Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance Review (Playstation 4)

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance Review (Playstation 4)
Review Score:

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is a continuation of NIS America’s tactical, isometric JRPG series that centers around the Netherworld, its demon Overlords, and the tantrum-prone demon emperor himself, Dark Void. The player assumes the role of Killa, a young demon that possesses just enough power to be considered an Overlord. Together with Seraphina – a sheltered princess and the Overlord of Gorgeous World – the player must unite all remaining Overlords to battle Dark Void’s army of over one million soldiers, as they devastate various regions of Netherworld. With an army of Prinnies and various monsters at his disposal, Killa embarks on a mission to end the threat.

Disgaea 5 retains the core gameplay mechanics that made its predecessors a success, while adding new features and updated visuals that are only possible on a next gen console. Like Disgaea D2 and Disgaea 4, HD sprites are used to represent the characters and monsters on-screen. In previous Disgaea games, the amount of sprites used on-screen were limited by last gen hardware and performance slowdown. Since the PS4 has a powerful CPU/GPU combo and additional system RAM, up to 100 sprites can appear on-screen without any performance issues (a first for the Disgaea series).

New to the series is Revenge Mode, a feature that utilizes a ‘Revenge Gauge’ that fills every time a character takes damage or perishes during combat. Once the gauge is full, party members will enter a stasis called ‘Revenge’ Mode. When this happens, characters will gain special abilities and stat boosts that will improve their performance during combat. For example: damage inflicted by enemies is reduced by a whopping 25%, while all character skills – despite their effectiveness – only cost 1 SP.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance PS4

As the game progresses, the Revenge Gauge will maintain itself between levels. However, it will begin to deplete the moment a character with a full Revenge Gauge enters combat. Overlord characters can use special Overlord skills once per battle when they’re in Revenge Mode. In fact, Overlord Skills can be obtained for every character by visiting the Dark Assembly. It should also be mentioned that enemies can also enter Revenge Mode and gain the same skills as the player’s party. This can make for some interesting battles.

Several gameplay features from both Disgaea 4: A Promise Returned and  Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness have made the transition to Disgaea 5, including the Innocent Warehouse, Cheat Shop and all the NPC shops from prior games. This includes the Rosen Queen Co (where you can purchase and sell armor and weapons); the Netherworld Hospital (owned by well-known healer Florence); and the Data Shop. Owned by Paparazz, the Data Shop keeps track of everything your party has accomplished. This system allows the player to view the items they have collected, the amount of damage their party has inflicted, and the skills their party used during combat.

The Magichange and Dual Magichange features from previous Disgaea games have made their return in Disgaea 5. The Magichange system is used to combine monsters and humans together to form stronger versions of themselves. When two monsters are used together, they create a powerful Mega Monster.  It is also possible to combine a Mega Monster with magichange weapon equipped humans to increase their efficiency on the battlefield. And since a small number of variations exist, the Magichange system encourages the player to experiment.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance PS4

The Dual Magichange feature first appeared in Disgaea 4: a Promise Unforgotten for Playstation 3. This feature allows a monster to Magichange with a party member that has a Magichange weapon already equipped. Characters that Dual Magichange can retaliate twice during a single turn; receive additional experience and mana; and combine with a Giant Magichange for additional skill bonuses.

Also new to Disgaea 5 is the Squads feature. Like the Club system from Disgaea 3, characters gain bonuses based on the squad they belong to and gain access to certain hub facilities. Squad leaders gain special ‘Squad Attack Skills’ to improve performance during combat.

Like its predecessors, Disgaea 5 uses a turn-based combat system  where grid-like environments comprise the landscape. Party members are placed on the battlefield by using the ‘dispatch’  portal, which is located at the edge of the battlefield. Character movement — while based on turns – is also limited by a number of ‘steps’, which are depicted as red flashing squares on the battlefield. For example: Killa can travel a minimum of 32 squares depending on the environment, while a Heretic character (especially after moving once from the portal) can be limited to 16 squares or less.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance PS4

The Tower attack system is also present in Disgaea 5, allowing the player to ‘stack’ characters in a ‘tower’ formation to fight enemies that stand on cliffs and platforms. This feature also increases the strength of low level characters, making them more powerful. If the player stacks ten characters into a Tower, they will have access to the ‘Tower Laser’, a devastating attack with an S-Class ranking. It should be mentioned that character levels do not matter in this case. A ten character Tower can inflict thousands of points of damage, regardless of the enemies being attacked.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is a vast improvement over its last gen predecessors. The new gameplay features, along with the next gen visuals, give the Disgaea series the boost it needed to keep it competitive in a genre already saturated with competition.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Playstation 4
Developer: Nippon Ichi
Publisher: NIS America
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $59.99

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance Official Website:

Review Score
Gorgeous HD sprites and backgrounds.
Impressive sound track and ear-shattering sound effects during combat sequences.
Several gameplay improvements enhance the game.
Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is a vast improvement over its last gen predecessors.
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