Feature JRPG

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless – Early Impressions from NIS America Press Event

Reef Entertainment kindly invited NookGaming and some other outlets to come and meet with them, along with a couple of key figures from NIS America. The event of the day? Check out the first English builds of some of their upcoming games, the most notable being Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless. It is worth adding the disclaimer that these are from development builds so things may change and we only could play a small slice of each game for a limited time, so insights will be limited by that.

Available were demos of:

  • Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless 
  • Rhapsody: Marl Kingdom Chronicles 
  • The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails 
  • Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten

My impressions of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless were extensive enough that it deserved it’s own article, but we wrote up our impressions of the other titles here.

Disgaea 7 - Two Protagonists

Two Protagonists in Disgaea 7

I played Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless before the other titles, playing the final two stages of chapter 2. As a quick recap for those who haven’t kept up with the game, it follows two protagonists on a quest for the Seven Weapons of Origin, Fuji who follows the Hinomoto Code of Destruction, which outlines some typical demon behavior, in a land where many used to follow bushido, a code very much at odds with it that Pirilika idolizes. NIS America representatives noted clearly that Disgaea 7 is a dual-protagonist game, and that Pirilika is not just a companion. While I only got to see a couple of scenes with them, the contrast in behavior and beliefs did seem like it will be amusing. It certainly had some parts that had me laughing

At this point, the two protagonists had already met, along with an explosive lady named CeeFore who only appeared briefly. While facing off against the good-for-nothing Shogun Yeyasu, I learned about some of the mechanics of the game.

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless - Story

New Battle Features

It doesn’t seem like there’s been any major shake-up of the core gameplay. It’s still the same Disgaea we all know and love. While I could only check things unlocked by Chapter 2, it looked like all the basics were there. There were certainly new features though.

Jumbification is perhaps the most obvious. It’s a new feature where a character can temporarily appear in one of four positions to the side of the map as a giant, and either attack other giant enemies or any place on the regular map. When I played only one character could become giant at a time, but on asking about it, the NIS representative said that’s correct “for now”, implying it might be possible to have multiple ‘jumbified’ enemies or allies later in the game.

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless - Jumbofication

This could be used by any character I tried, from the two protagonists Fuji and Pirilika to a random Prinny. It’s triggered by filling up a gauge (which I noticed could overflow and fill at least twice). The way to fill up that gauge? Ally deaths. Will it be a last-ditch mechanic when you’re losing or will you send out disposable units to their death to fill it up? Either could work. I only had the chance to use it on one stage, but it was quite fun battling another giant enemy and slapping down the tiny units on the map. I believe each unit had different special effects when becoming giant too, which should add reason to not only use it with the main characters (other than the fun of seeing a giant Prinny or Zombie).

Hell Mode was another new feature. When this gauge fills, it unlocks an extremely powerful attack. I was told that Fuji’s charged most quickly via back attacks, which seems appropriate for a demon. As it was mentioned that Fuji’s charges that way, my assumption is others charge in other ways, which sounds like it’ll be an interesting influence on the way to use units.

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless - Battle

More Changes

I was told that feedback from Disgaea 6 said it was too easy, even not counting the auto-battle, so they made this one more difficult. I can’t say how much was the level of the characters that were prepared for us and how much was this adjustment, but I certainly found the boss stage I played difficult. I’m hoping to check this out further with the full game.

On auto-battle, I couldn’t try it myself, but I’m told it’s been severely limited in Disgaea 7. A limited resource called Poltergas is required to use it, normally collected through completing levels without auto-battle. A NIS representative informed me that it can even run out part-way through battle. It can only be used on levels that have already been cleared too. I personally didn’t mind auto-battle in Disgaea 6, since I just didn’t use it much, but I imagine this will come as welcome news to many, especially item-world explorers.

Another fun feature is the hospital. As with previous Disgaea titles, you can pay to get healed here and unlock items as a bonus. The difference this time is that it goes through a ‘gacha’ mechanic, where you get randomized items and try to fill a collection. Luckily there are no microtransactions involved here, only repeated death to earn currency for gachapon. Considering the rewards can be quite good, I could see it pairing well with the ‘sacrifice allies’ method to use jumbification… While I couldn’t confirm it myself, I did hear from some Japanese gameplay that the resource required for auto-battle could be found here too.

While I didn’t get to see it personally, I was told about Item Reincarnation which seems like something I could spend quite a lot of time on. I believe it’s done by leveling up the item via the item world. Apparently, it’s possible to make items fill very different purposes than normal by reincarnating something like a sword into a completely different item such as a pair of shoes, while it carries over some aspects of the sword’s attributes, which I believe are similar to innocents from the previous games in some ways. I’m really looking forward to trying this and seeing if I can make some absurd builds.

Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless - Maximum Ray

Graphics, Audio, and Performance

As a note, while there were multiple platforms available, I chose to play the Nintendo Switch version. Several reviews, including our own, noted the performance issues with Disgaea 6 in graphics mode on that platform. Fortunately, Disgaea 7 seems to run perfectly smoothly in the hub world, on levels, and while playing animations, at least in the parts I could explore. I kept it on graphics mode the entire time without any issues.

Speaking generally, I felt the graphics looked good. I know some don’t prefer the 3D style, but it was all clear, with great character designs, no issues with the readability of the user interface that I noticed, and the animations were smooth (with some that will fit one of our most searched tags). The hub world fits the Japanese theme well too.

In terms of audio, I enjoyed the few BGMs I heard. I was playing with the English dub. I usually play with Japanese voices, but the English certainly seemed good from the couple of cutscenes I could listen to.

Final Thoughts

While I only saw a brief slice of Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless, I’m certainly excited to play more. I’ve come away with a good impression and the feeling that the gameplay will be great. The story and characters I’ve seen very little of but it seems like the classic Disgaea humor and oddball characters have seemingly carried over well here.


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

If you would like to see more JRPGs, you may be interested in our review of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. You can also check out our review of Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Many thanks go to Reef Entertainment and NIS America for access to this event. As a disclaimer, Reef Entertainment provided a train ticket, refreshments, and access to the closed press event.

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