• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
PlayStation Vita  header logo

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

For: PS Vita

No objections here

Product: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc | Developer: Spike Chunsoft | Publisher: NIS America | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: US
 
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc PS Vita, thumbnail 1
As someone trained in rhetoric and debate, I've always found a certain subtle thrill in picking apart the arguments of others.

I'm aware that not everyone shares my proclivities, but Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc makes the process of debate exciting from start to finish.

And that's not just because your counterpoints take the form of 'Truth Bullets', or because whoever loses the debate is usually put to death - although, that certainly keeps Danganronpa from getting dull.

High school is hell


Before we dive into the game, you need to know that Danganronpa is a murder mystery.

As such, characters you like may die, and the killers - also characters - are brought to justice and executed themselves. Think of it like your basic George R.R. Martin drill and you'll be good to go.

Danganronpa
's pretty inflexible about who dies and when, however, so square yourself with this inflexibility and you'll enjoy it more.

You'll also need to square yourself with the fact that Danganronpa is a visual novel, which means there are about 30 hours of reading to get through. Happily, the text is broken up by investigation sequences reminiscent of Zero Escape, and each chapter is punctuated with a Phoenix Wright-style debate session.

Still on board? You should be. Danganronpa has a lot to offer patient players.



Danganronpa's story kicks off in a mysterious high school for the uber-privileged where a gaggle of 15 disparate teenagers find themselves trapped and at the mercurial mercy of a sadistic two-toned teddy bear named Monokuma.

They quickly learn that the only hope they have of escape is to murder a fellow student and get away with it. If they're unmasked as the murderers, however, they'll face a gory and unsettling death at the hands of Monokuma.

Fittingly, it takes the otherwise innocent students some time to build up to the murdering - but when they do, Danganronpa really starts to clip along.

Unfortunately, it takes it about three hours before this happens and the pacing of the story is positively glacial beforehand.

Peer reviewed


Before the murders happen, you're given 'Free Time' segments which you can use to bond with Danganronpa's cast of characters. The more you bond, the more skills you can add to your repertoire for trials and debates, so it pays to be sociable.

It's also important that you dive into this aspect of Danganronpa, because it's about the only way to pass the time between murders. Each day that there isn't a death tests your patience far more than it builds an atmosphere of tension.

These pre-investigation sections are by far the weakest part of Danganronpa.



Once a murder happens, there's a student-led investigation followed by a trial.

And at this point, Danganronpa becomes a different game entirely, and a much better one.

Each fact you collect during an investigation becomes a Truth Bullet which you literally fire at inaccuracies or falsehoods in your classmates' statements.

These trials also feature interactive word hunts along with fast-paced Bullet Time Battles - enjoyable, encapsulated rhythm game sections where you shoot down filibusters from recalcitrant students.

Fair warning to new players: the trial at the end of the first chapter is rather simple, with a laughably obvious solution, but don't let this turn you off of Danganronpa. The trials and mysteries in subsequent chapters amp up the difficulty noticeably and provide some pleasingly mind-bending plot twists.

Pull the trigger


When the post-debate dust settles, Danganronpa is a strikingly beautiful game.

The various characters are diverse enough that you can readily tell them apart, but they're unified enough in design that they all feel like they belong in the same world. Better still, each one brings a signature brand of humour to the otherwise oppressive murder mystery atmosphere of the game.

Danganronpa also handles like an absolute treat on the Vita with touchscreen controls and joystick schemes both available to suit your playing style.

Most enjoyable, however, are the free-roaming sections through the halls of Hope's Peak Academy which are a particularly welcome departure from the cumbersome, grid-based navigation standard to many other visual novels.



With all this in mind, however, Danganronpa ultimately feels like you're nodding off on a rollercoaster.

Just when you've had your fill with the directionless and tedious intermezzos, Danganronpa pulls out all the stops and tosses you into pulse-pounding interrogation scenes where your character's life hangs in the balance.

It's a bit frustrating that you're led through the plot with very little influence on the direction it takes, but the drama, action, and storytelling presented in the halls of Hope's Peak Academy combine make this one a surefire crowd-pleaser for the intellectually inclined Vita owner.
 
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 10 February 2014
Unfocused and repetitious at times, Danganronpa crackles with excitement and intrigue when it gets up to speed - making it a visual novel unlike any other
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
122
The_PG_American | 19:07 - 10 February 2014
Thanks Aces! This one's definitely worth the investment if you liked 999 or Zero Escape. It's twisted, and the execution scenes at the end of each chapter are about as over the top as you'd expect them to be.

As for TxK, it looks great in that indie, retro sort of way. I'm absolutely loving the amount of variety in the new Vita games this year!
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
634
@xxxAcesHighxxx | 16:00 - 10 February 2014
Great review Matt - Danganronpa was on my radar, now it's on my wishlist too.

...And speaking of new Vita games, I've noticed that TxK is due to hit the North American PSN store tomorrow!! Man, I'm so hoping it shows up on the EU store too, when it updates on Wednesday xx

** by the way, those xx's represent crossed fingers, not pursed lips! ;-)
 
POPULAR REVIEWS
LATEST COMMENTS LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS