Danganrompa has become sort of a household name within fans of the anime genre in video games, released with little advertising or fan fair to the vita some years ago, it has exploded in popularity seeing sequel’s, ports and even both a anime and manga adaptation to show its well-crafted story to entirely new audience.
Danganrompa V3 is, as the name suggests, the third game in the series so far, and equally a good place to start for new comers to the series and a worthy sequel to the previous installation’s.
The gameplay and general theme of the game is the same, 16 extremely talented high schoolers are given a place at the prestigious academy, famed for it churning out high profile stars within the Japanese work force and government. However, when appearing they are found to be trapped within the academy unable to leave, and all of this told to them via the strange series mascot momokuma, and told that there is a killer amongst the students, and its their job to figure out who that is, however if another student kills another and gets away with it, then they win and get to leave the game with zero punishment for them.
It’s a very twisted game with similarity to movies such as SAW, however there are plenty of aspects that bring it inline with what we would expect out of a game.
Now the game is split into different sections, these being, Daily life, Investigation and Trial.
Daily Life is as it sounds, this is where you the MC get to talk to the other students around the school and discuss the situation you are in, or learn about who they are and their likes and desires. There is a LOT to find out about each character if you give the time to find it out, and letting yourself be sucked into the game in this way gives you a greater connection to each of them. Which makes it worse when one of them is killed.
When one is killed the game turns into Investigation mode, where you have to go around and try and find clues about what happened, and discus with the students to find out their alibis and who YOU think was the guilty party.
Finally, the Trial stage, and boy I have not had this much fun since Phoenix wright games, you get to cross section, produce evidence and make your claims in a very active and fun set of trails. Characters will give their alibis and obviously argue to protest their innocence at the crime that has happened.
The story here is great and honestly I don’t want to go into much more, as the twists that occur will easily blind sight you and your first play through will be an experience on par with the first time I played through Phoenix Wright, something that can’t be re-experienced after completing it once already.
Graphically the game hasn’t changed much from its previous iterations of the game, the game works very well because of its extremely stylised graphics. The characters are all very identifiable with different features that make them stand out from the rest, from the giant muscled to the tennis based hat on others, after playing it becomes very easy to recognise each character, but also what their character traits are. I think this needs to be praised more in this day an age where if I chose a selection of character’s from similarly released “Anime” games or actual Anime, it becomes a blur of generic looking character’s. It’s a massive surprise to see such unique and enjoyable character design, which I think says more about the state of the industry than anything else. The game is presented equally as well and stylised, with the character’s themselves presented as 2D characters in the 3D world, turning to face the character in a way that is closer to what was seen in the original Doom, with interesting set pieces to see as you slowly explore the academy. Though some of the areas are definitely designed better than others, as some become a chore to walk through and blend into the background, and others being extremely interesting to see and walk through.
Danganronpa is a very interesting game, and a game that needs to be experienced, I can fully get that for some people the genre that is present here might not tick the boxes. However if you are someone who is after a heavily story driven game with a lot of content to dig into, with an average game time of around 30 hours, this might be the perfect game for you, or to play with a significant other. This is the great addition to both the series and the genre is is going for, 10/10, you WILL regret not playing this game, if not for the fantastic story or great gameplay mechanics.