Disgaea 4 Complete+ Review - Nintendo Switch
Disgaea 4 complete+ is a strategy role-playing game and part of a series I am very fond of, so I was quite excited to hear that my favourite entry in the series was coming to Nintendo Switch. Disgaea 4 complete+ is technically the 4th time Disgaea 4 has been released. First, there was Disgaea 4: A promise unforgotten on PS3, Disgaea 4: A promise revisited for PSVITA, it appeared on the Disgaea Triple Play collection and now as Disgaea 4 Complete+.
Disgaea 4 Complete+ features all DLC from the base game along with some quality of life improvements. Being the third Disgaea game on the Switch, it’s nice to see Nippon Ichi Software giving this much attention to Nintendo Fans.
Disgaea 4 is, as with all Disgaea games (besides D2), a self-contained tale revolving around our protagonist Valvatorez and this Loyal retainer Fenrich.
Valvatorez was once a powerful demon known as Tyrant Valvatorez, however, due to a promise, he has lost most of his power and has been demoted to the rank of Prinny instructor, a lowly role in the netherworld. The netherworld is where demons reside, and you can think of it as the equivalent to hell.
(In case you were wondering, Prinnies are the lowest level denizens of the netherworld and are the recycled souls of humans who need to atone for their sins.)
Whilst training the Prinnies, Valvatorez makes a promise to them that they will each receive one sardine upon graduating and becoming fully-fledged Prinnies. This is the true starting point of our story as Valvatorez, being such and proud and noble demon, never breaks his promises. Ever!
He becomes aware that all his Prinnies are missing only to find out that they are due to be executed by the ‘Corrupternment’ thus being unable to fulfil his promise to the Prinnies. This reason and a little ‘nudging’ from Fenrich is all Valvatorez needs to vow to take down the ‘Corrupternment’.
As you can tell from my summary, the story is rather light-hearted and backed up by some seriously well-written comedy moments. The humour here is the best in series and features arguably the best main character in the entire series, especially when compared to Disgaea 5’s stoic protagonist Killia. This is all backed up by some fantastic voice acting. Even though I’ve played Disgaea 4 numerous times before, this was my first playing through with the English dub and I must say I am really impressed, especially with any line delivered by Valvatorez.
The colourful cast of characters all have their own humorous backgrounds and motivations and are surprizing well fleshed out considering the zany nature of the game overall.
Valvatorez – A demon vampire stripped of power. Extremely confident in the face of even the strongest demons, Valvatorez commits himself 100% to whatever he is doing and to further his goals. Valvatorez also is obsessed with Sardines and believes eating them will bring back a small amount of his former power.
Fenrich – A werewolf and Lord Valvatorez’s loyal servant. Frequently saying ‘All is for my lord…’ he is wary of other people getting in the way of Valvatorez and maybe leading Valvatorez down a certain path for his own reasons. I won’t say too much as it will spoil his back story but, you will find out more in the flashback episode.
Fuka – The ‘Dream’ girl. Fuka is, in fact, a schoolgirl who was killed, due to be recycled into a Prinny, she appears in the netherworld in a Prinny hat and coat due to the inbalance in the netherworld she was never made into a full Prinny. She assumes she is simply asleep having a dream so doesn’t take anything too serious and exudes a ton of confidence, after all, it’s only a dream, right?
Desco – Final Boss in training. Desco, or Death Extermination Submersible Combat Organism, is a man-made demon created in the human world. She has grand aspirations to become the Final Boss of the netherworld, though after being bested in a battle, she realizes she has some way to go before becoming a true final Boss. Valvatorez promises to train Desco to become a magnificent final boss and tags along with the group while looking up to Fuka as a big sister type character.
Emizel – Also known as Death Emizel, is the son of the president of the netherworld. This little rascal is somewhat cowardly and riding on the coattails of his father position of power. Throughout the story, you get to witness Emizel change his ways and grow a backbone! His motivation for joining the party is he wants to prove himself to his father and, later, as a powerful demon.
Vulcanus – A greedy Angel from Celestia (The game’s equivalent of heaven). She’s roaming the netherworld stealing as much HL, the game’s currency, as possible and is always looking for a way to earn some extra cash. She passes a strong resemblance to someone for Valvatorez’s past but saying any more will spoil the story!
Here’s some footage that will give you an idea of the kind of dynamic the characters have
At its core, Disgaea 4 Complete+ is a tactical turn-based strategy RPG. Battles take place on a grid across a surprisingly diverse set of maps, especially in the latter half of the game. If you have ever played Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre, you will understand what I am talking about.
You have your party of protagonists and each map requires you to beat the enemy demons into submission. Sounds straight forward, right? Well, this is where the Disgaea series differs from other tactical Role-playing games.
In Disgaea 4 Complete+ there are quite a few complex systems layered on top of each other. Just off the top of my head there’s; Geoblocks, lifting and throwing, team attacks, Magichange, Fusion, Elemental weaknesses, reincarnation, Item World (Endless dungeons inside of every item in the game!), Chara World (Like item work but for characters), Evilities, class types…. the list goes on.
Now, this may sound daunting at first glance, but Disgaea 4 Complete+ slowly introduces these systems to you over time, and not all are necessary to beat the main campaign and enjoy the main story. You can really find yourself losing hours upon hours focusing on one of these systems, it’s immersive & quite addictive, whatever you do in Disgaea 4 you are making progress, nothing is a complete waste of time and I love that!
I should probably touch on the levelling system in Disgaea 4 complete+ (and all other Disgaeas). You have the traditional RPG stat of EXP, after a certain amount you level up growing stronger in each of your stats and unlocking new special moves. Disgaea’s level cap in an insane Lv.9999 and you can do damage well into the millions, to achieve this will require a solid amount of grinding. Thankfully, the main story does not require you to reach these insane levels and you will be able to enjoy the 40 or so hour story at your own pace.
Added from Disgaea D2 (And also in the VITA port) is the cheat shop, this allows you to dynamically increase the difficulty, Exp, Money you receive etc. So at least that will help somewhat when grinding.
Level 9999 may not be required to beat the main campaign, but after completing the story the Post game, and what was once DLC, will open to you. This will be when you realize that the story was effectively a 40-hour tutorial of sorts preparing you for the ‘real’ battles in the post-game. Battles become increasing hard, but as a reward, you unlock some seriously cool characters all with a little bit of back story of their own and every fight gets your party that little bit stronger!
Tip: You can actually access the Post Game early if you are a seasoned veteran of the series. At the game’s menu highlight continue, like you normally would to load your save, and press X,Y,B,X,Y,B,A and you will hear Valvatorex shout “Sardines!!!”. Load your game and you will have unlocked all the DLC and Post Game. Video link here!
Aesthetically, Disgaea 4 Complete+ ditches the pixel art style graphics from Disgaea 1 – 3 and has well-animated character sprites and a surprising amount of them also! It may take a little getting used to moving these 2D sprites and the 3D space of your base but, you get used to it quite quickly. With the unlockable map editor, you can even create a base of your own and there a fair bit of customization. Some people like to move all the ‘Important NPC’s closer together’ But personally I don’t mind the map as it is.
You can even change your base’s music theme by unlocking the Music shop! The music in the game is actually pretty good, with some standout tracks such as the revised base theme from chapter 3 onwards. Sound design is consistently good, especially when in battle. I feel like a lot of work went into making sure the special attacks had accompanying sound effects!
Now to talk about what I don’t like about Disgaea 4 Complete+ and to be honest there’s not that much! I’ve played through the whole story and a chunk of the post-game and DLC and I don’t feel like hardly anything new has been added. I mean from the base game on PS3 a lot has been added including all DLC’s, but if you already own the Vita version then you already have all the DLC and extras.
It would have been nice of them to include some extra additional characters from Disgaea 5, But as far as I can tell they are sadly absent.
I could be wrong, but the only things I noticed that were new in Complete+ are the 1080p resolution, you can speed up animations in the options and the game now Auto-saves after each fight. Which I have to admit is a nice feature, Nippon Ichi Software has said there will be new social features added after launch and as I have an early review copy I have not been able to make use of the games online features and in fact the game I’m usually left waiting at a ‘Transmitting’ screen when visiting the Cam-pain-HQ the game is trying to upload data. It can take as long as 20 seconds which breaks the flow. One thing I did notice is that the terrible slowdown that plagued the item and Chara world in the Vita port is now absent so that’s something to be happy about!
Overall, I really enjoyed playing Disgaea 4 Complete+ and I will keep enjoying it! (I still must beat some of the harder bosses in the game!). It’s addictive and, with it being on the Nintendo Switch, is the perfect companion for me. You can always grind out a few levels here and there and put the switch into sleep mode and personally, I love playing Disgaea 4 complete in bed. I would be hard to get a game which is better value for money.