Disgaea 7 is Pretty Fun: Main Story Impressions

I was extremely skeptical about getting Disgaea 7. I had actually purchased Infinity Strash only to be sorely disappointed by how mediocre Infinity Strash was and decided to try to free demo of Disgaea 7 on PS4. I hadn’t read or seen anything about censorship, so I decided to just try it out. After playing two chapters and enjoying the fact most – albeit not all but the vast majority – of horrible changes from Disgaea 6 were reverted back in Disgaea 7. The only negative point is the auto-battle features which frankly shouldn’t exist. There’s no point in trying to enjoy a game that only plays itself while you go do other things. Thankfully though, even the auto-battles are restricted to after beating a map. I found myself enjoying the demo so much, that I decided to get the full game. For the demo, I used the helpful guides on youtube to increase the mana and level-ups in the demo, but instead of going all the way to level 2000, I decided to stop at level 300 with Pirilika to just beat the main story once the full game came out. After buying the ultimate edition and transferring saves, I used Pirilika to essentially curbstomp the main story. The only two real challenges were two particular boss effects from two separate spoilerific boss battles and I was able to plan around them.

I really enjoyed the game’s main story. It felt like a better paced form of Disgaea 3’s story in many ways. In terms of design, the only real drawback was that visual novel skits have completely taken over the story format and none of the story is done with the in-game animations at all. In fairness, Disgaea 6 actually did attempt this and the new 3D format made it look off-putting and uglified. Ever since they abandoned 2D, their 3D animations just do not compete at all with 3D animations of other RPG games. Disgaea has essentially thrown out the advantage of their previous art style in a major drawback. However, this new story had great character arcs for all the characters, the pacing was far better than any previous Disgaea games as far as I can see, and it felt like a complete and self-contained story with nothing left out by the end. To the game’s credit, I was genuinely surprised by a certain plot point in this game that blew me away because all the clues were there. The game seemed to play on the expectations of those who played Disgaea 3 and 4. Also, I noticed, a bit similar to Disgaea 4, the story writers seem to be largely influenced by and I suspect they are probably huge fans of the Full Metal Alchemist manga or the FMAB anime. Nevertheless, the stories and characters are far different and I want to assure any readers that nothing is a knock-off insofar as I can see. It’s simply that the similarities are apparent for some plot events. The theming of Bushido values and choosing to live how you wish was a breath of fresh air from the two previous Disgaea games only ever regurgitating the tired friendship trope. In this game, it’s limited to specific subplots as it should be and has been with all Disgaea games prior to Disgaea 5 and 6. The game has its own unique aesthetic thanks to the focus on Samurais, Ninjas, and Bushido values that give it its own identity comparable to other Disgaea games.

The combat is enjoyable. I’m super happy that it returned to the Disgaeas 1-5 format for the combat. The juice bar and other material from Disgaea 6 has been nerfed to not be an extremely awful gacha system. Unlike previous Disgaea games, this one allows a roulette wheel called a gacha machine to determine prices from being healed instead of it being a limited list. The actual use of gacha as a roulette wheel for point prices with hospital recovery is both hilarious and a favorable return to form. Perhaps, even an improvement over previous game systems. Magichange hasn’t returned, albeit they made a certain plot conflict where it would be unlikely that it could fit within the scope of the plot, but the jumbofication system is interesting. On one hand, it’s fun to just smash things at random by transforming one’s characters into kaiju monsters; on the other hand, it’s clearly intended to simplify and ignore any strategy in the game. All but two boss battles allow you to just smash your way through with it and don’t require any strategy at all. Overall, I enjoyed using jumbofication insofar as the main story, but my intention was to use a level 300 Pirilika to just smash through the story anyway. My views on the matter might be a bit different in terms of expectations as a result.

I haven’t gone too deeply into the post-game content yet, but the main game was great. I loved all the characters and I really enjoyed the story. One thing that feels like a breath of fresh air is that there’s no romantic love subplot. I feel Disgaeas’ 1, 2, and 4 exhausted those types of stories. In my honest opinion, the best love stories that Nippon Ichi has made has made would probably be the tragic ending of La Pucelle: Ragnarök, which is a precursor of the Disgaea series and the Disgaea 4 Vita DLC content related to Artina and Valvatorez even if the latter was more implied than stated. Disgaea 7 instead focuses on parent-child relationships and it is all the better narratively for it. Despite his design, Fuji feels like his own refreshing character and Pirilika is probably among the best written female leads that Nippon Ichi has produced thus far. I would even argue that Pirilika feels like the main protagonist and Fuji feels like the deuteragonist  since the driving motivation is Pirilika’s movement to return Hinomoto to its Bushido culture and they have more of an uncle-niece relationship by the end. That’s partly why the game’s story feels so refreshing. The main leads do not have to be romantic partners or have a one-sided love unlike most of the previous games. I’d rate Disgaea 7 a tentative 8.5 / 10, but it’s subject to change as I go through the post-game.

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