Disgaea is back after over half a decade and Defiance of Destiny is pretty much more of the same but that's certainly not a bad thing.
I've been enjoying the Disgaea franchise on-and-off ever since the PS2 era and its quirky take on the SRPG formula has remained an enjoyable parody while also offering solid gameplay in its own right. Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny continues this tradition seamlessly and it has you play as Zed who's on a mission to take down the God of Destruction. However, the story acts as more of an excuse for many wacky scenarios as opposed to a backdrop for a truly epic adventure. I definitely don't fault Disgaea 6 for that, though, because I love games that don't take themselves too seriously. Plus, the cast of characters is excellent with loads of distinct personalities on display and they all come to life with colourful 3D models and a talented English voice cast to boot. Oh, and the music is great stuff, too! 🎵
The battle system within Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny plays exactly as you would expect. Aside from moving your units around the grid-based maps and unleashing a wide array of abilities to attack your opponents and assist your allies; you'll also lift and throw objects and characters, automatically perform team attacks, and deal with coloured tiles that are controlled by crystals which apply positive or negative effects. All of this is cool but nothing new nonetheless. The only substantial difference is that stats, HP, and levels are astronomically high numbers which is more silly than anything. All of the other new systems have to do with party management and they don't really affect the battle system at all, unfortunately. In other words, the battles are expectedly fun but basically play out without any surprises.
Speaking of party management, there's a lot you can do in Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny to create a fine-tuned setup. For starters, Zed can Super Reincarnate which resets his level to 1 yet he retains his strength so you can do some clever things with this to make him super-powerful. You can also set up your units' AI so they automatically battle using certain logic although doing so isn't necessarily my idea of a good time. There are loads of quests and even character-specific achievements to unlock, too, and the classic Dark Assembly lets you bribe senators to vote on things that can drastically alter some aspects such as making the shops carry more goods. Although some of this is new, it still all feels very familiar yet the vast amount of available options can make character growth rewarding.
Before wrapping this review up, allow me to touch on some odds and ends. One aspect of Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny that I find to be a bit lacking is its sense of challenge. Whereas previous games often featured battle scenarios that played out like puzzles, most of the confrontations here are clear-cut. Even the tougher battles aren't all that difficult if you merely equip better gear or do a little grinding. I miss the feeling of figuring out how to progress while adapting my strategy. Finally, there are a few areas where the visual performance becomes less than ideal. For example, running around the hub area causes the screen to stutter along with a poor frame rate. It's weird because I can't imagine that it would be all that intensive seeing as there are much better-looking games on Switch. 🤔
If you're a series fan who simply wants more then Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is sure to delight with its charming game world, solid sense of humour, and familiar battle system. With that being said, I can't help but wish it did more to make it stand out in the genre.
- + Familiar gameplay that'll feel right at home for Disgaea enthusiasts
- + Charming 3D models and voice cast
- + Loads of content to work through
- - Gameplay doesn't really do anything new
- - Overall lack of challenge
- - Poor performance in areas