So imagine yourself being imprisoned for over a year and a half. You want your freedom, right? That day has come. But it isn’t a prince that is saving you. It’s a bear. With claws. Who wants you dead. Not just you but all adults. Children have taken over the city to build a Child’s Paradise. Welcome to Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.
This is my first game in the Danganronpa series. Erin has covered the other two games in the series if you are interested in reading their reviews. From what I knew, I knew there was murder. What I didn’t know that there was MESSED UP murder. Thankfully I didn’t lose sleep over it but I was not expecting it. I informed Erin of my feelings and she replied, “That’s Danganronpa for you.”
The story of Danganronpa Another Episode follows Komaru Naegi after she has been “saved” from her one year and a half long imprisonment only to find Towa City in complete chaos. The city is being overrun by Monokumas and children with Monokuma Helmets on. But where are the adults? They are dead all over the streets. The group Warriors of Hope plans to kill all adults and create a Child’s Paradise here in Towa City. It is up to Komaru, with the help of Future Foundation’s Hacking Gun and their intern Toko Fukawa, to save Towa City.
Unlike the previous games in the series, Another Episode is kind of a third person shooter. Komaru uses the megaphone looking Hacking Gun to shoot enemies and objects around the map. There are many different kinds of Monokuma enemies but they all have the same weak point: their red eye. Remember to aim for their red eye to either one shot it or have it take a big hit of damage. But good luck hitting it… Aiming the Hacking Gun to shoot the red eye is hard, especially if you don’t play a lot of shooter games like me.
You will get various types of bullets for your Hacking Gun and each one is unique. The bullet you will be using the most is Move. Move will allow hack into little toy vending machines to get bullets and health, as well as hacking into arcades to help solve puzzles. You can buy power ups for the Hacking Gun at a Monokuma Kid shop. Power ups can help increase the capacity, speed, and power of your bullets. Only certain bullets can have power ups attached to them.
Toko Fukawa is not just tagging along for the fun of it in Another Episode. She is your second fighter. With the help of a stun gun we meet Genocide Jack. You can fight as Genocide Jack with the press of the triangle button. She doesn’t take any damage but watch out for the batteries! The batteries indicate how long she is able to be around. Once your last battery depletes, say bye to Jack and hello again to Komaru and the Hacking Gun. The batteries will recharge over time (this might be an easy mode thing only) and you’ll be able to get batteries from hacking into the little toy vending machine with the Hacking Gun’s Move bullet. You can also upgrade Jack and the battery life at the Monokuma Kid shop.
I mentioned arcade puzzles. They are one of the kinds of puzzles you will encountered in Another Episode (the other being Monokuma Kid challenges). You will enter a room with a Pac-Man looking arcade machine and once you hack it with Move you will see a room with Monokumas and an objective as to how to solve it the right way. Note that you don’t have to solve it the right way but where’s the fun in that? The puzzles can range from exploding all enemies in one hit to find the singing Monokuma Kid.
The story of this game is dark. I have never encountered such dark themes in a video game before and I was not prepared for it. As I said before, there is a lot of messed up murder here. But did it make me want to put the game down and walk away? No. Because messed up things happen in the world and you can’t walk away from it. With that being said, Another Episode has its moments of fun and gets you to laugh to remind you that hope is still there in the despair.
Do I have any complaints about the game? Only one. There is a lot of cutscenes and it overpowers the time you have actually playing the game. I know that there is a lot of story involved in the Danganronpa series but I do enjoy when a game is able to balance the ratio between cutscenes and gameplay.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is mid-quel of the series and should still be played by fans of the series. Despite the game’s serious dark themes, Another Episode is still able to give you light moments to give you hope in the despair. And Genocide Jack. I like her.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
You can find Erin’s review here.
I would like to thank NIS America for giving us a review copy.