What’s your considered opinion on Danganronpa?

By | October 4, 2017

I’ve heard interesting things about a videogame series called Danganronpa for a while and I’m aware a new installment has just been released on PS4 (and indeed the first two are also out on it). Has anyone played it/them?

I love the sound of the formatty premise – Battle Royale meets The Mole, elite high school kids with special powers forced to murder one of their own to earn their freedom from a sadistic bear, but they have to get away with it after standing trial with their peers. It’s all done in an anime/visual novel style.

I’ve really enjoyed the Zero Escape games. This sounds like it might scratch a similar itch. Would I (and by extension: you) enjoy this? Is it too weird?

15 thoughts on “What’s your considered opinion on Danganronpa?

  1. Alex

    It’s always struck me as a series I’d like, but never got round to actually trying. Might have seen some of the anime whilst I was drunk though.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I heard some people talk about it on a podcast once, back when it was being released on Vita and thought it sounded interesting but I had no way to play it. I’m pondering whether to drop 40 notes to experience it on PS4.

    2. Alex

      The reviews are pretty high, it seems. It looks like it’s one of the more accessible visual novels, at least.

  2. Matt C

    I wrote this about the first game a little while back:

    Phoenix Wright has an occasional issue where it’s not quite clear how exactly the game wants you to progress, but I think I’m finding it worse here, when things I would regard as perfectly valid ways to express the idea I know the game wants are disallowed. Worst of all, though, is the fact that it’s all a bit too, well, simple. It never really surprised me. The story surprised me, but the trials never did – I would go in with a basic idea of what I think happened from the investigation, and the trial would ultimately prove it basically correct. It’s very frustrating to figure things out faster than Makoto, and some of things in the ending trials that were meant to be huge twists were telegraphed way too obviously. On top of that, it guides the player far too much; all too often, a revelation was far too explicitly spelled out, when gently nudging the player towards making that deduction for themselves would be a much more interesting approach.
    I’m perhaps being overly harsh: I didn’t dislike it. It’s a good VN. But the more gamey elements added to it really didn’t work for me. I’m a huge fan of puzzle-solving and adventures, and I wanted something much more involved and challenging than what I got.

    1. Matt C

      In hindsight, that sounds a bit more negative than I intend! As a story I enjoyed it, it was the sleuthing I found lacking. I have heard the second game is a bit better in that regard.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Games 1 and 2 come as a pack. If there’s no series throughline there might be an argument to start with 3 with the assumption it’s the better one.

        1. Mathew Palmieri

          no. There IS a throughline. Its a complicated one though,, consisting of a series of stringing plotlines over several mediums. (not just games, novels(Most important is DR0), anime etc, Though the novels are not localized, but they are easy to find translated online) 3 is a soft reboot (keyword being soft. you still need to play the first 2 to understand it.)

  3. Karen

    I’m a big fan of Dangan Ronpa, I read a let’s play of the first game and played the second for myself. Haven’t played 3 yet but I’ve heard good things. I would say though that playing 1+2 is pretty much a prerequisite to 3. While the games do stand up and have self-contained stories there is a pretty heavy amount of throughline along the 3 main games (there’s a shooter called Ultra Despair Girls which isn’t bad but probably not worth seeking out) that did affect how much I enjoyed the endgame of 2, I don’t know that I would’ve got as much of a kick out of the major twists at the end unless I knew what had happened in 1.

    It’s very much something you’re playing for the story, similar to the Zero Escape series (and made by the same company) but the gameplay elements do improve from 1 to 2, and I’ve heard 3 improves further on the trial mechanics.

  4. Mathew Palmieri

    PLAY IT. the game’s are a master-class in storytelling. especialy when it comes to its plot twist’s (simalar to zero escape. in fact, the creator of ZE and DR are Best buds) I would suggest starting with 1. her’se my order:
    DR0 (light novel.IMPORTANT. if you want to understand 2’s story fully, read this First! it;s a lightnovel that was released before 2 that builds to it and other works. its not localized, but you can find a fan translation online.)
    UDG(optional. it might contain a sequel hook when you finish it, but….)
    DR3: the end of hopes pek high school. (an anime that aired in 2015-2016 that ended the current arc of the games, as the next game is a reboot. its split into 2 halves, futrue and despair, and wraps up like its a grand finale. why? well)
    DRV3 (the 3rd game. unrealted to DR3 the anime. a… Reboot. i cant talk about it in lengh……. but lets say… brig, you will find this the most personal when u finish it. story unrealted to hopes peak, but you should play/read/watch the others first)

  5. Mathew Palmieri

    Is it ridiculous? there’se a murderous talking teddy bear. yes. but its so out there with its story telling and tropes that you cant help but awe. its like saint’s row or no more heroes. so mindbogglingly over the top its hilarious.


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