The series of Danganronpa is one that has caught me off guard. I’ve heard of it being praised year in and year out by one Colin Moriarty (Ex-IGN & Ex-Kinda Funny). Never fully understanding what the game was I went into the previously collection (Danganronpa 1-2 Reload). I was blown away at how far the developer was willing to go with these stories. The terrifying concept and the fact that no one is safe so don’t get too attached to any characters. The game relied heavy on text based gameplay with a little bit of exploration and mystery solving.
Bring in Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. Not a direct sequel but a spin off. The main characters this time around is Komaru Naegi (Sister of Makoto Naegi from Danganronpa Pt.1) and Toko Fukawa. Unlike the first two games, Komaru isnt an “ultimate” student of any kind. Just your average girl. Toko is kind of a polar opposite of Makoto which makes for good character development on both sides. Now as I’ve been told with all games in the series is to read NOTHING on the game before entering it. In that vein I won’t go too much further into the story to avoid any potential spoilers.
This time around rather than be a text heavy exploration crime solving game we have a 3rd Person shooter with still some visual novel elements. Komaru is equipped with a megaphone shaped gun – turning her words into ammo. These are called Truth Bullets and throughout the game you come across new types to use against the relentless Monokumas. This is an interesting gameplay change to a game known for its Visual Novel type gameplay and I for one am happy for it. I’ve never played the Vita port but I heard a lot of people complaining about the controls for the combat. I for one did not find any issues with it. It could have been due to it being on an actual controller vs a handheld.
Even though the game has switched it up genre style there are still many elements of its visual novel roots. I often found myself stuck with long text cut scenes in between action packed gameplay. As much as I love the story that these games offers I feel like bringing back the length and depth of game to a smaller experience, especially for a spin off would help
Ultra Despair Girls is very much a Danganronpa game. It’s not quite at the same level as the previous entries but then again what spin off ever exceeds the original story? After 40 hours of text based gameplay the action based combat was very welcomed. One I hope they implement and work with on future releases. Perhaps even in Danganronpa V3? Nevertheless if you are a Danganronpa fan this is a must buy. If you’re still not sure what this franchise is I recommend starting with the 1-2 Reload collection and then moving into this.
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: June 27, 2017 (PS4)
Available on: PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
Disclaimer: This game was provided by the publisher for review purposes