Disgaea is a tactical RPG series that I have gone in and out of love for. The first three games I played off and on with no real desire to continue due to not understanding the mechanics of the games. After I became a PSP aficionado, I started having a ball with the series. I loved going back to Disgaea 2 and Disgaea 3, then I was able to play through a bit of Disgaea 4 and 5. I rented Disgaea 6 for a few weeks from my library, but I didn’t get too into the game. I am excited to get the chance to review Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless.
Game Name: Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5(Reviewed) Publisher(s): NIS America Developer(s):Nippon Ichi Software, Inc. Release Date: October 3rd, 2023 Price: $59.99
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless begins strongly as we get to meet Fuji, a samurai warrior from Hinomoto. Hinomoto is a plane with a strong dedication to the code of Bushido, or well, it used to. The demons in this realm seem to be a lot less big on the code of bushido as they just want to live life. Fuji, luckily is already big on not caring about the code of the Samurai, as his big desire is Money or HL in this series. A rich tourist named Pirilika decides to come to Hinomoto after hearing stories of the rich history of the samurai and is the biggest nerd of Bushido ever. She yearns for the age of the samurai and is sad to hear Fuji having to wake her up to a society that is not as grand as she was hoping it would be. After a bit of discussion, Fuji gets contracted to help her find the seven founding weapons in the demon underworld to make Hinomoto into the place she wanted it to be.
Do Your Worst
Disgaea is a series best known for its difficulty as well as its variety of mechanics. Disgaea 7 has all the old mechanics of the previous games, but they get unlocked and taught the further and further you get into the game. You start the game with a basic tutorial on just launching your units from the start area of a map and being able to move and execute actions. Getting behind enemies increases damage to them as well as increases your likelihood of hitting them. Disgaea is a tactical RPG that positions the camera above the battlefield you are on with the ability to call out the units you have access to from a beginning point on the map. Sometimes you will have units given to you,, and often there are times that units are already on the map so you can’t always summon the same units every time. You can do normal attacks, or based on the range of skills you can utilize unique skills your characters have access to.
Even though you can use tactics and the battlefield to push yourself towards an advantage, Disgaea is still heavily based on getting your character’s mastery and stats improved. Each time you do an attack with a weapon it increases the rank of your mastery; it can increase your mastery over your class or your weapon rank. Getting a higher mastery of classes gives you more skills to utilize. Getting a better weapon mastery improves your skills with that weapon which enhances your ability to hit opponents as well as deal damage with that weapon. It is wise to increase your HIT stat regardless though, since it will affect your ability to hit with any weapon you have equipped.
There are eight main stats you get to focus on with your characters. ATK deals with how much damage you can deal. DEF is how much Physical damage is resisted. INT is how much magical damage you can deal but also helps improve your skill damage. RES is how much magic damage you can resist. HIT is your ability to accurately hit an enemy. If this stat is too low, you may miss a lot. SPD is how fast your character is. The best part of SPD is it improves your chances of not getting hit by abilities and attacks. HP is your health points, and SP is your skill points. There are a lot of other things that also help these stats, like movement range, jumping range, and throwing range but overall, these will be the stats that you can see best the difference when upgraded.
The throwing mechanic makes a return and allows you to traverse much more area for specific units. You can use one unit to carry another one of your units and throw them farther along the map. You can also stack your units one on top of the other so you can throw a number of them farther along the map. This helps you have a better hold on the battlefield as well as not have your units easily grouped for massive AoE attacks from enemies. This mechanic also helps complement the new mechanic of Jumbification.
Jumbifying units means making one of your units the size of the map and able to reach anywhere on the map. It can only be activated once your rage gauge is filled. You fill the rage gauge by dealing damage and tanking damage. You also get a huge boost to the rage gauge when one of your characters is defeated. Your enemies can also use Jumbification. When they are Jumbified, they will immediately try attacking a large portion of your units, and the Jumbified attacks cover a pretty decent range, so having all your units in one place will get them killed. The best defense against that is having your unit Jumbify and take an attack swing at them instead. It may not destroy them, but it will attract their attention away from your units.
Once you get far enough in the story, you will get access to the Nethership Hub. This is where you will be able to recruit generated characters to your group, buy items, use the Dark Assembly, and use the hospital and Juice bar. Characters can be recruited at the recruiter. You will be able to choose classes, genders, colors, extra stats, and their name. I found it fun to use the name randomizer since there are quite several hilarious names. This game has such a fun sense of humor, which isn’t saying too much for a Disgaea game since they all have a very fun and unique humor to them. This game has a lot of fun references to the game industry, the anime industry, and various cultural phenomena in Japan as well as just an outlet for poking fun at itself. You need a good chunk of HL though to get stronger units at the recruiter.
You can use the Dark Assembly to add new features to the Nethership, add stats like movement and throwing range to characters as well as another mechanic Reincarnation. All things at the Dark Assembly require Mana from the individual you are using to get improved or are asking for a Reincarnation in general. Reincarnation allows you to take your character and scale them back to level one, but you still get the added stats from the Juice bar and your items. Alongside that, if you have a lot of mana you can increase the base stats of your character as well. Certain passives can also be applied to increase the rate at which certain stats grow so your Fuji can have a stronger base stat and growth stat for ATK or anything else you decide.
Just like Disgaea 6, Disgaea 7 does bring back auto-battle; however, unlike Disgaea 6, you can’t use the auto-battler to milk your way through the story. You have to figure out the strategy and beat the level yourself before you are allowed to use the auto-battle feature on that level. I do like using the auto battler to do some of the mastery grinding. I will just put a few of my weaker characters to a weak level and let them run wild over and over. If I want to get characters super massively leveled though, I will bring them into the Item World.
Item World is one of the best ways to grind levels once you are confident in your abilities and know the best way to utilize your units. You essentially travel into an item you have in your inventory and go through floors and rid them of all enemies. You can also try just running away to the next floor by finding the warp zone, but that doesn’t help your mastery or skills at all. As you travel through floors, you increase the level of that item, and the farther you level up the item, the stronger its stats become. This not only helps your characters become stronger but also helps items become stronger as well.
The Real Hinomoto
Disgaea is known for its unique art style that generally uses a lot of chibi models to help show the scale on a tactical battlefield. Disgaea 7 utilizes that art style here as well. It is a really good sense of style that is unique but also works well for the medium. The chibi models also help show the Jumbified units and how they tower over everything else. I appreciate that Disgaea 7 is still Disgaea to the core. If future games are still coming with this art style and passion, I imagine I will still be playing Disgaea games for years to come. Luckily we also get some great art of the characters as things happen in the game. I love having this kind of art though I do wish we also got maybe some 2D animated cutscenes with some of these moments.
I played Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless on the PS5 and had no noticeable performance issues. It ran smoothly and was quick at replaying stages when I needed to grind out my weaker units. I also need to have a great shout-out to the voice actors for Fuji, Pirilika, Yeyasu, and Higan. These were my favorite characters in the game, and I think a lot of that comes from how well-acted their voices were. The other voices were also good too! I appreciate the passion that not only the actors have for their characters but also the voice director for this too!
Is It Worth 100 million HL?
Overall I don’t have many complaints for Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless. The difficulty spikes were mainly due to me not playing as smart as I could have, but once I figured out all the systems and how to break my characters, it became much more interesting and entertaining. I also figured out that using the Evil Gacha system was a very easy way to collect very powerful equipment so I utilized that a lot. I would recommend if you are struggling with this game, find a way to get the Evil Gacha system as quickly as you can from the Dark Assembly.
Disgaea 7 is a return to form in the sense of letting the game be difficult but also not giving too many extra quality-of-life features immediately out of the gate. Also, the new Jumbification mechanic adds another level of complexity with battlefield control. I enjoyed my time with this game and can recommend it to everyone who was a Disgaea fan or someone who wants to try out the series for the first time.
Review Disclosure Statement: Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless was provided to us by NIS America for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is a great return to form for one of the most obnoxiously fun tactic based RPGS. If you were worried on the direction of the series based on Disgaea 6, take pleasure in knowing Disgaea 7 is a great addition to the beloved titles of old.
Fuji is the Man.
Jumbification is a fun mechanic to work with even if it can be limiting at times.
All the mechanics work well and are brought out in a good pace as to not overwhelm the player.
Auto battler still exists for those who didn’t like having it.