Friday, 04 August 2017 13:51

REVIEW: Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (Playstation 4)

Written by Brett Hale
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Danganronpa has a long history of games, and unlike other Danganronpa games being solely visual novel in style, Ultra Despair Girls is in third person. The game isn’t anything new, well not to the PSVITA market as it’s been in there hands since 2014/2015.

I’ve not played the previous game, but i'll give you a small rundown how the two connect. The story's lead character, Komaru Naegi is the younger sister of the first game's lead character Makoto Naegi. Ultra Despair Girls takes place roughly six months after the first game. Komaru Naegi has been locked up in an apartment not knowing who's keeping her there or for what reasons, the only contact she gets to see are the hands putting her food through the door at meal times.

The game has a rather slow start but delivers a good insight of what the game's about and what your job is to do. You must survive inside Towa City, which is overrun by these psycho robot bears that are half black/half white. They have sharp steel claws which they'll use to kill almost anything in there sight. Oh and they have abnormal looking belly buttons. This is all going on because of the Warriors of Hope, who want to change the city of Towa into something people could never imagine to happen. It’s up to Komaru and Toko to help stop that from happening. 

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The Japanese make great games, and they're also known for their horror movies that are always remade to suit the western world. Some of their horror films can be rather strange though, and the reason i'm babbling on about that is for one reason, the horror element in Ultra Despair Girls is rather strange. Blood is pink, and those beloved bears are a stand out to the game.

There are three difficulties you can select from, the easiest lets you play without many troubles and to just simply enjoy the story, but bumping it up to max will test your luck with less ammo and fewer times at having Genocide Jack help you out. Who’s Genocide Jack? She also goes by the name Toko Fukawa, she use to kill little men, but has since moved on from those duties *Wink* When switching to Toko AKA Geno Jack she’s pretty good at clearing enemies super quick. She's able to perform combo attacks, as well as help you with boosts to reach high places you need to get up onto. Leveling up is easy just by playing along in the game. As you move to higher levels the game allows you to add more skills to characters.

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Whilst running around weary of bears, you'll see vending machines that can give you items. Also after killing a bear you'll be able to pick up coins and other items such as books and notes. Something else that's cool is here and there you'll come to a room that has an arcade machine, once activated it turns into a security system allowing you to see the area you need to go into next. It will also show you a possible clear route, or maybe it’ll show a bear that has explosives that can take out every other bear with it if you time your attack perfectly. There's also some sort of puzzle gameplay such as going into a arcade machine and looking for a code that's made of furniture which has a code for a computer near by. While playing through the game, every time something new you haven't done before happens you’ll be told the tutorial for whatever it is that is new. It’s one of the best layouts for a tutorial in a game. The pause menu is not something you're going to want to bring up a lot, unless you're the sort of gamer who uses pause screen maps. You’re able to see skills, how much coin you have and see information of characters you've encountered in game. As well as all the normal options that you can change.

Onto visuals. Now they're okay for being a game that was first made for the PSVITA and performance on the PS4 was fairly smooth. I did notice a fair bit of jagged edging, and skies were cropped noticeably that clouds in the skies didn’t match up. The city itself was bland, there is some colour but some areas inside and out looked good, bad, and ugly all at the same time. Characters themselves look the best out of everything, from actual gameplay to anime cut scenes.

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The HUD is small, just showing health, power and your weapon. There is no visual waypoint which could have been an issue, but seeing as the areas you're in aren't all that big you never get lost when trying to find the “right way”. My only con about the controls, which can be changed, is the following character camera, setting this to auto just doesn’t work. I myself changed this to manual and minus the fact you can't run and pan the camera at the same time, it still beats the auto setting. But when moving around or attacking, these controls work great. There is auto saving present and also around are swan looking bears or shall I say bear looking swans that are manual save points.

Music isn’t anything to rave on about, it’s simply what the Japanese must think our music sounds like, I can only say it sounds new age like. All dialogue is well translated and conversations are displayed on screen, as some are live action conversations.

A game that is yet another to move from PSVITA to the PS4. Sure it’s been out already for almost three years, but fans aren't going to care, better late than never. The game is rather cool, the hacking tool is crazy, from making bears dance, burn, knockback even paralyze. The horror theme adds an element that isn’t scary but just downright strange. It’s fairly cheap to buy on the PS4, and is well worth a buy, even if you haven't played the others in the Danganronpa franchise.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PS Vita, PS4
  • Developer: Spike Chunsoft
  • Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
  • Genre: Action / Adventure