Ryu’s Musings – Danganronpa 1.2 Reload (PS4)

Language: Audio: Japanese & English, Subs: English
Developer: NIS America
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
Format: PS4
Type: Visual Novel
Demo Box: PS4 (Old)
Synopsis: In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, enter Hope’s Peak Academy, a prestigious high school reserved for the nation’s “ultimate” students. Things get a bit twisted when the academy’s students find themselves trapped inside with Monokuma, a maniacal bear who has taken them all prisoner to play his deadly game of despair.

Continue the adventure in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair with a brand new cast of Ultimates. Mysteriously trapped on Jabberwock Island in their own life-or-death game, having fun in the sun with this twisted teddy requires more than a bit of wit to survive.

Way back in the day I played, and reviewed the original release of the game back on the PS Vita, which you can read here. So this part of the review will be a bit brief, since I’ve already covered most things already.

What I will says though is that the game looks damn awesome, for the most part. The art style of the game was always it’s strong point, and them going back and redoing it with high res makes it even more gorgeous looking.

However, it’s worth noting that not all of the images have been updated, as you can see in the two images below. As a result at times you cant help but notice it. This was especially true with the interaction points, such as the cameras. You would think those would be the areas you’d make sure were updated.

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Now, if you’re expecting anything new in the game, I’ve not noticed anything. The game played through the same as originally, however there is a new stand alone game which unlocks after you complete the game once. Though after spending a bit of time in the new mode I was disappointed.

Granted, you won’t be buying the game just for this mode, so it’s fine to ignore it.

What I did find, and this really surprised me, was they tightened up the controls for the trials. So in the old review I criticised Hangman and Machine-gun, for being clunky and unresponsive. This is not the issue on this new PS4 version. I’d go so far as to say they implemented things perfectly here, which is gawd damn awesome.

Overall this update to the game makes it worth a rebuy if you already have the original vita version. If it was just on it’s own, it would be a hard sell at the £40 price tag. Thankfully it’s both the first and second game, making it £20 each, which makes this a no-brainer buy.

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DanganRonpa 2 Goodbye Despair

So for me this was what I was looking for, the second game in the series. I missed it back on the vita. When I sat down to play it I was both looking forward to it, and a little worried.

I was hoping to get something new, and not a carry on from the first game. Sadly, while this was delivered on, I wish they hadn’t. Compared to the first game in the series this one, to me, falls flat on it’s face in a number of areas.

But before we get into that lets talk about what is good, because there is some good stuff here.

Music, I have to admit that music is generally something I turn off, but I have to admit the music did grab me. I found myself just listening to the music and nothing else every now and then.

The characters are also well worth noting, and I felt they were better than the first game. Their personalities shone through really well, and felt more alive than the first game.

The story is similar to the first game, but the changes they made to the story and it’s progression does make it an interesting read.

Graphically the game is just as stunning as the first game, more so at times. I love the varying character designs and the colourful clothing. Playing on the PS4 the graphics do look nice, and good looking, most of the time.

Now sadly we need to cover the bad, and there is, in my opinion, a good chunk of the bad.

Upscaled? One of the big things of this release was that the graphics were being upscaled, but sadly, like the first game, this isn’t always the case. Again I felt this was a bit of a let down, areas that you’d normally expect to be upscaled and cleaned up were fuzzy and pixelated.

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Now, admittedly this is not a huge issue, since a lot of the art has been updated and they do look better. I just wish they’d done all the art. The other problem with the art is the way the game plays.

Gone is the running around the school, which I did rather enjoy. In comes a low resolution side scroll running game. Honestly this was pretty much the second biggest let down I had from the game.

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The biggest let down came in the new trial system, which is frankly overly long and tedious. So much so that even the game recognises this and gives you a break and a chance to save. All told I think there’s a total of 32 trial segments, thats a lot. Whats more you get a lot of dialogue and exposition at times. The first time I did the trial I ended up feeling like I’d spent the same amount doing the trial as I had spent getting there.

The changes to the trial system, when I took a step back and looked at them, are good changes. Individually I feel that these changes make for some fun mini-games. However the length of the trials makes these mini-games more tedious than anything else.

During my first trial I was getting bored, and when the save chance came up I actually walked a away from the game for a few hours and played something else (Horizon Zero Dawn actually!)

That ended up being my main way of playing, I’d play up to the mid point of the trial, save, and take a break before returning a few hours later. As a result of this I’ve yet to complete the game, having only just finished chapter 4.

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So, after all that what are my final thoughts, is this worth buying?

Honestly, yes. The game(s) have issues, no denying that. However even with the issues I’ve found, the story in DanganRonpa 2 more that makes up for it. I like that the ‘who dunnit’ section isn’t as easy as it was in the first game, and you genuinely have to read all the evidence. You’re going to have accept that you’re first play through is going to have errors, and you’re gonna fail.

Is it worth it’s asking price? Bear in mind you’re getting two complete games here, so ask yourself if it’s worth £20, and I think you’ll say yes. Sure it’s not the best upgrade I’ve come across for a game, but equally they’re not charging a lot for it.

Given the price, and the content, then yes, its worth it. What I will say though is that the 2nd game is best played in spurts. The first game I played for 6 to 8 hours at a time, but the second ended up being 2-3.

But all that said I think I prefer the story of 2! I will complete 2 eventually, but it’s unlikely I’ll replay the game any time soon as it’s all scripted events (story wise), unlike games like 999 and Virtues Last Reward.

Author: Ryu Sheng