Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is the sixth entry into the turn-based tactical RPG franchise from developer Nippon Ichi Software. While Disgaea 6 doesn't fully solve one of the series' long-standing problems - its daunting amount of abilities, stats, and gameplay features - it does present them in its most accessible package in a while. That, coupled with inspired art design and the quirky humor the series is known for, makes for a fun, colorful dive into the life of zombies, Prinnies, and other demons.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny features a story ripped straight out of successful roguelike titles over the years. Main protagonist Zed and zombie dog companion Cerberus embark on a journey to defeat the God of Destruction, and it's not a journey that results in success the first time. Zed is gifted with Super Reincarnation, which essentially functions as a way for him to continue to get stronger despite defeat and death. Zed's journey to defeat the God of Destruction sees him meet a slew of other characters, each with their own unique personalities. It's a pretty basic story without its humor and charm, but thankfully it has both those qualities in excess, allowing it to shine, especially as it progresses deeper into the narrative.

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Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny also features a huge amount of customization options for its already deep gameplay, the result of which is an overwhelming first few hours. The game does manage its myriad systems well, even if it takes a while to get there, though it doesn't necessarily do a good job of making all the numbers being thrown at the player feel like they matter. Gaudy levels and ability stats make numbers feel a little less impactful, but during gameplay, they don't matter as much as strategy.

Disgaea 6 Zed Cerberus Dialogue

As part of a series known for its tactical prowess, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny comes through where it matters most, delivering an experience that offers a great strategic challenge for veterans of the franchise. There's careful attention paid to potential newcomers too, however, with auto-battle allowing for quick level up grinds to get through more challenging content, while turbo mode makes the experience quicker even when it's more hands-on. Further options, like the ability to tweak how much of a given reward is received at the end of each skirmish by sacrificing one for an excess of another, helps further customize the experience.

Environmental challenges like tile colors, boxes to stack, characters to throw, and more ensure that combat is compelling throughout. There's enough variety on offer here in the main story alone that Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny should keep tactical fans entertained for dozens of hours, but the post-game offers even more content, setting aside self-imposed challenges available in the game's customization options.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny does feel dated aside from its innovations, however. The tactical experience remains sound but ultimately a retread of elements that are found elsewhere, and the graphics, which don't particularly look good with 3D models even by Switch standards, feel out of place compared to the game's detailed and beautiful 2D artwork. Performance can lag on the Switch with particularly large battlefields, too, though there is a setting that emphasizes performance over graphics that was able to fix those issues whenever they arose.

Disgaea 6 Lightning Strike Ability

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It's also worth noting that the game's humor and character designs certainly aren't for everyone. Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny's tone can be childish in the way it tries to evoke laughter, though there are plenty of charming, funny moments that emerge naturally from simply letting the over-the-top personalities of the game clash against each other. It's an uneven experience tonally, but one that does successfully capture the spirit of Disgaea's brand.

Ultimately, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is a surprisingly accessible entry into a franchise known for its complexity and tactical prowess. It achieves this accessibility without sacrificing its depth, too, which is a major boon for veterans of the series. In spite of this, an overall lack of innovation in the user-controlled battles and some dated graphics and dialogue make for an uneven, though at times great, experience. Even with its more inviting approach to newcomers, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny will likely be most enjoyed by those who already love the franchise, and anyone who has a low tolerance for anime tropes or standard tactical fare will likely want to give this one a pass.

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Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny releases for Nintendo Switch on June 29, 2021 in NA and EU regions, with a July 6, 2021 release in ANZ regions. Screen Rant was provided with a digital Nintendo Switch code for the purpose of this review.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)
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