The adventures in Netherworld return once again, straight from the hilarious creativity of Nippon Ichi Softwareto transport us into the fun oltretomba di Disgaea 7 Vows of the Virtueless. After an explosive launch in Japan which has accumulated tons of acclaim, the successful and beloved Japanese strategic RPG saga also lands in the West to take us into a new, crazy story between funny demons, out of the ordinary characters and lots of strategy. With the greatest of expectations, we threw ourselves back into the crazy world of Disgaea to discover what terrible dangers and great feats await us.
Disgaea 7 Vows of the Virtueless Review: the return of bushido
Compared to the past, this time NIS has decided to change the setting we were used to in the previous titles of the saga. In Disgaea 7 we will in fact always find ourselves inside the Netherworld but in a somewhat particular area. The world that awaits us, in fact, it is totally inspired by feudal Japan, both as a location and monsters to face. A stylistic choice which, although with tones and elements almost opposite to the usual ones, manages to innovate, while still maintaining a strong link with the past. Within this new dimension called Hinomoto Netherworld Cluster, closely linked to the origins of the saga, we will have to travel and fight for a noble and fundamental purpose for the culture of the place. This new location, in fact, has always had the utmost respect for bushido, rightly treating it not only as a philosophy but also as a real lifestyle. For several years, however, the territory has fallen under the control of the Opener demon who rules with an iron fist thanks to his powerful army. Among the many laws promulgated by the tyrant there is also the absolute ban on practicing bushido. Years have now passed since the implementation of this senseless choice and the warrior’s path risks being forgotten forever.
However, they stand up to defend tradition and fight tyranny two unique and unlikely heroes. The first is the demon Fuji, the last warrior to practice bushido (albeit a very personalized and decidedly demonic version), while the second is Pirilika, a childish and spoiled little girl, CEO of an important company in Wahei. Both characters, as well as all the others we will meet during our adventure, are funny and characterized by completely absurd details. The blonde girl with cat ears, for example, is obsessed with manga and films that have the world of samurai as their theme, while the demon swordsman has a violent allergy to all human emotions, such as love and friendship , in whose presence he begins to bleed from his mouth between violent coughs. Despite it all, the strange couple then sets out to fight Opener’s dictatorship, clearing the way of bushido and the territory of Hinamoto, so as to bring it back to its former glory. An arduous task that will require the help of some companions recruited along the way.
Seven characters looking for weapons
In honor of the seventh chapter of the saga, NIS has decided to give us the opportunity to fight with seven main characters, each with its unique characteristics and a particular and fun character. Very quickly along the course of the story, we come into contact with Ao, a little girl obsessed with Fuji and always ready to help him, as she claims to be her daughter. Later, the town’s braggart, Yeyasu, certainly couldn’t be missing, famous for being a great party organizer but also a huge slacker. Ceefore on the other hand is a decidedly peculiar girl who loves explosions and gunpowder so much that she feels bad if she goes too long without smelling some of it. Pirilika is as extroverted and full of life as Suisen is cold and calm, perhaps due to the cybernetic implants on his body which, although they allow him to predict the future, also make him robotic in his tone of voice. Finally, closing the ranks of the new heroes of Disgaea 7 is Higan Zesshosai, the sensual master swordsman of Fuji who, according to her, is the strongest, most ruthless, evil and sinister warrior you will ever come across.
The seven great heroes of the last chapter of the saga also have the possibility of implementing their own powers when using the Seven Original Weapons, once found throughout history. A sword, a spear, a staff and other equipment that can only be wielded by those who can resonate with the souls within them. When used, they are strongly influenced by the emotional state of their owner and the strength of each warrior grows exponentially. A nice new feature within Disgaea 7 that gives greater depth to both the narrative and the combat system. To our heroes there are also many secondary characters, monsters and humanoids, giving us a strong hand during the clashes that paved the way towards the defeat of Opener and the liberation of Hinamoto. If by any chance you are wondering, among them Prinny certainly couldn’t be missing, the cute penguin mascot of the NIS, omnipresent in each of their adventures and who also gave his name to a series of pure fun compilations.
Strategic combat between throws, giants and fun
Disgaea 7’s gameplay system is based on the gameplay of previous titles. During the adventure we will have to deal with a sequence of strategic combat within a three-dimensional chessboard where to position and move our fighters. The playing field is made up of several levels that we can reach simply by moving the character, if they are short, or by throwing different objects to create stairs if they are taller. Unfortunately, some maps are set up with 3D elements which make it difficult in some cases to clearly see the different fighters arranged on the playing field. The ability to rotate the view is not always useful. The strategic component of the game, in any case, appears well developed this time too but the large quantity of actions that can be performed, in addition to the need to confirm the character we want to manage several times, slows down the pace of the game excessively. The ability to pick up and throw is one of the most interesting features of the title and applies not only to objects but also to characters. An opportunity to be evaluated carefully because, if we decide to exploit it, we will not only cause damage to our opponents but also to our teammate used as a throwing weapon.
Just like previously, at the end of the battle or upon reaching the new level, our characters do not recover energy but it is necessary to return to the base and use the medical center present. In any case, there will be no shortage of fighters to field during the clashes. Also in the departure station, among the many stores present, we also have a mercenary center that allows us to recruit new allies to be able to face every clash with maximum power. Within Disgaea 7, however, there are two big innovations that have attracted the most attention. The first is freely inspired by a Japanese trend of recent years to make everything bigger. Jumbification mode it allows us to transform up to two characters on our team into giants, allowing us to reverse the outcome of the battle. A practice to be used with attention and strategy because on the one hand our heroes will become more powerful, on the other they will also be more easily attacked by opponents. It goes without saying that Jumbification is not for our exclusive use but our enemies can also use it. The second novelty is instead linked to the introduction of legendary weapons. In fact, each protagonist has the ability, once the relevant bar has been filled, to enter in Hell Mode, a mode that increases stats of the specific character and makes him able to perform always different special attacks, based on the type of weapon held. The union of these small, fascinating and fun innovations and the new setting make Disgaea 7 Vows of the Virtueless another great NIS title.
PIATTAFORME: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
DEVELOPER: Nippon Ichi Software
PUBLISHER: NIS America
Disgaea 7 Vows of the Virtueless is the latest chapter in Nippon Ichi Software’s successful strategic RPG saga. The Japanese software house manages to amaze us every time with funny stories and characters that have garnered acclaim all over the world, and the last chapter keeps the flag flying, transporting us once again to the Neitherworld decorated for the occasion in the style of feudal Japan. The dimension of Hinomoto Netherworld Cluster has been under the tyranny of the demon Opener for years who, in addition to ruling it with an iron fist thanks to the support of his army, has also decided to prohibit bushido. This is how Fuji, a demon with his own personal vision of the warrior’s path, and Pirilika, a spoiled little girl with a passion for manga and films starring samurai protagonists, set out to defeat the tyrant and bring back bushido. Along the way they will meet five other friendly characters who will join them in the fight. Even with seven, however, the challenge could be too difficult and for this reason the unlikely and friendly group of heroes begins to look for the Seven Original Weapons, to improve their abilities. The introduction of this legendary equipment represents the first major novelty of the game, with a direct effect on the battles. Structured as a turn-based strategic RPG, our team can count on the Original Weapons to activate Hell Mode, during which statistics are increased and special attacks are unlocked. The playing field, structured like a chessboard, is not always clearly visible due to some three-dimensional elements. In any case, in this new adventure we can also throw objects to reach higher environments and friends to damage a group of opponents. However, when we activate Jumbification, nothing matters anymore. With this mode we can transform up to two team characters into giants who will help us with devastating blows. Even if the range of actions that can be performed still remains very long, slowing down the general pace of the game, Disgaea 7 Vows of the Virtueless proves to be the last worthy chapter of the saga: fun, light-hearted and strategic at the right point.