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Disgaea 5 Hands-on Preview – TGS

By Janelle | September 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm

To go over the basics of Disgaea‘s mechanics seems like a tremendous waste of words; it’s a wacky strategy RPG series with very large numbers and too many quirks to list. If you recognize the name, you probably already know how it plays. What Disgaea fans are wondering, of course, is what new things Disgaea 5 brings to the table. Luckily, the TGS show floor demo did a good job of highlighting some new features.

The largest change is Revenge Mode. The story’s theme will center around revenge, so a new mode seems only fitting. When a character’s allies are defeated, they have a chance of going into Revenge Mode, in which they become stronger for a limited amount of time and sometimes gain access to powerful abilities. What exactly determines how likely a character is to go into Revenge Mode wasn’t explained, but it might be affected by mentor-pupil relationships or the new squad system. During my stab at the “Hard” stage, the main character Kiria went into Revenge mode when an ally fell, and he became able to use a special Maou-gi skill that allowed him to take multiple actions per turn–a first for the series, and very valuable. Enemies are also capable of going into Revenge Mode, though, which can quickly turn battles into a vicious cascade of carnage.

Another first for the series was characters being allowed to equip a sub-weapon. This allowed for mages with guns, ninjas with fists and axes, and other fun combinations. The sub-weapon can’t be used for regular attacks, but the skills of the sub-weapon are available to that character.

At the end of a battle, the three MVP characters get an experience boost. Again, what criteria merits MVP status wasn’t clear, but all three of my MVP nods went to characters who managed to survive a lot of damage, last a long time, and make a lot of kills.

The graphics follow in Disgaea 4‘s footsteps of high-definition character sprites. Lines are crisp and clean, colors are bright, and the sheer number of characters wandering around the hub world was impressive. A bunch of new monster designs were on display, including bear-like Grizzlies, Pixies, and some kind of mummy, and the zombified Maid character class put on an appearance as well.

Disgaea 5 will be released in Japan in 2015. A western release has not been announced, but given that the previous four games and their ports have all received localization, expect this one to make the jump too.

Topics: Disgaea 5, Previews, Tokyo Game Show, Tokyo Game Show 2014