Nowadays it is not strange to see companies making gestures to introduce touches of comedy in their video games, but as a general rule things usually stay at specific moments that do not affect too much the development of the plot. In other words, there is a certain rarity in those works that dare to dive into serious themes without abandoning humor as one of its main nuclei. That is precisely one of the Disgaea’s specialties, a series of SRPG developed by Nippon Ichi that between laughter and laughter, are capable of introducing criticism of society or the environment in which we live. Throughout this writing, we will analyze the last installment we have received from this franchise in the Nintendo hybrid, Disgaea 4 Complete +. Are you ready to find out what a noble vampire who loves fish more than can bring you? If yes, buy a good handful before you feel like eating sardines … The one who warns is not a traitor!
A history rich in omega 3
As legends have dictated since time immemorial, blood is to vampires what spinach is to Popeye, the main source of his power. This means that seeing such a monster leaving aside the classic crimson liquid, without it being because of being killed or because there is extravagant reasoning like that of the « vegetarians » of a certain famous film saga, is unthinkable. However, things change when the vampire in question considers himself a noble demon and acts as such, causing their promises are akin to unbreakable contracts.
We can say that Disgaea 4’s plot progresses, to a large extent, by chaining Valvatorez’s promises. One of them was a gamble, which ended up throwing the protagonist of this story from the top of the Netherworld pyramid to the deepest hole he could fall into, the prison of Hades, with the least-loved job: that of instructor of those sinful creatures known as Prinnies. Despite the fact that the powerful « Tyrant Valvatorez » was left in a mere memory after hitting bottom for not being able to drink blood, he was never left alone thanks to the company of his loyal servant Fenrich, a werewolf who wishes heartily for Valzy to recover all his glory.
The matter takes an unexpected turn when Valvatorez thinks he finds a new source of energy, sardines. What’s more, in the first bars of Disgaea 4 and on countless occasions, it talks a lot about the benefits of this fish. The life of this peculiar duo was relatively calm and, strange as it may sound, the vampire does not dislike his role in the world, so it is not that he tries to alter the situation. What happened then for him to move the tab? A promise! He promised all the Prinnies in his charge that he would give each one a sardine on their graduation day and just before they did their part, the « penguins » were swallowed by a kind of black hole … Is this going to be the first time that Valvatorez fails his word?
It goes without saying that from that point on, the adventure of Disgaea 4 goes up steps. As we advance in the introductory paragraph, comedy is very present at all times. In our case it was not a problem, since we lost count of the number of laughs we had. It is a reality that the plot is strange and that humor does not help to take it seriously, but that does not mean that it has a complexity taken from Bobobo, far from it. To give you an example, dare to dive in subjects as tricky as war and its consequences, as well as introducing criticism of humanity itself. We know that it is difficult to trust that this formula works, but it does. If by chance you are pushed back by the possibility that the character of the work does not connect with you, we invite you to give the opportunity a demo from the Nintendo eShop. Is the « 4 » cause for concern? Although we advise you to play first Disgaea 1 Complete, because it has less mechanics to master, this proposal works independently. The only bad thing about going to 4 as a rookie is that the appearances of characters from previous installments lose grace.
Disgaea 4 Complete + landed in the West translated into two languages: English and French. Fortunately, to fully understand the Anglo-Saxon adaptation it is not necessary to have an exaggerated command of Shakespeare’s language, while the French, the editor in charge of this analysis can not speak because they do not know the language. About the duration, what can we say, this franchise is one of those that boast of giving an enormous amount of hours of entertainment, so providing exact numbers is difficult. Completing the main Disgaea 4 Complete + campaign takes 50-60 hours. However, if we talk about the « post game », the counter goes through the roof having contained in abundance enough to play hundreds of hours. We dedicate more than 150 Before writing the analysis and even so, we still have to beat some secondary bosses who stand out for their enormous strength and we can get even more juice thanks to the different modes with online functions. Incidentally, the « Complete » is because all DLC and add-ons from previous versions are present, including a couple of « alternative routes », which you can access from the beginning by entering the title screen on the code «X Y B X Y B A» (We advise that it also unlocks other content of the « post game »). Of course, both act with the mind in mind that you have already completed your journey, so it is recommended that you ignore the code if you have never witnessed the credits.
The power of sardines
Disgaea 4 Complete + is what is known as an « SRPG » and its fighting happens in places divided by cells. Come on, what the scenarios when fighting are boards, just like in releases like Fire Emblem: Three Houses or Stella Glow. Despite this, there are a large number of elements to take into account, which make it stand out from most of the genre’s proposals. Something as simple as grabbing a partner or an opponent and being able to throw it is a twist that offers a lot of play. Monsters are incapable of raising allies and if you throw a unit at another monster class unit, it bounces in the direction it is facing (throwing something or someone at a humanoid is passing the ball to it). Of course, this changes if you throw one common enemy monster to another, because the one that receives it instead of repelling it, absorbs it, thus increasing its level and statistics.
The « Lift » command is unique to humanoid-class characters and these can throw units and objects or form towers to cover great distances and use group attacks that spend « SP » (monsters are only capable of being on top of towers). That speaking of group attacks, consecutive attacks on an enemy are empowered (combos) and if two allies are in contiguous squares, there is a possibility that they will make combined attacks. It is important to mention that enemies benefit from them in the same way, so it is key not to neglect the location where you leave a warrior and the direction in which he looks (If you are attacked from the front it is easier for the blow to fail, than from the back or from the side). Note: Ending a turn grabbing an enemy removes their freedom of movement, but the one who sustains it takes damage.
To compensate for the monsters’ inability to lift things, they receive several factors in their favor, starting with two exclusive commands: « Magichange » and « Demon Fusion ». Magichange transforms the monster into a weapon with special «skills» that the humanoids can take advantage of. Needless to say, the strength of the weapon depends on the monster’s stats before transformation. This option presents three pros: the aforementioned skills that both gain experience and that the humanoid temporarily gains the exclusive « Evility » of the transformed monster race, and two cons: the monsters last 6 transformed turns (disappear until the next combat) and if the humanoid is defeated, they both bite the dust. What does « Demon Fusion » do? Merge two monsters, causing a giant version of the one that did not press the «Fusion» command to appear on the screen, occupying 5 cross squares instead of one. This brings with it its drawbacks: maintaining the fusion consumes « SP » each turn and if the counter reaches 0, the fusion undoes, leaving the stiff duo of « SP » for their « skills ». Also, due to its size, it is an easy target and it is impossible for it to pass through narrow areas or be caught by humanoids. Naturally, not everything is disadvantages: thanks to his corpulence he is able to separate those who are between him and his destiny. Likewise, fused demon attacks range increased and its statistics. Is it possible for a fused demon to transform into a giant weapon? Luckily, Nippon Ichi did not neglect that possibility, moreover, they went a step further, given that it is feasible to see characters carrying two giant weapons. In that situation, the second weapon replaces a piece of the character’s kit and attacks twice in turn. The best defense is a good attack, right?
The reasons for adding monsters among the top 10 pieces of gear don’t end with the paragraph before this one. Regardless of who it is, monsters have 3 « Evilities », while humanoids have 2 (four of having two weapons from «Magichange»). All fighters have an exclusive ability that depends on the race and the rest comes from the expense of « Mana » in the « Evility Shop ». The « Mana » are individual points that are piloted through the elimination of enemies, special potions or taking advantage of a certain « Evil Symbol » and are used to obtain new « Evilities » in the senate audiences, to improve characters or objects within their respective worlds (we explain this in the next section) and to enhance, weaken or learn «skills». What is an « Evil Symbol »? An « Evil Symbol » is a « building » that the player can display inside a special board called Cam-pain HQ, which is expanded with the advance of the plot. A quick summary is that it serves, above all, to multiply the options of the users. For example, it is unfeasible to recruit an enemy without a « Discipline Room » or to have giant « Magichange » weapons without a « Fusion Weapon Lab ». It is worth mentioning that not all units can benefit from what these constructions offer, since they must be correctly placed in the « Evil Area » of the « Evil Symbol » that they want to take advantage of. With this brief explanation we have only touched the surface of what the board is capable of dodging «spoilers». The « Evil Symbols » are acquired through the votes of the Senate or reaching new episodes and we assure you that it is worth investing time in taking advantage of them.
In Disgaea 4 Complete +, the franchise veteran duo consisting of the « Geo Blocks » and the « Geo Panels », presumes to receive enough relevance both in the main campaign and in the « post game » of this installment. No wonder it’s given importance, since a simple map can become difficult or the other way around, depending on the effects it causes on stage. The recipe did not alter too much with respect to Disgaea 1 Complete: the Geo Blocks They are colored cubes that, being on top of a «Geo Panel», originate different things in all the «Geo Panels» that share the same color (more experience is gained, the enemy becomes invincible, they block the way, etc.). To clear the path of nasty « Geo Blocks », there are two options: drop the cube on a square on the stage that blows the most in favor or destroy it. If the second is chosen and the color of the cube and the panel do not match, a chain reaction which removes the color of the panels by that of the eliminated « Geo Block » and damages those that are on top at that moment. If the residual damage affects another cube, it is directly destroyed and a chain like the previous one is produced again if the colors are not identical. Some levels use « Geo Blocks » as traps that prevent the player from completing them, so we recommend thinking carefully about what to destroy and what not. On the other hand, there are the chains of «Geo Blocks»: throwing a block of one color to another identical one destroys it and if there are contiguous blocks of said color, they disappear consecutively. If someone is on top of a « Geo Block » when it is destroyed in this way, it takes damage. Two things still need to be pointed out about these curious blocks. The first fact is that it is impossible to separate two blocks that are joined because they are the same color and the second is the presence of Uncommon « Geo Blocks », They stand out for carrying a countdown (when they reach 0 they destroy themselves) or for moving on their own.
In the variety is the spice
Something that many « RPGs » often sin, is that the only thing that can be done in them is to complete their journey and replay them with a « New Game + ». While it is true that the « New Game + » of this installment does not have too much chicha (you repeat the story without changes, you release a new type of race to create characters and preserve everything), this product boasts of giving a lot to take outside its main events. Let’s go by parts! How do you stay if we tell you that you can enter objects and characters to improve them? Thanks to the « Item World » and the « Chara World », that fantasy is a reality. In both, randomly generated scenarios await you and the main objective is to advance floors. In the case of the «Item World», every time you get to the next one, the object literally levels up. As expected, the enemies you encounter become stronger the further you go and to add excitement to the formula, every 5 floors something appears that depends on chance, for example the «mistery rooms». How do you exit the « Item World »? Finishing ten floors you access an area where you are authorized to enter a special senate (focused on « items »), an infirmary and a « NPC » that is a living exit. If the challenge of the « Item World » or that of the « Chara World » reaches you halfway, the object Mr. Gency Exit » it’s the solution. The maximum number of floors that a « Chara World » houses is different, only 10 and in nine you must go to a room to obtain the improvement you are looking for. This relative shortage of floors makes up for it with much greater difficulty. Being the enemies of a higher level than the character you are exploring, the ground tends to split when attacking, with the residual damage that this entails, and several more surprises.
Is it possible to abuse the « Item World » as much as one wants? No. They give enough space, but a level limit for the objects avoids it and depending on the rarity, they can accumulate a certain number of «Residents». What are « Residents »? Occasionally your team runs into opponents that stand out from the rest by having a life bar of another color. These enemies are known as « Innocents », they are susceptible to attack by « NPCs » and if you manage to eliminate them before others do, they « move » to your object, reinforcing their statistics. Each type of « Resident » gives different benefits, so it is advisable to transfer them to other « items » to keep the ones that are most suitable (it does little good to have more « INT » in something that needs « ATK » to shine). Something similar happens in Chara World: based on their talent, the characters are able to receive a precise number of upgrades of our choice (more mobility, «skills», etc.). And yes, everyone can be a genius by paying the necessary « Mana » during the famous process of Reincarnation of the franchise. What is reincarnation for? It is extremely useful: it resets the level in exchange for improving the stats and can be repeated countless times. As if that were not enough, it allows modifying the class if it is someone created or disciplined by the user, keeping «skills» of the previous race, even in his new body. Note: To unlock « Chara World » in the Senate, you must reincarnate someone at least level 100 first.
In these times, more than one is fed up with the fact that day itself and day too, politics is a cause of headaches. In Netherworld they are not spared either, but the matter works a little differently here, doesn’t it? Going to the point, through the so-called Senate Hearings a group of demons with the role of senators vote the proposals made by Valvatorez and company. The mere act of proposing something to vote costs « Mana », which is not returned if it does not go ahead. That happening is common, and there are a number of ways to deal with this: putting your own senators, bribing demons, or plunging them into a deep sleep with chloroform before the vote happens. If even with these the result does not favor you, three options stand before you: surrender, pay « HL » to try to buy the vote or give yourself the pleasure of persuade them by force. The last option is not too affordable in the early stages of the game, but after a certain point it ends up becoming the best alternative as it is not exempt from giving money and experience when winning the fight. To all this, did you know that you can send a senator to other people’s audiences and vice versa? The attitude of those senators depends on those who send them and ask for gifts, merge with the monster next door, put a handful of demons to sleep … There are 11 possibilities!
Disgaea 4 Complete + has more online features aside from the senate one, although we are not going to delve into a couple of ways with a certain online component to avoid stepping on mines of «spoilers». Of them we are only going to say that the code «X Y B X Y B A» you are interested in pressing it after the end credits. What we can talk about is the «Online ranking» and of Map Editor. If you like Super Mario Maker, the «Map Editor» is made for you. This is obtained in the senate and makes it possible to create and upload levels to the network or play other people’s levels. Playing third-party creations is vital when creating levels, since each time you complete one they reward you with points called « CP », whose purpose is to be used when buying in a store that gives access to land forms, textures for them, decorative objects and «Geo Blocks». When you get down to business, give a choice between creating a scenario of 0 or customizing a map that you will complete before during the adventure. In any case, the «NPCs» available are your own units, so their actions are up to you and, before uploading the map to the internet, it’s your turn to challenge yourself! Incidentally, the « Map Editor » lets you make bases that replace the original in a similar way. However, here they do not allow you to download the inventions of the community or share yours. He « Online Ranking », meanwhile, does not have much mystery. Every week, what you evaluate rotates and depending on the position you end up in the classification, they give you more or less «RP». They also give away points if you meet challenges, such as killing 10 enemies or stealing 50 objects. What are the points for? To get « snacks », weapons and « Innocents » very convenient for equipping your team.
We live in an age when classic RPGs that lack measures that make life easier for the player are difficult for many to digest. Whether we like it or not, time is money and that is why most companies think of ways to adapt. Nippon Ichi is no exception, so Disgaea 4 Complete + boasts several elements focused on that purpose. It is possible to disable animations, increase the speed in which everything unfolds in combat, including the movement of the cursor. The succession of the texts can be fast, they put optional autosave, several icons for the save files and skipping the «skills» that we want with the press of a button is feasible. At the same time we have the Cheat Shop, an unlockable place in the senate that allows, among other functions, to raise the level of the enemies and regulate the « HL », the experience and the « Mana » that are earned by fighting. Its operation is simple. Depending on the moment in the story the player is in, he receives a specific number of points to be distributed among 3 bars or what is the same, you choose if you want to receive a homogeneous distribution or bet on, for example, catching five times more experience and cut your income in half. The levels of the adversaries are guided through stars, the normal thing is that there is 0 and the maximum that can be entered is 20. Twenty stars means seeing enemies with hundreds of more levels. This is useful for « leveling » and for making the « Game Over » screen your friend if you’re not careful. If by chance you feel like remembering past events, they can be visited with the help of the « Memory Shop ». With the code that we have already mentioned several times, a succubus appears that carries the soundtrack on its wings. This, in addition, sells pieces for you to use as the default theme of the base, background in your original maps, etc.
Auhh! Lala lala lala lalalalala… ♫ ♪ ♩
Those who have tried a Disgaea before know that Tenpei Sato is a skilled composer. His repertoire is one of the most varied, being able to draw well-numbered soundtracks of all kinds of compositions. However, it is curious at least that the song that the editor of the analysis liked the most this time was one that stuck in his head to the point of humming it sometimes thanks to its simplicity, how catchy it is and why not To say it, how implausible it is to hear something like this for the first time in the battle against a boss. However, Tenpei did not create only melodies with light tones for Disgaea 4. Proof of this are works such as « Wings That Can’t Fly », « Noble Marble » or « Old Friends », so do not worry, the music does not stays lame in any situation.
Editor’s Note: This is the first time that I see myself able to sing a Japanese song.
Disgaea 4 Complete + boasts two dubbing: one with voices in Japanese and the other with English people behind. Personally, we think that the original cast is the winner in a hypothetical duel, putting a lot of passion in it, having famous «seiyuus» like Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Ban in Nanatsu no Taizai) or Kaori Mizuhashi (Mami in Madoka Magica) and Calar more in the personalities of the cast of protagonists. Although we are not going to affirm that the Anglo-Saxon dubbing is bad; adequately fulfills its mission and the saying goes: for tastes, colors.
Next, we move on to the graphic section of Disgaea 4 Complete +, which has received a facelift after reaching a resolution of 1080p. As with the rest of the franchise, Nippon Ichi chose to employ Chibi-style sprites for the diverse characters and settings, which callus. Despite this, all that glitters is not gold, because both in the fused monsters and in the giant weapons, a loss of definition is noted, which hints that the « sprites » are simply stretched. Likewise, the typical recycling of drawings with mere color changes does not go unnoticed either. On the other hand, the story is told in two ways on the screen: on the combat stage itself, with « sprites » and successful animations that give the subject a certain charm or in a format similar to that of visual novels. In other words, they use background artwork, a text box, and character illustrations that change their expressions depending on the moment. Of course, the animations are also very present in combat and to our joy, they were made with care and there is a wide range of them. Leaving aside that some parts of the interface are weighed down by years and minor failures, we are generally satisfied with what we have seen.
Disgaea 4 Complete + – A joke worth remembering
Disgaea 4 Complete + is like that joke, that even without making much sense, ends up making the most of your laughter and somehow sneaks into your personal repertoire. If you want to spend a lot of hours on an « SRPG » that is out of the ordinary and the language barrier is not a problem for you, look no further, as we are sure that this proposal by Nippon Ichi will do everything but leave you indifferent.
We have analyzed Disgaea 4 Complete + thanks to a digital copy provided by Bandai Namco. Version analyzed: 1.1.0
A sardine a day, keeps the doctor away. Or at least that’s what Valzy says
Disgaea 4 Complete + is an « SRPG » in which you accompany the vampire Valvatorez on his way to the fulfillment of his promises. If you are looking for a fun yet challenging video game, a ton of demonic entertainment awaits you here.
The laughter you throw yourself is priceless
It has an attractive and complex gameplay, which is capable of offering hundreds of hours of fun.
Includes all DLC and add-ons from previous versions
Lacks Spanish subtitles
The post game is not exactly friendly for people who hate training
Occasionally notable peaks of difficulty occur