Anime JRPG Review Strategy

Disgaea 6 – Review | Great Gameplay. Poor Performance

Disgaea 6 is the latest in this long-standing series of anime strategy RPGs. Travel between Netherworld as you chase down your foe and unravel the mystery around the God of Destruction.

Not played a Disgaea title before? Don’t worry – it’s a standalone title. With a new cast and story, you might miss out on a few references. That’s about it.

Disgaea 6 - Melodia


The story of Disgaea 6 takes place over two acts. They’re both told mostly through visual novel style scenes around SRPG battles, but some of the details are filled in while chatting to characters in your base.

Act 1 is a series of flashbacks. Standing in the ‘Darkest Assembly’ in front of an Overlord, you recall just how you defeated the God of Destruction. This is difficult to believe. Zed the protagonist is a zombie. These are one of the lowest-ranked demons in the Netherworld.

It’s a story of adventure, familial love, and self-discovery. You follow Zed as he tries to help his little sister Bieko, who was lost to him when the God of Destruction appeared. Using special magic called Super Reincarnation, he comes back to life stronger whenever he is killed and travels to the most suitable world to help him in his quest.

Disgaea 6 - Love, Money and Justice

He gains a number of rather unique allies along the way. A king obsessed with money, a selfish princess willing to sacrifice others for her happy ending, an ally of justice who hasn’t learned what justice is, and more. The cast is one of the strongest points of Disgaea 6 and they’re absolutely hilarious in their interactions. Act 1 spends a lot of its time establishing their personalities and fleshing them out as characters. It shows them becoming stronger and overcoming their own challenges.

Act 2 is told in the present. While I’ll avoid spoilers, it focuses more on the background of God of Destruction, with clues are dropped throughout. It makes for an interesting story.

Beyond that, there’s a post-game chapter. It’s fun, but it’s just fanservice. You get to meet some fan favorites from the previous games and fight extra bosses.


As mentioned, Disgaea 6 is an SRPG. You place up to 10 units on a grid and navigate them around terrain to eliminate the enemies. In the story, this is always the goal, but it does vary on occasion outside of that. The majority of the time it’s just about finding the right positioning for the character’s unique skills or other attacks to get into place. Some levels are a bit more complex though.

Disgaea 6 has a concept called geopanels, much like the other titles in the series. Certain tiles have a color and if a geo symbol sits on one, it can give all sorts of effects to allies or enemies standing there. These are one of the frustrating aspects of the Disgaea series and I love them for it. They’re so varied that it could be cloning enemies, healing you, blocking the path, growing, and instantly killing anything it catches up to or more. On most levels, these aren’t really a concern though.

One thing that I did find a bit disappointing was the difficulty level. I found the majority of Disgaea 6 far too easy, with the odd large difficulty spike mixed in. For most of the game, I was absolutely stomping anything that stood in my way.

What does give a lot of variation in all levels is the characters. Disgaea 6 has a lot of characters that you unlock through the story. Beyond this, you can create dozens of different types of characters. From moths to mages, there’s a huge amount of variation and they have unique skills. Beyond that, they can be trained to turn out in different ways, though that’s more of a late-game aspect.



I mostly experimented with customization in the post-game. As mentioned, I breezed through most of the game. This was to the point that I rarely bothered upgrading my equipment or skills.

That said, I wish I used it earlier. The customization is incredibly impressive. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world as there are a lot of different systems to learn, but you can get equipment, level it up, and respec it. Characters can learn a ton of different feats to modify how they play or to affect how their stats change when leveling up. You can even sacrifice points from one character to give the other characters skills. There’s even more beyond that.

You can even customize how the game plays to some extent. The ‘cheat shop’ is an in-game place where you can ‘cheat’ by modifying things like the difficulty of enemies and change the ratio of rewards from battle. I turned experience up to 500% by turning down a number of other factors temporarily when grinding.

Automation and Ease

One of the heavily advertised features of Disgaea 6 is automation. You can have the characters automatically battle. Even grinding can be automated as you can auto-battle and auto-repeat the same stage.

Auto-battle isn’t perfect and you can’t use it through the whole story. Most levels could be beaten by it without an issue though. It’s just where it gets a little tricky with geopanels or the occasional battle where you do need to be more strategic that it fails.

The system basically has your allies just go and attack everything by default. You can unlock other instructions and even customize your own on a per-unit basis. When testing it out, I set up a cleric to have anyone under a certain percentage of HP be moved towards and then healed. That was a simple one, but it does have a lot more options.

Other things make this easy too. Unlike some prior titles, any time you return to the base it automatically heals your HP and SP. This still happens even if repeating the level automatically and not actually returning.

I liked the automation overall. I’m personally not a fan of grinding too much and this takes out a lot of the tedium. That said, I could see people just going through most of the game mostly on automatic. That’s their choice, but I think it could cause people to not enjoy the game as much as they might otherwise or perhaps not learn some lessons that they would otherwise pick up early.

Graphics and Performance

This is where the game starts to lose points, at least on the Nintendo Switch version, which was the only version available at the time of this review. PC and PlayStation versions have later been released, and are apparently better.

The 2D art isn’t the problem. The characters look great, as do the backgrounds. The 3D models look really good up close too – it’s just when you’re looking at them outside of those scenes that they’re not. They look like they need some serious anti-aliasing with how jagged some of the lines are.

I should mention here that there are three modes. Graphics, balanced, and performance. I played through in graphics mode, so I was seeing the best graphical experience possible. When I turned it onto performance mode, it looked like a blurry filter had been placed over the entire screen.

Disgaea 6 - Graphics vs Performance

Unfortunately, the performance in graphics mode is quite poor, so some people may end up using performance mode. Everything felt slow in the base – I turned up the movement speed and it felt like the background blurred out whenever I moved. It sometimes stalled in menus and when allies came out of the starting panel. Most importantly, it often stopped for about 2-3 seconds before an attack animation. Considering just how many attack animations there are in Disgaea 6, I ended up disabling them entirely.

I couldn’t say whether the Switch just isn’t powerful enough or if it’s an optimization issue, but this makes the choice to not initially bring the PlayStation 4 version to Western markets even more unusual. This significantly affected my experience and I hope it can somehow be improved in the future. This occurred in handheld and docked modes.

Just as another minor issue – combo animations felt like they were lacking. When characters came together, it only felt like one character was attacking aside from the picture flashing up on screen.

Disgaea 6 - Characters


Fortunately, the audio aspect is more positive. I played through in Japanese, though it contains both English and Japanese voices. The voice acting felt well done and fit the tone of the story well, with both comedic and serious scenes acted out well.

The music is always a highlight in Disgaea and I’m happy to say that Disgaea 6 is no different. That said, most of the tracks do sound familiar so it won’t be anything noteworthy to those familiar with the series.


Despite the serious performance issues in Disgaea 6, on the Nintendo Switch I still strongly enjoyed it. The story and characters were particularly good. I was surprised by this as I didn’t feel the same about most of the recent Disgaea titles. The sheer amount of customization and different aspects of the gameplay was as impressive as ever. As always, there’s a ton to experiment with.


Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4|5, PC (Steam)

Want to see some JRPGs? How about checking out our review of Persona 5 Royal?

Many thanks go to NIS America for a Nintendo Switch review code for this title.

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