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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Danganronpa (ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生)

ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生 (Danganronpa Acadamy of hope and high school student of despair) or known to non-Jhipsters as "Happy Trigger Havoc" was on my radar for a while. When it got re-released bundled with the sequel for the Vita as "Danganronpa 1・2 Reload", I decided it was finally time to pull the trigger (oh god, sorry about the pun but it just slipped out).

Of course this game didn't have a chance in hell of making it out of Japan when it was originally released on the PSP in 2010. Maybe if it was on the DS and rebranded as "Phoenix Wright Origins: The Lost Chapters of Despair!" I mean after all, both games are about murders and trials and Ace Attorney even has red blood instead of the pepto-bismol censored stuff in Danganronpa.

If you think about it, Ace Attorney is just as violent yet somehow it's all just laughs and giggles
But times are a changin ie Vita isn't getting pirated like a cruise ship lost in Somalia. I think the fact that the entire series getting localized and still going strong for a 3rd entry really speaks to the success of the long tail niche markets with social media internet marketing. (OH LOOK AT ME! I'M SO SMART!)

I don't own the original PSP version of the game but I'm pretty sure the Vita version is pretty much the same save for the god awful load grinding like a awkward teenager at an 18+ club and wet tissue paper durability of the UMD disc of course. Well, at least the PSP version comes with a manual with tactile functionality made from some amazing Egyptian invention with papyrus plants.

Apparently this is what passes for manuals nowadays (0 pages)
Anyways, ah hem, the Vita version comes with the original demo as well that is pretty much a trimmed down version of the first murder. The cool thing about the demo is *SPOILER ALERT* it sets up the stage making you think the main love interest is the cute idol girl. *SPOILER ALERT* Suffice it to say, the main game is not quite the same as the demo.

I approve of the character design. God, I'm such a sucker aren't I?

As for the game itself, I thought it was easy to play and fun overall. I liked the character designs and the mysteries were interesting. My only real complaint is the lack of voice acting between trials. Yes, the trials were fully voiced but as an American, reading all those lines of dialogue in between the trials was a bit annoying.

The music was memorable but personally it wasn't my kind of thing. I guess it did a good job as a game soundtrack but I'm not gonna listen to it by itself.

OST was ok I guess, just not my kind of thing

The game definitely starts out pretty slow as they are just so many characters to talk to especially when they're all in one room. There were times when I just got tired of trying to find the right presents from the gacha machine and talking to random people during the free times. It's not like you're going to unlocked rich backstories for most of the characters. I spent a lot of time with the swimmer and I think I learned that she liked doughnuts. (I dunno, it's been a while.)

Hey, I know how to swim too, wanna go out?
The game definitely picks up as you have less and less people to talk to. I just liked doing the investigation and the trials, really. The trials were definitely more dynamic compared to Ace Attorney as you have to shoot moving words. It also has parts where you select evidence like AA and even a mini-rythm game. Sure the logic got a little, shall we say, vague near the end but the game was friendly enough to replay whatever you failed. The ending was very satisfying and you can't get those awesome death sequences on the DS.


Score: 3 god that bear is annoying though out of 5 (30 hours to beat)

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


  1. Hm interesting i actually didnt feel much for the music either , except that trials songs , that shit was my jam

    1. It's better in 2 but still not my thing.