Reviews - Updated on July 11, 2022

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The iconic JRPG is getting closer to the people

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny, the latest installment in the cult Japanese tactical RPG series to date, was released in the summer of 2021 on Switch and almost exactly 12 months later made it to PS4, PS5 and PC under the name Disgaea 6 Complete – it includes all the released add-ons. Are those who criticize the game right? Is it worth playing on PC? And is it true that this part is ideal for getting to know the series?

Zombie named Zed

Let me start with the last question. It is clear that the cult series, large and significant, has been coming out since 2003 and by 2021 it has sold 5 million copies, acquiring, as usual, anime, manga, short stories and merchandise. And the newcomer really wants to touch the cult of Disgaea. But here it must be warned that this game can become the embodiment of all the fears and prejudices with which they approach any Japanese RPG.

Incomprehensible name, it is not clear what is happening, a lot of mechanics, characters gain hundreds of levels per minute (in Disgaea 6 the maximum is 99,999,999!) And deal 10 thousand points of damage, they have a lot of indicators, a lot of numbers are constantly displayed on the screen, which complicates already difficult navigation. Cumbersome management and a grind raised to the status of a cult (hence such a transcendental “level cap”) are attached. And in the title role … a zombie kid with a horn on his head, who is helped and advised by a zombie dog.

Yes, the one on the left is the main character, although he refuses to call himself that.

Yes, the one on the left is the main character, although he refuses to call himself that.

Wait, wait, breathe. In fact, being a zombie kid is just fine. On the one hand, Zed (that’s his name) is a new character who, by and large, has nothing to do with the heroes of previous issues, and therefore it is not necessary to know their content, and immersion in this bizarre world will be easier.

On the other hand, this is again an anti-hero from the demon world of The Netherworld, which means that the game again has a lot of black and other humor, cynicism, parody and everything that, combined with deep mechanics, made the Disgaea series cult. In the first part, we fought for the title of Lord of the Underworld, in the third we were going to lead the Academy of Evil, overthrowing the father of the protagonist, in the fourth part there was a vampire in the first roles, who promised not to drink human blood, but regularly controlled the process of turning the souls of sinners into prinnies (these are so funny talking penguins).

We can say that the prinnie is a symbol of the series.

We can say that the prinnie is a symbol of the series.

In Disgaea 5, the action took place in the same world of The Netherworld, where the main character fought against the “dark lord” in the company of a caustic succubus, the obtuse owner of the Fiery Hells and no less bright rulers of other hells. And if the plot in Disgaea 6 falls short of the level of the fifth part, it is only because it does not look as solid. But the characters themselves and the humor are quite on the level.

According to the plot, Zed, together with Cerberus (that’s his zombie dog’s name), longs to defeat the god of destruction, each time he loses, dies, but thanks to the ability of Super Reincarnation, he is constantly reborn in a new world, where he meets extremely funny characters. For example, in the kingdom of people he meets a king who clearly refers to the mythical Midas – he is also obsessed with gold and money. The king decided to send Zed to fight with God, issuing for this business … 500 bucks and a stick. For which he was sent, but then, contrary to the wishes of our zombie hero, he became one of his associates.

The king also has themed super moves, in the style of Midas.

In another, more beautiful world, Zed is immediately hung up by the exalted sexy Princess Melody, who is obsessed with singing (she hardly speaks – she only sings), calls him the “666th Prince Charming” and asks him to defeat the god of destruction again “in the name of the power of love ‘, promising to marry Zed in return. Tom doesn’t need it for nothing – due to his zombie state, he has problems communicating with girls. But Melody doesn’t really care, and she continues to stubbornly sing about the “power of love”, bringing Zed to a nervous frenzy, and us to laughter.

There will be other colorful characters. One of the worlds in general is a parody of a superhero series. There is also a breaking of the “fourth wall”, and purely gaming humor, when, for example, Zed turns another hero into a punching bag, which has the ability to constantly be reborn. “You are my superbooster to experience,” is what Zed affectionately calls him.

In general, the plot, characters, dialogues, humor – everything is fine with this in Disgaea 6. And this is exactly what a beginner can catch his eye on, hungry for a taste of the specific atmosphere of Japanese RPGs, which are distinguished by their non-trivial approach to content.

Yes, I repeat, due to the fact that we are constantly jumping between worlds, the story feels less solid, but it is still held together well by intrigue, what binds Zed (who is he anyway?) And the god of destruction, what are they at such expense. The scriptwriters of Nippon Ichi at least once manage to pleasantly surprise with an unexpected twist where the game, it would seem, could have already ended.

This can be repeated for a long time.

This can be repeated for a long time.

Closer to the people

As for the gameplay and its overload with mechanics, numbers and grind, then there really is. Disgaea has always been focused not only on story and tactics, but also on pumping – and offered a lot of options for it. So, in the fifth part, in addition to the usual set of levels, learning and upgrading skills and buying equipment, there was also a board mini-game for improving companions (Chara World), a journey into the deep inner world of equipment for pumping it (Item World, which contains sets ideal for grinding levels) and the ability to turn allies into weapons. The funny thing is that it was even possible to put forward for discussion in the local parliament (Dark Assembly) laws that add game mechanics.

So, compared to the fifth part, the authors thinned out all this economy – from all of the above, there were trips to the world of objects and the Dark Assembly, where you can ask the deputies for additional funding or, for example, a triple dose of experience in the next mission (if they don’t vote, there is an option try to convince them by force).

Parliamentary debates ended in tragedy.

But there was an autoboy function. Moreover, if you correctly set up the AI ​​​​and push through the appropriate amendments in parliament (just listen to how it sounds; this is possible only in Japanese games!), Then the game will play itself, go through and repeat the missions and select the ones you specified for them squads of characters.

Considering that the number of available classes was also cut, many veterans of the series considered this blasphemy. But the game still remains very, very fancy in terms of gameplay. Firstly, in the sixth part there is a bar (god, I love this game!), where you can pour the accumulated “extra experience” into a drink and strengthen the character in different directions – however, this is far from free.

All establishments are located on the base.

All establishments are located on the base.

Secondly, the karma mechanic appeared, which we accumulate throughout the game for various achievements, but we can use it only if we apply the Super Reincarnation magic to the character. In this case, the level drops to the first, but you can change the class, and the starting characteristics increase, which we are still free to pump just with the help of karma points.

Finally, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny remains a tricky tactic. Here the height difference is taken into account; it is very important to correctly place the characters so that they can carry out combo attacks; there are geopanels that give strong bonuses to enemies standing on them (therefore, the sources of work for such panels must be destroyed); the proprietary ability to throw objects and even characters has not gone away, from which they are allowed to build entire towers.

So you can immediately throw the whole team up to the annoying archers.

Therefore, not all (especially plot) missions can be completed by turning on the auto-boy and going to another room to watch a movie. This works best when grinding in Item World, but in the story mission you may need to manually build a tower of characters and throw them from a mountain to a lowland – there are no those very geo-panels that strengthen opponents. Or you will have to let the gold-loving king die (temporarily, of course, because everyone comes to their senses after a fight) – otherwise his reincarnation magic will constantly revive the same hero, from which Zed will then make an experience booster.

That is, in terms of tactics, Disgaea 6 is quite interesting, albeit simpler than the fifth part. But what I definitely agree with is that the transition to 3D was not very successful. He made the game both less pretty and more difficult, inconvenient in terms of the already difficult level navigation.

Well, management is, of course, a separate song. It requires perseverance, patience and getting used to – especially on the keyboard and mouse (although not everything is easy with the gamepad). That’s exactly why the autoboy function seemed to me personally very convenient, making the game not only easier, but rather more comfortable.

There is always a lot of information on the screen.

There is always a lot of information on the screen.

Easier or more comfortable? The answer to this question is key to how you experience Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny. For veterans of the series, probably, it has become simpler and more “casual”, having lost something. For beginners, it is more comfortable and accessible, while maintaining all the key advantages. Therefore, the release of the game now is a great chance to join the great series. Well, veterans will still play – this is a new “disgay”.

Pros: interesting plot in the spirit of the series; memorable characters; corporate humor; many mechanics, including unique ones; the ability to make amendments to the local parliament that change or expand the rules of the game; exciting tactical battles; the game has become more comfortable and accessible, including thanks to the auto-battle function.

Cons: according to the plot and in general, the game is weaker than the fifth part; inconvenient management and navigation; the transition to 3D can hardly be called successful.

Screenshots of the game

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