Welcome Back to the Netherworld Dood
Fans of the Disgaea series have been eating good recently as they have seen new entries or remasters within the last few years. This year, fans will get to enjoy the latest entry in the evilest JRPG series, Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless. It’s going to be another unforgettable adventure through the Netherworld.
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless encapsulates all the quintessential elements that have long defined the series. At the same time, it has changed up some of the gameplay mechanics and introduced new features. Fans who had the chance to play the demo at Anime Expo 2023, were only offered a glimpse of what awaited them. Now, with the full game in hand, it becomes evident that it’s a masterpiece.
Welcome to Hinamoto
Vows of the Virtueless delves into the odyssey of two demons whose values and beliefs stand at opposite ends of the spectrum. In the Netherworld, there exists a realm known as Hinamoto. A reminiscent of feudal Japan, it was once celebrated for its refined culture and the sacred tenets of the bushido code. However, it has degenerated into a realm marred by the rule of swindlers and outlaws.
Among its inhabitants is Fuji, a warrior who lusts for cash while having forsaken the principles of the bushido code. Everything takes a dramatic turn when he crosses paths with Pirilika, a tourist whose enthusiasm for the Hinamoto culture borders on an otaku-level obsession. Her perception of this world has been primarily shaped by movies and folklore, leading to a profound disappointment upon encountering the stark reality. Leveraging her wealth, Pirilika is resolute in her mission to restore the Hinamoto region to its former glory. Her journey commences with the hiring of Fuji, who becomes not only her guide but also her protector as they embark on their adventure. Nevertheless, formidable adversaries lurk, staunchly resolved to safeguard the prevailing order.
If you’ve played any of the Disgaea games then you have a good idea of what to expect from the story. Vows of the Virtueless has the same colorful humor and upbeat characters that have defined the series. Once again we are presented with an offbeat look into the afterlife while stepping away from the usual underworld shenanigans. Habituating this world are new lovable characters that have their own unique charm. At the same time, there is a roster of familiar faces, including plenty of Prinnies.
The Way of the Bushido Code
The gameplay is the standard turn-based JRPG that has been a staple of the series. Players will have a party that they could send into battle while plotting each move on the grid. The mechanics and setup are easy to learn for new gamers while fans will feel right at home. Leveling up is made possible by winning battles and also doing a series of other tasks. However, it’s not with some minor changes along with the introduction of new combat methods. Among them are Hell Mode and Gigantism, which enhance a party member for a limited time and are needed to defeat the stage boss.
The battle themselves requires a lot of planning if you want to get the best outcome. So be prepared and make sure you take the time to work with everyone in your party so they can be ready for a major battle. At times, you might need to grind until your characters are up to par. When done right, the end results are rewarding. However; if you fumble the first time you could always go back and try again. If you’ve played any of the Disgaea games, then all of this will be familiar.
The game is not limited to what happens in each stage. Players can also prep and play around at Pirilika’s base of operation. Here they can recruit new party members, heal after a battle, and buy the needed gear. The Dark Assembly returns, allowing players to upgrade based on the principles of democracy.
Help Us Out Dood!
I feel the most annoying aspect of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is how it takes a long time for most of the game to open up. This has been an issue with some entries in the past, so it makes no sense why it has to return. While this is not the worst example, it’s still a problem and just enough that it should be noted. Yet, when compared to other games, it’s an annoyance at worst.
Another Evil Adventure
Fuji and Pirilika’s journey to restore Hinamoto to its former glory is a fresh take on the series. At the same time, it preserves its defining charm and humor while polishing the overall experience. This makes Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless another fun adventure that fans will enjoy. It has some shortcomings but they can easily be forgiven.
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless is another adventure into the Netherworld with all the shenanigans one could expect. From its new world to a gallery of colorful characters and numerous challenges, this is another worthy entry in the most evilest JRPG series.
Disclaimer: NIS America provided the game used in this review.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless (PC)
- New characters and world create a unique experience that is also true to the series lore.
- Gameplay plus combat mechanics are easy to learn and have been fine tuned.
- It still has that Disgaea charm and humor.
- Rich in replay value that makes you comeback for more.
- It takes some time for everything to open up.