Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc has been available on the PS Vita, but has now made its way to Steam. The game is best described as an adventure game, that has a heavy focus on storytelling. The game is full of mystery, intrigue and madness.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc takes place in a school called Hopes Peak Academy, where fifteen students have been locked in. There is an evil robot bear, by the name Monokuma, who wants to cause chaos and teach the students a lesson. The students all have different skills and personalities, such as The Ultimate Baseball Star, The Ultimate Martial Artist and many others. The students are faced with some terrifying choices to make throughout the story, if they wish to ever escape.
The main character, makoto Naegi, is known as the Ultimate Lucky Student. The game starts by introducing the character, who wakes up in a sealed classroom. The game then presents a horrific scenario, they must kill another student and not get caught. They have to do so if they ever wish to get out. The story is fantastic and kept me engaged. I didn’t know who to trust and the characters developed well during the game. You start to question everything that’s happening around you. The game is an eerie feeling with black comedy and an unsettling atmosphere.
The game is best described as an adventure game, or point and click game which looks like an anime or cartoon show. The characters at first seem clichéd, but they slowly begin to develop and have some interesting depth to them. The game is predominantly 2D, with some 3D elements. There are parts of the game where you need to look around environments and find items and clues. These help progress the story, and also work as environmental storytelling.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc has a similar tone and visual style to games like Persona 4. The game also features day structure, like Persona. You also have the chance to talk to the other characters during ‘free time,’ where you can explore their personalities more. Its worth taking the chance to talk to the other characters, as it also mans you increase your vocal skills. The game has chapters, which work nicely and give a sense of progression. It’s important to say that murder does take place, and without spoiling anything you will be forced to investigate what is happening. Part of the game is called ‘investigation mode,’ where you have a set amount of time to explore an area. This involves searching a specific area for clues and items, that will help give more information. These clues you gather are there for you to try and identify the culprit when it comes to the Class Trial.
In your inventory, you have an e-Handbook, which is where your skills and clues are kept. It’s essentially the menu for the game, which has things like a map, report cards and other important things. The best and most important part of the game is the classroom trials. These will take place once you have collected all of the clues from a specific area. The trials contain a series of mini-games, that are designed to reveal the culprit. This is where the gameplay gets very interesting, as you need to listen to the student’s arguments and determine and use one of your ‘Truth Bullets’ to fire at a student and find out about what happened.
Timing is an important part here, and you will enter Bullet Time battles when someone refuses to believe what you have claimed. This sees the accused putting forward their argument, whilst a rhythm plays. You have to try and keep your arguments in time with the beats. These rhythm battles become increasingly more complex, faster and have added noises and distractions to throw you off. The chapters are separated by well animated cut-scenes, and chapters can be replayed again if you wish.
For a point and click style adventure game, the controls are deeper and more complex than you may think. There are moments that see you exploring environments and picking up objects, moving around, and the debates play in a very different way. The game focuses a lot on timing, and keeping you on your toes. The overall presentation of the game is decent, but its more of a visual novel rather than a graphically impressive experience. The game uses an interesting mixture of 2D and 3D environments and moments. The characters are drawn in 2D, and the animation is simple but effective. I really enjoyed the graphic novel like style. The game is colourful and vibrant and suits the overall tone of the game. I don’t want to spoil too much, but the story is the strongest part of the game.
Overall, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a decent adventure game, that has some really interesting gameplay mechanics and ideas. The game does a great job of switching up the pacing and timing of the gameplay. It’s also worth taking time to talk to classmates as much as possible, as they give you more information and add more depth to the story. I really enjoyed this game, and would suggest it if you like murder mysteries or games like Persona.
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