I loved Danganronpa 1 and 2. Aside from a bit of frustration with some of the mechanics in the second game they were solid games. Interesting if a bit annoying with the constant hammering of the words "despair" and "hope". Seriously, it got to the point that the words got thrown about so much I started to forget wtf they even mean...or honestly, to care.
But, if you asked me right now if I liked Danganronpa 1 and 2 and if I would recommend them, my answer would be a resounding YES!
I can't say the same for this new spinoff.
Let's try to see if I can make this spoiler free, shall we?
The game takes place between the events of games 1 and 2 and begins with Komaru Naegi, sister of annoyingly hopeful Makoto Naegi from Danganronpa 1, explaining how she's been a prisoner in an apartment for a year and a half without knowing why or by who. This is interrupted by a killer Monokuma bear ripping through the door and being rescued by some men in black. One of those men in black is self absorbed rich bitch Byakuya Togami, also from the first game. He gives Komaru a megaphone which is actually a hacking gun that shoots code and blows up Monokuma robots...man that is just fucking stupid...anyways he gives her the gun and sends her on her way. Shit happens, crap blows up, people get killed by bear robots and you meet the most annoying little fuckers in creation.
You get captured and brought before the 5 most obnoxious brats in creation and I just couldn't help but wonder..Why the fuck can't I just punt these 5 runts into some walls and call it a day? Game over!
But oh no, that would mean an end to my suffering...can't have that!
So yada yada...bratty kids..evil plot...kill adults make children's paradise. Why? because adults are evil poopy demons! that's why! My fucking god this is a stupid game. After 20 minutes of boring tirades in high pitched voices...oh and that one kid who is so fucking slow I wanted to throw the vita. I have no idea wtf his deal was cause I skipped all his shit dialogue...after all that, my crying whiny pale faced protagonist got chucked through a trap door and lands on top of some building where Toko the crazy bitch is waiting.
Toko..I really hated Toko in the first game, I was so not looking forward to any more of this game at that moment.
Toko and crybaby team up to try and get out of the kiddie murder city and a lot of fuckery ensues...anything more would be spoilers so lets move on to the craptastic gameplay.
As I said, Komaru Nag-y has that stupid hacking gun, it looks ridiculous and it IS ridiculous. the game is a straight up third person shooter made by someone who doesn't know shit about third person shooters. The standard monokumas take about 4-5 shots to take down unless you have good aim and shoot them in their stupid glowy red eye. (and with the shit controls...good luck with that).But throughout the game you'll be introduced to a bunch of different monokuma types, like grenade throwing bears and bears with riot shields, you are also introduced to different kinds of bullets with which to tackle the new challenges. Let me be honest, the different kinds of bullets are more a pain in the ass than anything else.
There's a "dance" bullet which you shoot at an enemy and make him..well yeah, dance, then you can shoot him with a regular bullet...5 times...in order to kill him. oh and once you hit him with a regular bullet once the dance effect wears off...so kinda useless really.There's a "knockback" bullet that doesn't do any damage but makes the bears with shields fall over which makes their shields disappear.
All in all there are I think..8 different type of bullets if memory serves.
On top of that you can purchase upgrades called "Bling Bullets" and as far as I can tell they do jack shit. I made sure to buy the ones that were recommended and put them in "excellent" combinations and...I noticed not one whit of difference in gameplay or attack power.
That's one thing...throughout the game you never feel like you progress. you never feel stronger. Enemies are always the same and even if you get a handle on it, they're constantly introducing new enemies and new bullets that just make shit a pain in the ass.
As you level up you get skill points and as you go around you find new skills to use those points on and they are all useless...aside from the nightmare that is auto lock on. seriously, I had to unequip it. It gave me motion sickness. Every time I readied the gun it would whip me around to face every enemy BUT the one I wanted to shoot.
BUT its not ALL bad... as you go through the game you can switch from Bratzilla to Toko and Toko is fun as hell. Toko is strictly melee and wields a bunch of scissors, she's fast, strong and does a lot of damage. She was the best part of the damn game. Unfortunately, this game doesn't believe in fun and so you can only use her in small bursts. She uses a stun gun to become her "other persona" Genocide Jack in order to fight and you can only fight for as long as the batteries last. When the batteries deplete you're stuck with the whiner again. The good news is you can buy upgrades to make Toko time last longer, the bad news is..it still doesn't last long enough to save this game. Boss fights are ridiculously easy and fairly short and you'll have more trouble dealing with the standard enemies than the bosses.
The game does offer some...puzzles but they're more annoyances than anything else.
The puzzles all pretty much have the same set up. You walk into a room with an arcade machine, the arcade machine shows you the next room and you formulate your plan based on the victory conditions. For example, you'll see a room full of regular enemies and a grenade throwing enemy and you'll need to figure out what to do in order to destroy them all in 1 explosion. No worries though, because if you don't complete the objective, just kill them all yourself and you can still get through it, you're rank at the end of the chapter will be lower but that's about the only penalty.
Once you get to the end of the game and everything is explained, you kinda wish it wasn't. The whole thing is just...weak. Actions, reactions, motivations, histories, its all very half assed, I'd love to give you concrete examples but I don't wanna spoil this monstrosity for you. IF you WANT spoilers, well, drop me a line and I'll go into it.
Bottom line is that as a stand alone game this fails, because they drag so much shit from the previous 2 games that it won't make sense without them. However as a part of the Danganronpa universe it fails as well since honestly it brings NOTHING to the table. Nothing from this game will shed any light on the first or second games. Because this game is shoehorned between the other 2 after the fact, nothing from this game affects the other games either.
Even for someone who loved the first 2 games, I can't recommend this and if you just MUST have it...wait for a sale..preferably 50% off or more because this is NOT worth $40 by any stretch of the imagination.
This game truly did make me despair, I lost all hope and joy and happiness while playing this....maybe that was the point? How Meta,