Back to almost basics

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is the newest entry into the Disgaea universe coming only just over a year since its previous release Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny on PS5. Despite Disgaea 6 having a rocky start due to a Switch only release and poor performance on the system as well as a large overhaul on it’s stat system it saw a lot of its issues fixed once it had reached PlayStation and PC. Disgaea 7 has now released and has alleviated a lot of the issues with Disgaea 6 which had a rocky start and ended up being arguably worst game in the series.

Disgaea 7 follows the story of Fuji, a samurai gone rogue and has a rather large allergy to empathy or kindness of any kind. He meets an Otaku rich kid by the name of Pirilika in an unfortunate turn of events that sees them take on a journey into the Hinomoto Netherworld inspired by the Edo period Japan. Disgaea is well known for it’s frivolous and comedy like characters and Disgaea 7 is no different. The game does a good job of bringing each characters personality out which is helped due to fabulous voice acting and despite characters being the solar opposite of each other they work so well together.

Gameplay remains very familiar while adding in some new features. Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless has scrapped the insane level cap of almost a billion and individual stats that went into the quadrillions. The level cap is again 9999, one that seems a lot more feasible and easier to read and associate large scaling damage numbers with. Being a turn based strategy game, the game feels very much like one again now compared to the past entry of Disgaea 6, thanks in turn to the slow but satisfying levelling. But as any Disgaea fan knows there are ways to break the game and that very much remains the case here also but to begin with you will need to grind early on, the level jumps are quite big and if you aren’t prepared you will die. New systems do open up slowly as you progress there is a better progression system within Disgaea 7 and each level you earn feels like you have achieved something, you have to use your gained mana carefully and upgrade your characters to do better going forward. Even HL (Money) that you earn early on has to be carefully spent as overexerting your characters could cost you a pretty penny at the hospital. The overall momentum just feels right this time, how it should. This can change especially on release due to boost tickets being part of the DLC, these tickets will allow you to boost characters quicker than normal and will most likely fall in line with the cost of what they were in Disgaea 6.

Many of the past systems retain their appearance in Disgaea 7. The Item World, Dark Assembly, Cheat Shop and the Juice Bar that was newly added in Disgaea 6 are all here and work similair to how they did previously. Whilst the auto-battle from Disgaea 6 does make a return in Disgaea 7 it cannot be used freely like before and not from the get go either either. Using auto-battle requires a resource called Poultergas, something which is used once per stage and can be earned once per stage that is cleared manually. I never found myself using the auto-battle much but I am in favour of how it is used this time. Gone are the days of exploring your netherworld base collecting treasure chests after each chapter as these all appear in normal stages now. Once you unlock Sightseeing for each stage you can go back into a stage and look around it freely collecting treasure chests that appear without needing to fight apart from maybe one or two NPC’s that may challenge you, however doing so can reward you with new class colours or have them join your party. Maiko and Bandit are a handful of new classes in Disgaea 7 and with over 40 classes to choose from the depth of character building is almost endless. Some of the new characters have highly unique skills some of which sadly can’t be transferred during reincarnation however make them super useful and fun and can be used in conjunction with other characters.

Other new systems include Item Reincarnation which is a massive grind in itself. Points that you get by clearing the Item world can be turned in to stat increases for Items and then reincarnated into a new item, while this does lower the stats of the Item you can redistribute stats and level the item again to make it incredibly more powerful than before. You can spend hundreds of hours just to get the perfect item and character and even copy that item but RNG does play a big part in this also.

Graphically Disgaea 7 is stunning. While it favours the same style graphic style as Disgaea 6 it looks and feels way more smoother. All attacks feel good and have amazing animations that show of the details of every 3D model. I always enjoy the small cinematic showcases of using new moves whilst the camera pans around them showing off. Maps have an Edo style of Japan to them while also having a modern feel to them also.

Music and sound wise Disgaea 7 brings back a lot of reoccurring tracks and sounds, these can be heard when opening a shop or viewing certain Menus but also bring a lot of original tracks that overall compliment the series and the style as a whole.

A PlayStation 5 Review Code was provided by NIS America