The Danganronpa series is excellent. Both PS Vita games offer one of the most engaging, unique and visually striking stories that can be found in video games today – and they are exactly that, stories. There’s not much game-play or decision making here, and second or third play throughs of the game offer little in the way of fresh content – but the way Danganronpa presents it’s deep, likeable characters means that this is a package you can’t afford to miss out on.
The PS4 versions of the game are a blend of absolutely gorgeous, and questionably choppy all at the same time. The art style of the game translates beautifully onto the larger screen, and the character designs, expressions and cutscenes look beautiful as they play out. On the other hand, background textures look blurred and fuzzy throughout both games, and the way the room loads – with furniture flying onto the screen – looks a little less impressive and a little more empty than it did on the Vita… and that is everything bad I have to say about the game. If you missed the original games, this package is an absolute must play, the value for money alone is incredible, with both games clocking in at well over 50 hours. You can get lost in the world of Danganronpa.
The first game takes place with 15 students trapped in a school for the rest of their lives, the only way they can escape – to kill another student and get away with it. The second follows a similar premise, although this time you’re stuck on a tropical island. During your time you will either be getting to know your fellow students, solving their murders, or having a ‘class trial’ in which you try and use the evidence you’ve gathered to catch another student out. Each of these offers their own reward, getting to know each of the students offers you a glimpse at the unique and likeable personalities of each of your fellow classmates – and as you get to know them you build your investment in the game. You will undoubtedly build a list of favourite characters and it’s always shocking and unpredictable when these guys turn out to die, or worse yet murder someone else.
The game is incredibly slow paced in these sections, and moving around the school finding items, or people to interact with may be a little too empty for some players. But it’s all made worth while in the flip side of the game, where players collect clues about the latest murder, and must piece together and argument to present in ‘class trial’. Trials are fast paced, and offer a variety of gameplay elements that are missing from other parts of the game. Players will be tasked with using the evidence they have found to catch out holes in peoples stories. This is a rewarding experience and grants a welcome release from the relaxed nature of the rest of the game.
The music in Danganronpa is outstanding, and works beautifully in this repackaged format. The voice acting on the other hand is somewhat scarce and generally saved for key story events and class trials – in a game with so much dialogue this is forgivable but still a shame, because the voice acting in Danganronpa is a world above the standard usually found in localised games. Fans will also be happy that a Japanese dub is available, although in my opinion it’s best played in English.
So there we have it, Danganronpa 1.2 Reload is an excellent package with two absolutely riveting games wrapped up into one. If you missed it when it released on PS Vita, or didn’t even own a Vita, this is a must play. However I’m not sure theres enough in the way or ‘remastering’ to warrant buying the new package if you’ve already played the games before.