Originally posted October 18th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Thanks to NIS America for the review code
Title: Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
System: Playstation Vita/TV
Release date: 9/01/2015
The main game/story
In this intermission chapter of the Danganronpa series (Taking place in-between the events of the first and second games), you take control of Komaru Naegi, who sets out along with the mysterious Toko Fukawa to find their way out of the mysterious Towa City. Similar to the other Danganropa games, the story is a really huge aspect of this game, and it’s written quite well, although unlike the other games in the series, this is not a visual novel, instead the gameplay is that of an action game.
In cutscenes, the game uses a similar artstyle to that of the main Danganronpa games, while the gameplay takes the art style into 3D, which doesn’t seem nearly as eye-catching as the traditional art style, but it still works well for the most part, considering the change in genre making the traditional artstyle not as effective.
Music and Sound:
Overall, the music is of a similar mood like that of the main games, with quiet, eerie melodies meant to help ease yourself into the world, and to help you focus on your surroundings. There’s nothing overly epic or memorable, but it gets the job done and considering the dark tone of the story, it does a pretty good job.
Now this is where the game shows the most differences from the main entries. As mentioned earlier, it’s an action game, with the main objectives being to get to the end of each chapter, using the abilities of Komaru’s Hacking Gun in order to defeat the Monokumas and get to the next part of the area. The Hacking gun can use different abilities depending on the types of Truth Bullets you obtain, and they each can lead to different results that can help you find secret items which explain more about the story behind the game. Controlling the characters is simple and easy, and I found on the Playstation TV that the Dualshock 3 controller works well with this game, allowing me to easily aim without much issue at all. In terms of Genocide Jack, however she is more focused on agility, but is incredibly powerful. Unfortunately you can only use her for a limited time, and after she wears out you have to get batteries in order to use her again, so I recommend being careful and using her only if you are in a tricky situation. In general the levels are quite long, and each chapter will take you a good amount of time, with lots of hidden items to find and of course trophies to collect. Despite the new additions of gameplay elements over the course of the game to keep things fresh, I did find that some of the areas felt rather empty, and once you know what you are doing the game feels more like an easy experience more than a challenging adventure, although there are difficulty modes to help fix that. Still, part of me can’t help but think that if this game had a bit more action to it, even in the normal difficulties it would be more engaging and accessible even to those who aren’t the biggest fans of the genre.
In conclusion, Danganronpa Another Episode is a decent action game. While it may not be what fans typically expect from the Danganronpa series, especially considering its heavy focus on story, it’s still a fun experience and the writing is as strong as ever. Unfortunately this game won’t easily hook folks who aren’t used to the genre, but if you have a Playstation TV I do think it’s worth picking up due to the simplicity of the Dualshock controls. However if you have a Vita, while it’ll work just fine with that system, I don’t think the controls would feel nearly as comfortable for this kind of game. I give Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls a 7 out of 10, and recommend it to fans of the Danganronpa series who won’t mind the change in direction, or just to any fans of a good action game.