Almost all game releases now come with the inevitable talk of a season pass of DLC. What these contain largely depends on the game itself, maybe new scenarios or missions, new skins, new classes, etc. Normally it’s designed to flesh out a game that could feasibly expand, but what happens when the Season Pass is made for a game that already has hundreds, if not thousands of potential hours? Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is a massive game as it is, so is the season pass essential?
The main attraction for the season pass is the extra stories featuring previous Nippon Ichi game protagonists that can be subsequently unlocked as playable fighters. Scenarios include a tournament where your party must ally with Disgaea 2’s protagonist Adell in duels against other Disgaea 2 characters, and being lured into a trap set by La Pucelle Tactics’ protagonist Priere.
Given that these are side stories, they’re not given much in the way of depth in terms of the presentation, but the situations themselves are fun, recalling some of the tropes found within the characters present in the scenarios. A lack of voice acting to match the dialogue is somewhat jarring though, instead using voice clips to emphasise emotions.
These characters generally look and feel not too dissimilar from their main-series counterparts when playing with them in your party. Some gain combination attacks, such as Laharl and Etna, while others get ridiculously powerful abilities, Evilities, and Overlord Powers that separate them from the pack. As such they’re a good reward for completing these side stories.
Also included in the Season Pass are a few new classes to create right away. The Kunoichi are female ninja, while Celestrial Hostess are Angelic Knights with more defensive capabilities, and Sorcerers use magic that specialises in debuffs and inflicting status effects. They’re fun to use, adding to an already diverse class selection, but they’re either variants of existing classes or call-backs to prior Disgaea games.
Rounding off the DLC is a bunch of characters that are accessible from the get-go without having to complete their side story to use. Given how much I despised The Witch and the Hundred Knight, I was somewhat sceptical about using the foul-mouthed Metallia, but thankfully her role as a mere pawn this time rather than having her own story means she’s effectively just an offensive spell caster with access to powerful spells. As such, I tolerated the spoiled brat’s presence far more here.
Nisa, on the other hand, comes from Compile Heart’s Hyperdimension Neptunia, another game published by Nippon Ichi, and is mainly a gun user that has some rather bizarre Evilties. These depend on how long you’ve spent with the game and boosting party member statistics, should their chest area be somewhat… lacking. The final character to buy is the joke version of Laharl from Disgaea D2, who functionally acts the same as Laharl does in this game, but should you buy all of the DLC, you gain access to mascot character Pleinair, who again comes complete with her own personalised move set.
So is this Season Pass essential? Honestly, for a game with the amount of content that it contains, the DLC doesn’t really add much. The side stories are mostly aimed at those who are fans of the company’s back catalogue, who would most likely snap the Season Pass anyway. The classes are probably the most functional thing, but with a game this big they’re a mere speck in terms of their value. Unless you really, really want to show your support for Nippon Ichi, you don’t need this pass, dood.