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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Danganronpa 2 (スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園)

スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 (Super Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair Academy) known to non-Jhipsters as just "Goodbye despair" or "Happy Trigger Havoc 2" if you're a fake gamer on youtube who spends all your time trying to squeeze money from suckers online *COUGH* MJR *COUGH*, is umm ok so this is turning into a huge run-on sentence so let me try again. AHEM

Before I begin, there's not going to be any spoiler in terms of story here but I should point out that if you haven't played Danganronpa 1, you really should before playing the sequel. While not unplayable, you're pretty much gonna ruin the first game but really do I even need to say this? Like who skips straight to the end? Oh right, kids these days with their let's plays and instant gratification...

To cut straight to the chase, this game is paced far worse than it's predecessor. It really reminded me of that TV show Lost because I watched like maybe half of the first season, a quarter of season 2, then the last episode and I felt like I totally saved myself hours upon hours of puffed up suspense and fake cliffhangers. Ok ok, relax, this game is not even close to being as bad as Lost but the whole middle half of the game was a total drag.

In addition, I wasn't a big fan of the new trial mini-games. Rebuttal showdown was ESPECIALLY annoying. I'm not even sure how that worked on the PSP, as the analog controls were horrible on the VitaTV and I really needed to swipe on the touchscreen. Logical dive was also meh, I mean it was a tolerable, crappy snowboarding game. At least they simplified what used to be the tedious part of piecing together the crime in comic form.

Not a fan of this genre... I guess this is how non-fans of rhythm games felt
I feel like they tried too hard on adding more unnecessary gameplay elements in the trials, which ultimately didn't add much to the game. At the same time, they kept the flow of each chapter exactly the same as the predecessor: free time (presents ugh) → murder → investigation → trial. I mean it was ok in the first game but after a combined 70 hours of this across both games, you can't help but wish they changed up the formula a bit.

Besides the meh gameplay changes, the graphics are pretty much the same style except the environments are much more interesting and varied compared to the claustrophobic being trapped in a school setting.

Amazingly, Titty Typhoon apparently wasn't censo- ahem, edited for content.
You gain experience by walking of all things and of course, there's a trophy that would require TONS of grinding (ie walking) which sorry, I'm gonna pass on. Your Level doesn't seem to affect anything except maybe serve as a parody of other games. Speaking of parody, the plot in this game takes the already far-fetched, crazy setting of the first game and brings it up a notch. There are a lot of references to other games and playful 4th wall breaking. I mean for crying out loud, there's a rabbit mascot in a murder game though surprisingly, this game came out only 5 months after Virtue's Last Reward so... coincidence?

I played this bonus game like twice and I was like, meh, I have better things to do.
Overall, I had as much fun as the first game. It was easy to play and even though there was a huge drag in the middle, things finally did get interesting at the end. There were a couple plot points that were kinda disappointing but unlike Lost, it did explain everything though it was probably easier given the crazy nature of the game setting.

I liked the music a bit more this time around with a couple of tracks I actually liked. For example, the song for the end credits was pretty good.

More electric guitar is always a good thing

Score: 3.5 (+.5 mandatory bonus for Hanazawa Kana) oh god, they added an annoying rabbit on top of the annoying bear out of 5 (41 hours to beat)

There's more extras in this game as well, including the Miracle Monomi mini game (pictured above), which... whatever. However, a nice bonus is an alternate IF story of Danganronpa 1 in text form. I do intend on reading that at some point.

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely

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