There’s still so many games in the RPG world that I’ve yet to truly discover. Sword Art Online still evades my radar even to this day. Dragon Quest has only been conquered once before by myself, let alone the entire series and I’ve barely even scratched on the first 6 games in the Final Fantasy series. Danganronpa is another franchise that I’ve been gagging to get my hands on for a while now but to no real avail. Fortunately, I’m blessed with an opportunity to review their latest title! Did the game go in the trash, or am I now a hardcore fan of the series? You’ll find out soon enough!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, Danganronpa is a huge franchise which has seen a massive amount of game releases since it’s set up. Ultra Despair Girls is just one of those releases, which originally made its debut on the PlayStation Vita back in 2015. This review is for the newly released PlayStation 4 version which was released in Europe back on June 23rd 2017 (a little bit later for North America) and is a direct port from the PlayStation Vita version. Players can expect to see all the features from the original in the action, adventure game released by publishers NIS America, Inc. And developed by Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
As I’m starting the game I’m actually quite blown away by the entertaining title scene. The music is very funky and the random gunshot noises woke me up to say the least. Within seconds, I’m excited to play. After a quick camera set up, I’m off into the first cutscene. A very cartoony and actually pretty amusing cutscene of a young girl describing the shape of the world, leading into a very graphical and anime based scene.
You’ll be introduced to Komaru, a normal high school girl, who is going to have another normal day, and is completely normal in every way, but is imprisoned in a room, which is… completely normal. After being locked away for a year and a half, our little go getter isn’t giving up hope and is determined to get back out into the world. Now the game wouldn’t be very fun if you were trapped in a room all the time… So just like magic, the door is smashed to bits but a mysterious monster bear with some very sharp claws…
You’ll finally get control of your character and will be tasked with running away from the bear. Keep in mind I was playing this with my fiancé right next to me, but we couldn’t stop laughing at the feeble attempt my character made to run away from this monster. After 5 minutes of running around the table with the bear of death chasing my character around I realized the door was wide open and quickly made my way to the elevators to seek shelter.
After this time, your introduced to Byakuya and his marvelous hacking death ray gun which can instantly kill death bears on sight! (YAYYY!) He’s come to save you from your imprisonment and as a result destroy all the Monokuma (death bears!). Just as your about to get the hell out of there a whole lot more of them come out of nowhere. Naturally you’re handed a gun and are now ready to lock and load! You’ll soon come to realize that the bears are killing everything in sight and destroying the world (Oh noes!). With your trusty gun, it’s time to get trigger happy. Bear season just opened…. (Cool guy face).
Once you’ve taken all those nasty bears out, you’ll be introduced to a bunch of crazy kids who have unleashed the bears in order to kill all the adults and build a paradise for children. You can guess what’s coming next though! It’s going to be up to you to save the world from those crazy kids and take back the world. Woop!
The story is actually really interesting when it starts to open up and I had a blast learning all about the different characters and what was happening in the world of Danganronpa Another Episode. There’s some really weird moments, but some very funny ones as well which will keep you wanting just a little bit more of what the game has to offer. I’m already looking forward to the conclusion of the game and finding out everything that happens in this great storyline!
Let’s move onto features a little bit, shall we? Well Danganronpa is pretty much what you’d expect from a game of this sort. There’s not an awful lot of stuff to do apart from move through the linear storyline and fight your way through hordes of bears. After a little while you’ll be given more abilities to take on the bears, such as the use of Genocide Jack, a crazy girl who has dual personalities and slashes bears to pieces with scissors… My kind of woman!
At the start of the game you’ll be given all the bullets for your gun, but unfortunately these will quickly be snatched from you and you’ll have to make your way through the game getting them all over again. The bullets themselves serve different purposes, from being able to break those pesky bears, to moving objects and activating machines, to setting things on fire and even a dance bullets! DANCE BEARS DANCE!!!!
You’ll also only have a set number of bullets, and bears will have a weak spot, so trying to shoot them in that weak spot is definitely something you need to get used to. You’ll have to try and conserve those bullets as much as you can. If you do manage to get a few weak point hits, you’ll instantly take down the bear and will be rewarded with an ultra-strong break shot that can take down those naughty bears in one shot, so get used to aiming well because you’re going to need it.
Progressing through the game will also unlock skills which will provide some really fancy new abilities with your gun (which will come in very handy!). You’ll also be able to upgrade your gun to make it a lot more shooty (boom) and provide a real bang to those nasty bears.
Control wise the game isn’t half bad and you will be using a series of movement through the joystick, aiming and shooting using the L2, R2 and right joystick buttons and switching to different bullets using the directional pad. It’s relatively easy to pick up, so the game doesn’t have you messing around with trying to figure out controls early in the game, which leads you more time to go hunt down those bears (Score!)
Graphics wise, the gameplay itself leaves much to be desired, but then again, it’s a direct port from the PlayStation Vita, so I didn’t really go into this expecting it to be great. The cutscenes though are of very high quality and are fantastic to view. Sound wise, you’ll be in for a real treat! The sound is exciting, really atmospheric and you’ll have a great mix of pumping tracks to keep you happy whilst you’re getting your groove on and taking down bad guys! What more could you ask for, right?
I’ve always wondered what the deal was with Danganronpa games in particular, some people tend to love them and some people tend to have never even heard of them. After playing this one, I can say it was just down right hilarious! Whilst the gameplay was interesting, the cutscenes and humor that the game offers is really what makes it shine as a game, and I would challenge anyone to play it and not laugh out loud at least once.
I didn’t really find anything bad with Danganronpa Another Episode at all. Infact if anything I had an absolute blast playing through the game. Whilst it’s probably not the best graphically, it makes up for that with so much more in it’s fun and interesting gameplay, and the game really begins to shine through its highly entertaining story which will leave you hooked!
Overall, I would give Danganronpa a 9/10. It was interesting to say the least and certainly not what I expected from the game. Is it going to leave me hooked on the series? Probably. Am I going to go and re-visit all the previous games? Probably not. Am I going to consider buying the next top-notch release that comes out? Yes. It’s a satisfying game which is entertaining to play through to say the least and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who fancies a bit of humor in their daily gaming!
Quote: Hilarity, Guns and… Killer Bears?! Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls blasts through to PlayStation 4!