To go even further beyond - Disgaea 6 demo impressions

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Do you like strategy RPGs, big numbers, and seemingly-endless grinding? Sure you do![prebreak]1[/prebreak] Disgaea is a fantastic series known for its satirical take on a genre that largely takes itself seriously, with titans like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics known far and wide. Walking a different path entirely, Disgaea puts forwards a uniquely bizarre experience, and Disgaea 6 goes further to tweak the formula in a few fairly significant ways. With a free demo currently available giving you full access to the game up to the end of Chapter 2, I'm diving in to see what's new and why you should be interested in the latest game of this weird series.


If you've seen any of the promotional material for this game, you'll know what to expect story-wise. There's a bigger and badder overlord wreaking havoc in the netherworlds, destroying all in its path for no apparent reason. With the Darkest Assembly in chaos, a young zombie rises up to announce... that he's already beaten the bad guy. What follows is the story and exactly what the heck went on for the weakest character type to have risen to the top. Much like previous Disgaea games, the setup isn't the most significant, but serves as a decent backbone to the gameplay that follows. You have your usual humour and fantastic voice acting on show, two highlights of the series for me.

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The third dimension isn't always kind.

Before diving into the meat of the game though, you'll probably notice one big change from previous titles: the graphics. Gone are the sprites of old laid upon an isometric setting. We welcome in 3D character models for the first time in the series, which is an odd thing to be saying in 2021. While I like the idea of this, it comes at a heavy cost in terms of performance. For reasons beyond my mortal comprehension, the game runs abysmally on default settings. I can only hope this is addressed in future updates, but with the game released six months ago in Japan, it seems unlikely. The game is saved by the fact you can change the settings to favour performance, but you'll see a significant graphical hit when playing portably, with the game looking blurrier than even Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It can take some time to adjust to, but if you love Disgaea as much as I do, you will adjust to it. More than 100 hours into this two chapter demo at the time of writing, it's time to look at the gameplay itself.

To sum it up in two words: it's Disgaea. At its core, it's still Disgaea. Though models are now in 3D, they're still stood atop an isometric grid, engaging in the usual turn based antics you'd expect from an SRPG. In a turn, you can move and throw your allies, before deciding whether to attack with one of a basic attack or a special skill. Writing about it like this, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is just another SRPG for the pile. Disgaea 6 is different because of numbers. Different even to its predecessors. And these aren't just numbers, these are big numbers. In a single hit, I've managed to do 571,718,898,292,560,701 damage, and that wasn't just me slamming my hands onto a number pad. As a series, Disgaea has traditionally been unhinged in how far it lets you take grinding and character development, but this game takes it to a new extreme. There's a lot that goes into supporting this.

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Big numbers? Big numbers.

Much like an onion and an ogre, Disgaea has layers; there's more to big stats than you'd think. What you'd think to be first and foremost is your character's level. In the demo, this maxes out at 9,999 as it has done in previous titles, but later in the story, this cap can be raised to an absurdly large 99,999,999. As your level increases, so too do your stats. That part is simple. This game also makes reincarnation a far more interesting experience, allowing you to distribute "Karma" to give stat bonuses and permanent boosts to damage, movement, and other useful things. This richer Super Reincarnation system serves as the main character Zed's driving force, with him also having a unique skill that boosts his stats by 1% per reincarnation. Every character benefits from reincarnation though, and you'll find units that have reincarnated a few times to be stronger for it.

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I live for the Grand Grind Witch.

Will you hit numbers like mine by just reincarnating and leveling though? Probably not. Which brings us nicely onto the Juice Bar. In this magical new facility you can use accumulated experience, mana, and stat extracts to give a much needed boost to your squad. On top of being able to boost your level and stats directly, you can also max out your class levels and weapon proficiencies, the former of these needing an unreasonable amount of experience to do through regular play. Boosting stats with extracts isn't something that's exactly new though, what makes the Juice Bar so pleasant is its simplicity. Where in Disgaea 5 I had to capture enemies, convert them to extracts, condense the extracts, and then use a specific character to make sure I got the most value out of them, here I just collect and use at the cost of some HL, the game's main currency. And boy do you need a lot of HL to use the Juice Bar. For each stat point distributed this way, you're expected to cough up 100 HL. Affordable right? Sure, until you're adding stats by the million, and that point comes sooner than you'd think.

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As with every game like this, there are hints and tips to grind every form of currency and stat. There are skills that synergise and unusual strategies to exploit, and finding them is one part of what makes the Disgaea as a series so fun. There's so much more to go into, but after a certain point, I may as well just be writing a review for the game. You can expect that around launch in a few weeks. For now though, I can wholeheartedly recommend downloading the demo and giving it a shot. This one's for the grinders, and if you're anything like me, be prepared lose hundreds of hours before the game is even out.
 

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Eh.. I've already finished the 2h long story content, and I've long been past the inefficient grind methods I used back in Disgaea 1.

From what I've seen there are 2 big changes here:
-Monsters now can THROW and use REGULAR WEAPONS, just like humanoid classes. At least my sole prinny could.
-Experience is only awarded at the END of the Stage. Mid-stage leveling is gone. This is somewhat helpful for healers, but I really dislike this change since mid-stage leveling strats were quite fun to use in some cases.

Minor change: auto-heal after every dimension gate stage. Great QoL change.

I wish the demo included the Item World though.
Then again, if it had, I'd probably not even bother with the full game, since I live for geo chains and random Item World Shenanigans. I didn't bother memory searching for a cheat to enable it either, assuming it's in there.

As a final note, I've only been playing portable and on the best Graphics setting. FPS gets quite a hit, but that does not matter much for a Disgaea game.

Definitely buying this one some day.
 
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Eh.. I've already finished the 2h long story content, and I've long been past the inefficient grind methods I used back in Disgaea 1.

From what I've seen there are 2 big changes here:
-Monsters now can THROW and use REGULAR WEAPONS, just like humanoid classes. At least my sole prinny could.
-Experience is only awarded at the END of the Stage. Mid-stage leveling is gone. This is somewhat helpful for healers, but I really dislike this change since mid-stage leveling strats were quite fun to use in some cases.

Minor change: auto-heal after every dimension gate stage. Great QoL change.

I wish the demo included the Item World though.
Then again, if it had, I'd probably not even bother with the full game, since I live for geo chains and random Item World Shenanigans. I didn't bother memory searching for a cheat to enable it either, assuming it's in there.

As a final note, I've only been playing portable and on the best Graphics setting. FPS gets quite a hit, but that does not matter much for a Disgaea game.

Definitely buying this one some day.
The end of stage Exp is kinda busted though. Chain together 100 exploding Prinnies and hog the Exp with triple Exp and a welcome party...... You can get like 5bil at once lol
 

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The end of stage Exp is kinda busted though. Chain together 100 exploding Prinnies and hog the Exp with triple Exp and a welcome party...... You can get like 5bil at once lol

Yeah I'm aware of the power leveling strats already there. It's really insane.
Add cheat shop "balancing" for an extra 50% buff and stronger enemies.
I don't want to overlevel the story though, so I played the demo with only 2 * stronger enemies.

Maybe I'll replay it with increasing difficulties to have more stuff unlocked on the full version.
 
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Yeah I'm aware of the power leveling strats already there. It's really insane.
Add cheat shop "balancing" for an extra 50% buff and stronger enemies.
I don't want to overlevel the story though, so I played the demo with only 2 * stronger enemies.

Maybe I'll replay it with increasing difficulties to have more stuff unlocked on the full version.
I ended up accidentally grinding a witch in D5 at the start so played the game on 20 star (hence Grind Witch), so I think that'll be the plan again here. So damn stoked for the full game. Will be interesting to see how high I can get damage just in the demo though.
 
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I don't like being the game being in 3D plus I prefer to wait and buy the version with all DLC included like I did with 5.
 
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I don't like being the game being in 3D plus I prefer to wait and buy the version with all DLC included like I did with 5.
A part of me wants to wait for the PC port of the inevitable complete edition, but I'm just having too much fun with the demo ;_;

I hope the Switch Pro comes soon and improves the performance of the game.
 

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This may not be specific to this game or series as I'm not familiar with it, but stuff like what you mention is what I probably enjoy about games the most.

No matter what the game is, if it has some sort of item system of varying rarity, skills, cosmetics, upgrades, etc; I can be sure I'll be straying away from the main content to get the best gear and stats I can find. You could say I try to become a millionaire in every game I play. Finding the best rare and special stuff is so satisfying, including finding all sorts of ways you can outsmart the game and get around things better, and that usually makes you end up being way too OP for all of the game, but it's very rewarding due to the journey.

That's probably one of the very few aspects of what I enjoy the most every time. It also must be for a lot of people but I reckon many just try to finish the game and do a little bit of side stuff on the way, nothing more.

Anyways this game does look interesting, maybe I'll try out some of the earlier titles first in the future.

Side note: Curiously, does this demo have any way to move your progress to the full version? I mean if it has a lot to do in it one would want to carry over that progress.
 

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This may not be specific to this game or series as I'm not familiar with it, but stuff like what you mention is what I probably enjoy about games the most.

No matter what the game is, if it has some sort of item system of varying rarity, skills, cosmetics, upgrades, etc; I can be sure I'll be straying away from the main content to get the best gear and stats I can find. You could say I try to become a millionaire in every game I play. Finding the best rare and special stuff is so satisfying, including finding all sorts of ways you can outsmart the game and get around things better, and that usually makes you end up being way too OP for all of the game, but it's very rewarding due to the journey.

That's probably one of the very few aspects of what I enjoy the most every time. It also must be for a lot of people but I reckon many just try to finish the game and do a little bit of side stuff on the way, nothing more.

Anyways this game does look interesting, maybe I'll try out some of the earlier titles first in the future.

Side note: Curiously, does this demo have any way to move your progress to the full version? I mean if it has a lot to do in it one would want to carry over that progress.
Yeah the demo progress can be transferred, which is why I'm so deep in it lol. You have unrestricted access to the first few chapters so you really can go wild.
 
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I tried 5 but the mechanics are soooo incredibly complicated and deep that it almost sucks the joy out of playing, at least for me.
 

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I tried 5 but the mechanics are soooo incredibly complicated and deep that it almost sucks the joy out of playing, at least for me.
It is the kind of game where you can just ignore most of the fancy features for the main story if they're a bit much for you. The real grind is only ever really necessary if you're going for the post-game content. Some of it is ridiculous.
 
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I've tried a few of these here and there in the past. Have never liked the graphics, dialogue, game play, mechanics, or any of it really. The worst of it for me are the (imo) atrocious characters and the voices. I guess just 100% absolutely not my thing & I think the most strategic type of game I can enjoy is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Cool there's a new one for the fans though.
 
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anhminh

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Do I still have to grind point to buy skill? I hate that in D4. That and character world, full of meaningless grind.
 

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Do I still have to grind point to buy skill? I hate that in D4. That and character world, full of meaningless grind.

Well Disgaea is pretty much "Grind: The game".
If you don't like grinding, avoid it or stick to the main story, which is what I'll most likely do this time around.

However, in this version, they introduced auto-battle (with a pretty good customization interface for the AI) and auto-repeat, so you keep replaying the same map automatically, so you can set up the grind and have it play like Cookie Clicker (laughs).
 
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Well Disgaea is pretty much "Grind: The game".
If you don't like grinding, avoid it or stick to the main story, which is what I'll most likely do this time around.

However, in this version, they introduced auto-battle (with a pretty good customization interface for the AI) and auto-repeat, so you keep replaying the same map automatically, so you can set up the grind and have it play like Cookie Clicker (laughs).
The Demonic Intelligence stuff has me so excited for Item World. Really looking forward to deep diving it.
 
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