In the distant future, the world has been ravaged by war. Only within the safety of Japan are people living away from the war. Under the judgment of Sibyl, people live their lives under labels. Step into the lives of two new law enforcement agents who dedicate their lives to dealing with those who are judged poorly.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a visual novel that follows the stories of Nadeshiko Kugatachi and Takuma Tsurugi – an Inspector and Enforcer – as they step into their roles within the Public Safety Bureau. It is here that they will need to enforce the will of Sibyl, the all-knowing being that judges what people are like. Should they be judged to have a poor Crime Coefficient and Psycho-Pass, they are ordered for execution. Follow the story of these rookies as they take on some tough situations, and maybe end up finding out more about themselves.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness’ story takes place within the first six episodes of the anime, Psycho-Pass. The original story introduces three new characters to the fray – the main antagonist as well as Nadeshiko and Takuma. If you want to actually be able to get to know most of the cast, I would recommend giving the anime a watch (at least the first couple episodes). Some of the initial introduction that the game does is a bit poor and it definitely relies on you having known them beforehand from the anime.
Mandatory Happiness follows a general baseline for the story, although there are choices you can make along the way that will change how some scenes play out. I would say a good chunk of the game is story that is set in stone regardless of what you choose, but there are a high number of endings for both Nadeshiko and Takuma so your choices definitely do influence a lot.
With that said, I was pretty disappointed that the game handled skipping already read content fairly poorly. The game features a number of routes that all have quite a bit of the same dialogue, however no matter how many times you’ve read it, if you’re on a different “route” your auto-skip-read-text will no longer work. Trying to replay the story got extremely tedious having to read the same text over and over, even though the general story was pretty enjoyable.
In general, the actual writing quality was fairly good and the story was fairly well written (other than the somewhat poor introductions). I did, however, find a fair number of spelling errors that show the game could’ve used another glance over. I know there’s a lot of text in these games, but it was a bit saddening to find the number of obvious errors that I did.
If you’re not in the mood to read, Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness also includes a little matching minigame. This minigame is a nice little time killer, and if you want to purchase the extra content that is available in-game (voices, etc), then you’ll want to give this minigame some of your attention. The goal of the minigame is to match the number shown to you on the screen. You do this by sliding pieces around the board until two numbers that match touch each other. New pieces are added with every move, and also additional elements are added as you play further into the minigame. It’s a nice little time killer than will also give you a hard time when it comes to trying to figure out the correct moves.
Overall, Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a fairly good story that suffers some when you go to try and replay all of the different routes. On top of auto skipping being a bit shaky, I was a bit disappointed in the fact there were some spelling issues present. Also, I said stated before, you’ll want to give at least the first couple episodes of the anime a spin so that you’re able to get some more backstory on all of the characters. With all of that said, Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a decently long story that will have you guessing as to which answer is the morally correct choice to make. While I have a hard time recommending it at full price, I do recommend picking it up should you be able to find it on a sale.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness Review Score
I would like to thank NIS America for providing my with a PS4 code for review purposes.