Uncategorized - June 25, 2021

Disgaea 6 Really Isn’t Looking Great On The Switch

Disgaea 6 has some big quality-of-life improvements but doesn't run great on Switch.

Image: Nippon Ichi Software

Earlier this yr after I noticed Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny was coming to Switch over the summer season, I used to be pumped. There are loads of smaller tactical RPGs on the transportable console, however few have the storied historical past, number-crunching depth, and wholesome funds of Nippon Ichi Software’s Disgaea collection. Unfortunately, my first few hours with the sport are giving me second ideas.

First, the compulsory Disgaea explainer, which I’ll attempt to maintain as transient as doable. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness was launched in 2003 for the PS2. It channeled the numerical technique of hits like Final Fantasy Tactics by way of an absurd anime lens. Reaching stage 99 wasn’t the top of your character’s arc however the starting, and there have been lovable penguin demons referred to as Prinnies besides. While there have now been six sequels and tons of ports and remasters, none have ever been fairly nearly as good and centered as the unique, and Disgaea 6, out June 28, hasn’t modified that for me up to now.

What it does change is the appear and feel of the sport due to the addition of 3D character visuals. Traditionally isometric wanting and sprite-based, Disgaea 6 retains the texture of the earlier artwork kinds however in a not at all times natural-feeling means. New fight cutscenes appear to be Pokémon battles, and it may be arduous to search out your means across the grid typically.

On Switch, it additionally seems downright ugly at occasions. There the sport has three modes: graphics, balanced, and efficiency. Things look alright whereas static within the graphics mode, however the framerate is dismal when the motion begins going off. On the opposite finish, the sport runs fairly easily in efficiency mode however seems like somebody melted a stick of butter on my Switch display screen.

Graphics aren’t the end-all-be-all of a Disgaea game though, and Disgaea 6 does scratch plenty of my longstanding tactical RPG itches. There are still fighters to level up, items to collect, bonus objectives to complete, and a sprawling web of sub-systems for earning and spending different currencies—Hell, EXP, Mana, Karma—to unlock new job classes, power up abilities, and find the most powerful gear. The tinkerer part of me is likely going to spend another dozen hours with the game at least over the next month training up my team and grinding out the story (the narrative this time is a mostly forgettable power fantasy of a punk zombie trying to defeat the god of destruction, but the level design for each chapter’s battles is still quite good).

My bigger problem with Disgaea 6 is just how inflated and frictionless everything feels. The new level cap is 99,999,999, up from the previous standard of 9,999, but in practice that just seems to mean that every character levels up that much faster. Similarly, you can now hit for over ten quadrillion damage, the builders stated in an interview final yr. Currently, most of my characters are hitting within the 5 figures, which is similar as double digits since many of the zeroes get minimize off anyway.

Disgaea 6 is all about automating the grind.

Screenshot: Nippon Ichi Software / Kotaku

There are additionally new high quality of life options like double-speed mode and auto-battles. You may even set battles to routinely repeat after they’re accomplished. RPG gamers are at all times searching for methods to optimize the grind, however one thing about these new instruments and absurdly large character stats goes just a little too far, breaking the underlying logic of the sport. You don’t must let the sport go on auto-pilot in fact, however when you do it’s arduous to cease. At some level, I left my Switch plugged in a single day whereas my demons battled their hearts out. The solely factor that stopped them from rapidly changing into overpowered wrecking balls was my Switch’s power-saving settings.

Pushing the gameplay loop of constructing the numbers go as much as absurd locations has at all times been a part of Disagea’s attract, however I’m apprehensive in Disgaea 6’s case there received’t be sufficient new methods or entertaining story beats to maintain me coming again for lengthy, particularly with so many previous video games within the collection to select from on Switch. For now, I’m making an attempt to make peace with the simply damaged grind by making an attempt to deal with Disgaea 6 extra like an anime Football Manager. Instead of micromanaging the day-to-day coaching periods, I can give attention to the larger image, developing with bizarre, overpowered squads to run by way of the merchandise world gauntlet and doing my greatest to verify each different field in my menu-filled Netherworld clubhouse.

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