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Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless Review

Now with seven mainline entries, the Disgaea series hasn’t changed all that much since its initial outing way back in 2003. Though it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Jump into the latest entry, Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless, and you’ll find it comfortably familiar. The basic mechanics are the same as they’ve been in the last six entries, because why fix something that’s not broken? And if you pay a visit to a shop back at the hub, which in this title is a ship, you’ll even hear the same music as you always have. Disgaea 7 does have some new features, however, as well as a new story featuring a brand new cast of characters. That’s all a Disgaea fan could ask for, really.

The story of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is yet another tale filled with ridiculous humour that some will turn their nose up at and others will adore. It’s centred around a rogue samurai called Fuji, who’s strangely allergic to empathy. His world suddenly becomes more complicated after a chance encounter with a naive young lady called Pirilika. Visiting Fuji’s home realm of Hinomoto, she’s aghast to find that it no longer follows the code of Bushido. Determined to restore it, she hires Fuji to help her.

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Of course, over the course of Fuji’s and Pirilika’s adventure, more larger-than-life characters are encountered who also end up joining the party. Ultimately, you end up with one of the most likable Disgaea casts yet. You’ll perhaps want to make use of most of those unique characters in battle, but you’ll also need to create at least some of your own bespoke characters. Those who were disappointed with Disgaea 6 in this regard will be overjoyed this time around: Disgaea 7 restores many characters classes that were missing from the last release. It also adds in a smattering of new classes too, such as the Zombie Maiden. Needless to say, you’ll be spoilt for choice, and can truly make your party your own.

Getting into the meat of the game, the turn-based combat of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is as enjoyable as ever. Manoeuvring your units into position to create combos or gain an advantage is rewarding, and everything moves at a decent pace. As strategy RPGs go, few offer as many options in combat as Disgaea, and so every encounter is exciting to take part in. We also like that Disgaea 7 has done away with the inflated stat and damage numbers that were found in Disgaea 6. It was just a bit too much. Now, your growth feels more rewarding and earned.

In terms of new features, in combat some characters can now make use of Hell Mode, which momentarily gives them special abilities. Fuji can more easily cut through an enemy’s defences, for example, and also gains the use of a powerful special attack. Hell Mode has to be earned, though, with a range of actions required to fill a gauge. Jumbification is the other major addition, allowing some characters to grow to a gargantuan size. They then stand by the side of the battlefield, able to hit just about any enemy unit they wish.

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Outside of combat, the usual features such as the Dark Assembly return, allowing players to tweak various aspects of the game to their whims. New here, however, is Item Reincarnation, a practice that can be used to transfer the properties of one item to another. You’ll have to complete the item’s Item World to do it, but if you’ve ever wanted to make a weapon from a pot lid, this is for you. Most of the features found in the hub of Disgaea 7 really come into their own in the endgame. Completing the story is fun, for sure, but developing your characters to monstrous levels will be the main attraction for some.

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless sticks to the tried-and-tested format of its predecessors, for better or worse. If you’re a fan of the series but you’ve found yourself getting a bit tired of the gameplay, there’s not much here that’s going to hugely revitalise your interest. For those who simply can’t get enough, however, this might prove to be a highlight. The visuals are bold and have real character, the story is entertaining, and you have more options than ever when it comes to putting together your team and developing it. For most Disgaea fans, then, that’s more than enough reason to jump into this latest entry.

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Switch and PC.

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