Danganronpa 1°2 Reload Review

By Nate

NIS America has huge plans for the Danganronpa Series this year. The first two original games that came out a few years ago for the Playstation Vita are now available for the Playstation 4. They are still the same great games with a few improvements.

In 2014, the PSP titles from the Danganronpa series started being re-released for the Playstation Vita. With touch screen features and looking more vibrant on the PSV, it became one of the handheld’s more prominent and memorable franchises. Now, being released with both the first and second games in the series, Danganronpa 1-2 Reload is looking to bring Playstation 4 owners a glimpse of the franchise before the eventual release of Danganronpa V3 Killing Harmony.  

The first game in the series, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, introduces players to the horror and despair of Hope’s Peak Academy. 15 students come to this prestigious high school because they are the “ultimate” students and coming here is supposed to give them a promising future. These individually invited students become trapped within the school by a menacing bear named Monokuma. In order for these students to get out or “Graduate,” they must kill one another.

Just the idea of kill or be killed is horrifying enough. With the students being motivated, emotionally broken down and tortured by Monokuma, the game has players brought to their end-wits. The game is full of twists and excruciatingly painful executions.

 

There are rules to the school as well. For example, students are not allowed to attack the headmaster, Monokuma or stay out passed curfew. Once a dead body is found, players will have an investigation period where they must find clues to who the murderer is.

Once all the clues have been found, you will participate in a class trial. In the class trial, players will run through a series of mini-games and have to remember certain parts of the investigation. These class trials can be lengthy and last hours. Sometimes you’ll even be surprised at who the murderer(s) was/were. The rules also state that if you are found to be the blackened, you will be brutally punished by monokuma. If the wrong person is labelled the blackened, then the blackened will be set free and everyone else will be executed. Basically, you lose.

The executions are so brutal and downright degrading at times. Just be happy this is not real and happening in your life. In both games, the class trials can be stressful and scary. The ending to Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc is one of the best endings that I have ever experienced in a video game. So you should prepare yourself for an amazing experience.

In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, we are introduced to a new main protagonist, new characters and a few returning characters. At first the new cast of “Ultimates” think that they are going to be having fun in the sun. Once Monokuma arrives and takes power away from the newly introduced Usami (very happy, pink and white colored), the killing game begins again.

With new relationships to form, robots that take guard, hidden monokumas, digital pets, and much more, this game takes what the first Danganronpa game did and puts it all on an island (Jabberwock Island). The game also features newly added mini-games which can be quite difficult. In my opinion, the original game’s story is better, but this one is equally just as fun. There is just a new world to explore and more to actually do in D2.

After you beat the games, there are bonus school modes that you can play too. It’s just another way of extending your total gameplay time and is a nice addition to the already somewhat lengthy games. Oh, if you look closely in Danganronpa 2, you’ll see an easter egg for the game, Danganronpa Another Episode which features Makoto’s sister and Toko.

The graphics in both games look like they have been improved for the Playstation 4. The games never ran bad on the Playstation Vita. I also haven’t seen a problem with framerate or crashing on the Playstation 4 version. The games look brilliant and I would expect nothing but perfection at this point for these games. There are also a lot less loading screens for this collection of games.

Overall, this is a masterpiece of a collection and if you haven’t picked it up for your vita or have never owned the handheld, you should pick it up. Not only that, but you should pick up Another Episode which will be releasing this summer for the PS4. The stories, characters, and bloody class trials are something to behold. It is an instant classic and should not be ignored.

10/10 – An improved set of games and all for less $20 for each game is such a great value. This should be immediately added to your PS4 games collection.

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