Danganronpa 1•2 Reload - PlayStation 4 Review

Living in Despair isn’t Really Living at All

Game Info:

  • System: PlayStation4
  • Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
  • Developer: Spike Chunsoft Co. Ltd.
  • Release Date: March 14, 2017

Who it Caters to

Welcome to the world of Danganronpa where your hope goes to die! Or perhaps not? NIS America has finally opened the world of Danganronpa for non-PS Vita users with its newest release: Danganronpa 1-2 Reload. Why, yes! If you have heard of Danganronpa or seen the anime’s 3 different seasons, then you must know a little something about Danganronpa, but why not take the story on firsthand? Why not play Danganronpa 1-2 Reload to find out what really happened in the video games that just can’t be told in an anime?

What to Expect

Danganronpa 1-2 Reload is a rerelease of the original Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair games in one special bundle for the PS4! Yes, now many people who don’t own the amazingly underrated PS Vita can now try out the original Danganronpa games on the PS4.

In Danganronpa 1-2 Reload, you get to pick between either game and start off right from the beginning. You can expect to see a set of ultimates all ready to engage in this killing game to survive. Along the way, you will form relationships and alliances that will help you survive and destroy your trust in humanity. However, there is so much more than meets the eye in either Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair. You won’t even know which way to look.

Story

Danganronpa 1-2 Reload is actually two games in one so both plotlines, while similar, are different. In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, you play as Naegi Makoto who is just about to start his first year at Hope Peak Academy. Suddenly, his vision becomes distorted and Makoto finds himself in a classroom where the windows have metal bolted on them. It turns out that 14 other students are locked in this school and the headmaster, a black and white mechanized bear named Monokuma is urging the students into a game of life or death. The 15 students must either live their lives locked away in Hope Peak Academy or one of them must kill someone and not get caught.

Danganronpa: Goodbye Despair is the story of Hinata Hajime. Danganronpa: Goodbye Despair starts off fairly similarly with Hinata Hajime about to start his first day of school at Hope Peak’s Academy only to become incapacitated and wake up in a classroom where a pink mechanized bunny named Usami announces she is going to take you and a new set of ultimates to an island paradise where you will have fun and be happy. That is until Monokuma enters the scene and hijacks the entire operation. Once again, Monokuma forces you into a killing game where the only way to graduate is to kill someone without getting caught.

Gameplay

Danganronpa plays similarly to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney where the most crucial part of gameplay is in the courtroom. When there is a crime scene, you are expected to pick it apart and find out what exactly happened while also interacting with the other students. In the courtroom, the facts of the case are presented and you are expected to pick apart testimony to find out what truly happened based on what evidence you have. Sometimes people will just interject their own opinions and you will have to shoot them down with truth bullets. The fact of the matter is, you just have to figure out who killed the student!

Now, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair play differently in the courtroom. Trigger Happy Havoc is a bit simpler than Goodbye Despair. That is because Goodbye Despair introduced a few new components to the courtroom gameplay. There is more noise, in Goodbye Despair, which makes it more difficult to pick out the truth from the unwarranted opinions and irrational statements. Then there is the logic dive where you simulate a snowboarding going down a ramp and you have to avoid all the potholes while also trying to outline the facts of the case. Should you chose to play the game on Gentle mode, there is no logic dive or noise.

You will be amazed by how much of J-gaming is included in Danganronpa 1-2 Reload. In Trigger Happy Havoc, you even have a rhythm mini game where you just try to shut down someone who has become rather erratic (whether or not they committed the crime). I think the fun part is that the rhythm game takes a character’s irrational outbursts and turns it into some sort of a rather catchy tune!

The great thing about Danganronpa is that once the game is over, you can replay either game to find out more about the characters you meet. You are allowed to use your spare time in the game to interact with the characters, but when you first play the game, you may not know who you might want to interact with or why. The second playthrough allows you to devote your time per each character to find out why they are the way they are or about their past prior to the killing game and what they have to look forward to. Or, if you have no interest in this, rather minor aspect of the gameplay, you can opt to sleep and just forget about this entire part. However, it is important to note that spending time with a character adds pages to their page in the classroom handbook as well as granting you a skill of some sort. So it is not without merit.

Another thing you can do after finishing the games is opting to play the extra modes. For Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, this would be School Mode while Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair has an Island mode. Both of these modes play as a sort of dating sim extra game where your job is to gather materials for whatever goal you are given for the games while also interacting with other students. Your time limit is 50 days and the gameplay is extremely easy while giving you the chance to get to know some of the other characters better.

You can also take your time during the game to find Monokuma coins around the island and Monokuma stickers. They are handy for the Monokuma machine, although not important for the gameplay.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

So you have been with us the whole time while we talked about Danganronpa 1-2 Reload, but what do we really think about the game? Well, check out our Pros and Cons!

Honey's Pros:

  • Has some value in replaying the game due to new interactions with characters
  • Many of the character backstories are riveting and really pull you in
  • There is a great deal of mystery
  • The graphics are wonderful and add to the eeriness of Danganronpa 1-2 Reload itself
  • The execution scenes are well thought out per each character
  • The storyline is a huge mind eff. Every ending is more riveting than the next
  • Junko Enoshima <--Need I say more

Honey's Cons:

  • Some mysteries never seem to get solved (Why Sayaka? Whyyy?!??!?!)
  • This game is hard to play around young ones considering the amount of blood and dark themes in the game (not to mention shocking scenes)
  • This game is not for the light of heart
  • Some stories can really bring you down!

Honey's Final Verdict:

Danganronpa 1-2 Reload is another great game that we are so happy to have gotten from NIS America! With the game now on PS4, we hope that it will bring many new fans into the Danganronpa franchise in time for the new Danganronpa 3: Killing Harmony. Ooh man, what are we in for next?!
Jenangelx3

Editor

Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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