I really, really like Disgaea 5. So much so, it’s one of the big reasons as to why I haven’t finished Fire Emblem Echoes yet. I was very nearly finished with Echoes when Disgaea 5 came in the mail, but I’ve been too hooked on It to really go that final mile and complete Echoes. It’s a real shame: I stand by Echoes being a great game in spite of it’s lackluster final area, but Disgaea 5 has really won my heart in a way I was not expecting from it.
This was very unexpected. I mainly bought D5 on a whim: the devs were one of the first third parties to announce a Switch release of a title, and I thought it would be nice to try their game. I was caught very off guard by how much I’m enjoying it, from a pure gameplay perspective.
Despite FE and D5 being SRPGS, there is a world of difference in how they are played. FE is very limited. It provides you with a limited set of resources, from units, to weapons, to helpful items and challenges you to conquer the game despite this.
Disgaea, on the other hand, offers a vast and complicated world of practically unlimited ways to power up and use your characters. Do you want a team of beautiful, powerful witches and clergies, all of which have different colors and voices? You can do that. Want to stack characters on top of one another to reach new heights? You can do that. Do you want to grind all your characters to level 9999? You can do that.
This openness to the strategy of the game is very refreshing after Echoes. Not better, exactly, but it’s pleasing to see different developers take different approaches to game design.