In Try/Buy/Wait, Checkpoint writers review a game and give you a recommendation on whether to Try the game via demos/buy-and-refund, Buy the masterpiece of a game immediately, or Wait until the game is on sale – letting you know if a game is ultimately worth your money and time.
Your Writer: Daxter
Top 3 Favorite Games: Zero Escape Virtues: Last Reward, Dead Space, Fall Out New Vegas
Favorite Genre: RPG
Recently Finished: Saya no Uta, Pony Island, Shadow Complex, Enter the Gungeon: Ultimate
Currently Playing: Metal Wolf Chaos XD, Space Hulk: Deathwing, Corpse Party, Destiny 2, Hollow Knight, Monster Hunter: World
Bio: My favorite anime is Clannad. Nice to meet you!
Growing up, I didn’t have much hope. I don’t mean that people didn’t have hope in me, more that I didn’t have hope in myself. I was always lost among others, more than looking inwards to myself. It wasn’t like despair, more just like a passive existence. I preferred caring for others, but so much so that I didn’t pay attention to my own burning. Nobody but myself could put out the fire eating me up. But one day, I became real–I didn’t simply exist, I lived. Then I gained hope, for others, for myself, and for the future arriving every day.
In Danganronpa you play as Makoto Naegi, an ordinary little guy who just won the life lottery: A spot in Hope’s Peak Academy, a school so prestigious that if you get in, you are set for life. However, when he gets to school, his face meets the business end of the floor, and he wakes up alone in a classroom, with metal bars blocking the windows. As you go outside, you meet up with your classmates just as confused as to how they got there, and then they see it: The big door blocking your path outside.
☐ Casual Gamer
☑ Normal Gamer
☐ It’s there
☐ High End
☐ Text or Audio floating around
☑ Really Good
☐ Beats Headphones
☐ Not bad/Not good
☐ Very good
☐ Really short (0 – 3 hours)
☐ Short (4 – 8 hours)
☑ Standard (10 -25 hours)
☐ Long (40 – 60 hours)
☐ Very Long (61 – 100 hours)
☐ Timesink (100+ hours)
☐ Very Good
☐ You forget what reality is
☐ Free ($0.00 USD)
☐ Cheap ($1-$6 USD)
☐ Not Bad ($7-$19 USD)
☑ Standard AA ($20-$30 USD)
☐ Pricey ($31-$50 USD)
☐ Standard AAA ($60+)
Naegi is a character on fire, burning up inside because he cares too much about others, but not enough for himself. He looks at the actions of others and sees only the Ultimate greatness they can achieve, but not who they are in the present. But a woman entitled “Queen” is nothing alone. Only when she burns with hope can she truly accept her own name.
This game is a mish mash of many genres. Most parts are done really well, and some are improved via sequels, but are still rough in this game. All of it is split between two modes: Daily Life and Deadly Life.
Daily life is simply Naegi living his new life with his classmates. Talking to them, spending your time with them, getting to learn more about them, and gaining their trust as a person, and maybe becoming friends. Your impression of this part will depend on whether you find the characters interesting enough to enjoy partaking in their daily life.
Deadly life is when someone is murdered and they must gather evidence in order to uncover the culprit. By talking to people and finding witnesses, you can corroborate your evidence to make it to the end of the trail and vote for them to be killed in return.
Trials are the meat of the game, where you use the evidence you have gained to point out contradictions in others’ assumptions of the crimes, and reject false leads as you collaborate to catch the perpetrator.
And that is the gameplay, short, but not that simple.
Spoilers going forward.
Naegi is originally depicted as an ordinary no-personality insert. However, he learns over the course of many of his friends’ deaths that it isn’t just care for others and their potential that empowers people. It is the embrace of your identity, and the drive to move on even though you may not be worthy enough to deserve it. Naegi saw many of the greatest of the great kill one another, using the knowledge they possessed as Ultimates, but in the process became ordinary people, lost in self-preservation.
At the end of the game, when Naegi is facing off against the Ultimate despair Junko Enoshima, she makes all partaking in the class trial doubt themselves. They each lose hope in being able to live their own lives, and lose faith in the abilities that made them who they are. They no longer care about the grand picture, only about what is in front of them.
All but Naegi fall into a deep and utter despair. Naegi, over the course of the trials, finally put out his fire, learning to no longer blame his no-talent life. He casts away his doubt and becomes one with the fire, embracing the burning hope dormant inside of him, and unleashing it on all the others, infecting them with the will to live on. And so they choose the path less traveled, and embrace the hardships that they will confront in the future, because in all of us, hope lies dormant. Hope is inescapable, as long as you have the will to embrace it.
This game is a Buy from me. The gameplay is fun and diverse, the story gripping, and the characters enjoyable. It’s enjoyable for anyone as long as they have the will to read something really long. I played this on the PS Vita, but the PC game should be fine as well. But know that as the first in an excellent series of games, one is not enough, and hope is not without despair. It is a truly unique game with an incredibly intricate and complex story coupled with actually engaging gameplay not often found in visual novels, that makes Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc one of the most unique, genre-defining games, and a definite buy.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc was originally developed and published by Spike Chunsoft (@SpikeChunsoft_e) and was published and localized in English by NIS America (@NISAmerica). The game was originally released for the PlayStation Portable on November 25, 2010, and is now available worldwide for the Android, iOS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam platforms – retailing at $19.99 USD.