By: Uma Smith
It appears that the influence from NIS America’s visual novel-on-the-go is on fire with a sequel called Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair making its release onto the PlayStation Vita. With this adventure taking place in a new setting, the high school guessing-game experience continues to be quite the hit. Let’s take a look to find out whether the Danganronpa flame continues to ignite.
Just like its predecessor, Danganronpa 2 has both an effective and simple approach in its control scheme. What really stands out is the implementation of the PlayStation Vita’s touchscreen to the whole murder mystery gameplay. You collect clues that take the form of ammunition, which, in turn, can be used either to challenge statements appearing in yellow or to support those in blue during arguments amongst students. It works perfectly and adds to the game’s sense of interactivity.
With Japanese anime being the essential theme to this game, Danganronpa 2 continues to offer some detailed and crisp visuals, as evident in the character designs or environments. Considering its lack of animations there aren’t a lot of flashy effects, which is expected since it’s not exactly an action-oriented title.
What does keep Danganronpa 2 lively, however, is its effective voice acting where every character displays his or her own colorful personality and charm. While its music may not leave much to be remembered, it still ends up performing its job at crucial points in the game’s story.
Danganronpa 2 will have you engaging in a murder mystery as 16 high school students end up on a tropical island thanks to an odd robot named Usami. There’s a new cast of characters that vary in terms of personality, including a princess and a chef. Apparently, the students were previously drugged when they ended up in this predicament and now must figure each other out in order to escape safely in one piece. As Monokuma makes his appearance, things get out of hand as the element of murder is added to the equation.
As expected, Danganronpa 2 plays out very similarly to its predecessor where you’ll spend time with your classmates and learn more about them. After each chapter, new areas within the game’s environment become available for you to explore.
With murder in mind, you’ll need to search for clues that you’ll use during the upcoming trial in order to determine who the suspect is. There’s a good mix of both pointing-and-clicking adventure and mini-games, thus giving a nice blend of the visual novel storytelling and puzzle challenges.
While there are some references to the first game, you can still play Danganronpa 2 if you just jumped into the series. Since the title’s strength lies in its plot and diversity in unique characters, there’s a lot of awe and intrigue that players will encounter, especially during the twist in the story.
Things are never as you would expect, thus making way for some challenging experiences. While you do get the opportunity to find out how the crime was carried out using the various clues you manage to collect, you’ll still need to work with other characters in order to piece things together.
The main storyline should take 20-plus hours to complete, thereby making Danganronpa 2 a rather lengthy game. On top of that, you can unlock other modes, including one where you have Usami trying to take down numerous waves of incoming minions from Monokuma. Not only do players get replay value out of Danganronpa 2, but they also get additional content that offers a different approach and perspective in the murder-mystery adventure packed in this title.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a strong and memorable title that should be experienced on the Vita, even if you haven’t played the first game. The only “despair” you’ll get from it is the fact that you have to say “goodbye” once you’ve experienced all the content that this game has to offer, which thankfully won’t be for a long while.