing blocks a chain will occur and blocks will be destroyed.
  • Skill and Evility changes – a new feature in this release, skills are no longer improved by leveling up, instead skills must be improved by paying mana to boost the range and power of each ability. Secondly, the Evility system uses mana to purchase new passive skills that offer improvements for each character. These new systems put an increased focus on earning mana with favored units to strengthen them quickly.
  • Cam-Pain Headquarters – an alteration of the Dark Assembly, given the political themes of the game the player can place units on a map, moving them freely. The dark senate is situated here, allowing the player to create new party members. New structures can also be unlocked and placed on the map giving new skills among other new features available in this mode.
  • Network Features – in the Network mode, players can share characters between netherworlds to either help or hinder others, battle players in challenging battles and join the rankings to earn special rewards.

A disclaimer for users, there are micro transactions implemented in this release but they have no impact on the way the game functions, apart from providing boosts for players who may be struggling to progress.

Now with the gameplay covered, I will be moving onto the other aspects of the game, starting with the difficulty.

Difficulty – the difficulty curve of Disgaea 4 Complete+ feels a little more intense than other releases in the Complete line of remasters. The changes to leveling and skill advancement increase the amount of grinding required, increasing the need to grind earlier stages to boost units in the party. The difficulty increase is most prevalent during the early stages of the game and when creating new party members, requiring heavy grinding to prevent defeat as the story progresses.

Presentation – this release features the same anime style visuals that the franchise is known for, featuring beautiful character portraits and outlandish animated cutscenes for special attacks. The thematic stages are unique with each chapter, keeping the experience fresh throughout. Like usual, the overall visual quality of the presentation is outstanding and of the same high quality that Nippon Ichi Software is known for.

The sound design still has the grand and spooky feel to it that other Disgaea universe titles have. Classic melodies return, with the Rosen Queen Co theme and a retro styled rendition of Laharl’s Hymn. The voice acting for the English language track is of high quality as usual, with reputable voice talent from anime and video games. The cast for this release include Troy Baker (Naruto, The Last of Us), Patrick Seitz (One Piece, Kill La Kill) and Kate Higgins (Naruto, Neptunia Franchise).

Final Thoughts – overall this is a great game, however there is a couple minor issues. First, the difficulty increase and the need to grind more than other titles can be a source of frustration. The other issue I found were the micro transactions, which are not intrusive but don’t fit the overall gameplay style of Disgaea. These changes can be jarring when first playing the game, but are otherwise a minor inconvenience to the overall experience.

While there are some things the game hasn’t done well at, there are many things that Disgaea 4 Complete+ excels at. The presentation of the story, additional content on offer and the high quality of the HD remaster makes this the definitive iteration of the game. I have no issue recommending this title to fans of the series, as the charming characters and quality of the game in general make this release of Disgaea 4 well worth picking up.

In the end, I give Disgaea 4 Complete+ a final score of 4.5/5. An excellent remaster that has the trademark high quality that Nippon Ichi Software is known for. The characters, story and environments have that signature Disgaea charm, alongside a wealth of additional content that will keep you engaged for a long time. If you want to check this title out for yourself, links to each version of the game will be available below.

Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

Link to PlayStation 4 version (HERE)

Link to Steam version (HERE)

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