Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance Preview

NOBODY puts Prinny in a corner!

Oh, Disgaea. For a series that has always been designed with long-lasting replayability in mind, I’m honestly surprised NIS keeps making new ones at all. I’m not about to complain, since they seem to make improvements to them every single time. Maybe not always large ones, but they’re there.

Disgaea 5 is a PS4 exclusive in both a physical disc and a downloadable title. Little is known about the story, but so far what we do know this: Killia is a young demon (with a name like “kill ya," who knew?) who’s decided to make a lone stand against the destructive Overlord Void Dark, who’s determined to control not just “the” Netherworld, but all of the Netherworlds, since there are multiple Netherworlds each ruled by an Overlord. Void Dark is disrupting the monster-laden landscapes, so Killia—his true motives unknown—is hellbent on saving all of the… y’know, hells, from the bastard’s control.

NIS has always managed some wonderful visuals in their games with some sort of small-dev-team trickery, so on this powerful hardware it’s really starting to show. The still-sprite characters are vivid and as crisp as they’ve ever appeared, and their attacks are—as they have always been—wonderfully bizarre and charming (like throwing a giant golden Prinny from space) while dealing out… honestly, I didn’t count the number of digits, so let’s just say a bajillion points of damage.

There are also two new minor systems in place layered on the bedrock of the series: “Revenge Mode” where allies receive bonus stats when their friends are getting beat up, and “Alliance Attacks” hinging on the main characters and their relationships to other characters. It’s not entirely clear yet where the parameters are for each, but they sound like an added layer of balancing and another facet to building a solid team for deep-story battles, which makes me smile.

Beyond that, everything here in Disgaea 5 appears to be in order. The Item World of real-life-sucking bliss is here, there are over forty races and jobs to build a team with (including masked wrestlers and a zombie mail), and all of the wackiness that comes along with the NIS flagship series. And it’s all due out in the Fall of this year, which means I’m going to need to buy a PS4 by the end of the year. Goodbye money, goodbye free time, and hello again, you dumb-yet-lovable Prinny doods!

Disgaea 5 will prinny-bomb the States exclusively for PS4 in Q3 2015, after releasing in Japan on March 26, 2015.