Review: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PlayStation Vita)

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation Vita 2,721 views 2 likes 6 comments
Reviewed by Michael Willis, posted Aug 29, 2014
The sequel to my personal GOTY 2014 is here! I finally get to play the follow up title that everyone and their mothers claim is much better than the original. How is that possible? I thought the first game was amazing. So how does this game top that!? I quickly grabbed my Vita and dived right in so I could see if the game really does improve on the original.
Aug 29, 2014
  • Release Date (NA): September 2, 2014
  • Release Date (EU): September 5, 2014
  • Publisher: NIS America
  • Developer: Spike Chunsoft
  • Genres: Adventure/Visual Novel
  • ESRB Rating: Mature
  • PEGI Rating: Eighteen years and older
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a murder mystery visual novel developed by Spike Chunsoft and released for the PlayStation Vita. The game is a remastered version of a PSP game released exclusively in Japan back in 2011.
Michael Willis
image002.png

Despair

Jabberwock, a remote tropical island that is the setting for Hope's Peak Academy students field trip. The point of the field trip is for the academies fifteen students to collect hope fragments and grow everlasting bonds with each other. The students aren't just normal high school students though, each of them are worthy of being called an Ultimate. An Ultimate is a high school student that is number one in their special talent. The talent ranges from Ultimate Gamer, Chef, Photographer, Musician, and more.
Players take control of Hajime Hinata, a boy with amnesia who has recently been accepted into Hope's Peak Academy, a school he has always admired. Unsure of his situation, Hajime is suspicious of his surroundings. Eventually he settles down after seeing all of his classmates having fun.

20140224110805.jpg 20140224114330.jpg 20140224114428.jpg 20140224114741.jpg 20140224114841.jpg 20140224115026.jpg
But before Hajime even gets the chance to enjoy his field trip with his new friends, the series fluffy antagonist Monokuma appears! He cancels their trip and decides to trap the students on Jabberwock telling them that if they want to leave the island they will have to graduate, and in order to do that, one student must kill another student and get away with it. From that point on, the students lives all take a turn for the worst.

20140224105823.jpg 20140224115043.jpg 20140224121436.jpg 20140224121745.jpg

Players are treated to the students daily lives on the island as each of them try to figure out what is happening, who is Monokuma, and how do they escape the island? The game also offers Free Time sections. During free time, players are given the chance to search for Monokuma figures which earns Monokuma Medals that can be used to buy presents for the other students. Players also get a chance to hang out with the other students to increase their bonds similar to the Social Link system found in Persona 4. Doing so, you will learn a bit more about that characters back-story and receive Hope Shards which can be used as skills during class trials. Players are also given a virtual pet which grows with every step that is taken in the game. The pet requires minimal input from the player but it is a nice little diversion to check in on now and then.

Daily life continues until a shocking murder is discovered turning their daily lives into deadly lives!

20140224114907.jpg 20140224120112.jpg 20140224120638.jpg 20140224121827.jpg
Murder

Once a murder occurs, students must take the opportunity to gather evidence on the case and present it in a Class Trial similar to the Ace Attorney series. Throughout the trial, the students participate in a Nonstop Debate which will have all of the characters talking at once until the player uses the right evidence to shoot down a contradiction, lie, or misinformation using a Truth Bullet and thus making your own argument. Truth bullets are the evidence and statements that are collected during the investigation stage.

As the game progresses, more features are added to the Nonstop Debate such as the ability to agree with a fellow classmate, something that is new to the series.

20140227114609.jpg 20140227154101.jpg 2014-01-29-111713.jpg

Nonstop Debate isn't the only mini-game featured in the title. Hangman's Gambit returns in this game, although it's not the same as the first game's gambit, it retains the basics found in that game which has Hajime putting letters together in his head to form a word. Another feature that returns from the original game is Bullet Time Battle, now known as Panic Talk Action, which has players pushing a button to shoot down an argument in a musical beat to form a new sentence to use at the end of the mini-game. Finally, the Closing Argument makes a return which has players piecing together the case in a comic book-style slide-show, mostly unchanged from the original game.

20140227154505.jpg 20140227172635.jpg

Various new mini-games were also included in the sequel. Rebuttal Showdown, for example, is a new gameplay element that occurs when one student doesn't agree with another students logic. During this section, players have to cut down the students argument gaining dominance in the conversation. Once the player finds a weak point in the conversation, the Truth Sword can be used to cut down that person's argument. Spot Selection has players spotting out something that is wrong or important with a certain image. Finally, Logic Dive is a type of snowboarding mini-game that has players steering down a tube avoiding hazards and falls while also trying to answer questions whenever they appear.

20140228120933.jpg 20140228121303.jpg

After the trial ends, the students must vote on who they think the killer is. If the students somehow manages to find the killer and vote for that person, that person would receive a cruel punishment. However, if the students choose the wrong person, everyone besides the killer would receive a punishment. The killer on the other hand, graduates and finally leaves the school. It's up to you to find the killer using your logic and prevent anymore murders from happening on the island.

20140228123213.jpg 20140224114244.jpg 20140224110159.jpg
Thoughts

Overall I thought the game was stunning. Somehow the writers managed to make the game very humorous (I laughed at loud several times at the dialogue) while also making the game very dark at the same time.

Each trial managed to surpass the last in some way. I was excited for each chapter because I never knew what to expect within them and I genuinely loved the colorful cast of characters. I thought the first game was great, but this game... it's just perfection.

I may even go as far as to say that this is probably one of my favorite games of all time.

If you enjoy visual novels such as the Zero Escape series or the Ace Attorney series, then you would probably have no trouble getting into this series at all.
It's wacky, hilarious, dark, creepy, sad, and just really amazing.

2014-01-31-103432.jpg
Verdict
Pros
+ Fun characters
+ Exciting story
+ Returning mini-games are improved over the first game
+ Amazing soundtrack
+ Loads of content even after the main game is beaten
Cons
- Not a lot to do during your free time
- There's a good chance you will miss out on Monokuma figures because of the story
- Some of the mini-games can feel unfair
9 Presentation
The game looks amazing on Vita. Everything is colorful, from the characters to the many different locations that you will be visiting throughout the main story.
8 Gameplay
The returning mini-games are improved over the first game while the newer mini-games fit right in. Although, some mini-games can feel a bit unfair. The game also includes a pet simulator, while not incredibly deep, it's a nice little distraction.
9 Lasting Appeal
I've clocked a bit over 40hrs into the main story. If that's not enough, the game includes various new features once the main story is cleared once; For example, 'Island Mode', which is a twist on the main story.
9.5
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
If you were a fan of the original title, BUY THIS GAME. This game is just perfection, it takes everything from the original and brings it up a notch. The class trials are amazing and filled with suspense, the characters are all unique, and the story just keeps getting better with each passing chapter. I loved it.
Share
Icealote and T-hug like this.
6 comments

  • MegaAce™
  • mkdms14
  • T-hug
  • AdanK85
  • MegaV2
  • trumpet-205