Dangan Ronpa: Ultra Despair Girls [Video game review]

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After months of waiting, here we are. The localization of Ultra Despair Girls in the United States. For a while, the fandom was fairly convinced that the topics in this game would be a little too heavy to warrant a localization. The had every right to be worried, but despite that our prayers were answered and the game got an English translation. So how does this third person shooter/puzzle game stack up against their light novel with mild adventure game element brothers?
Can Komaru Neagi’s game be anywhere near as good as her brothers, will this game fall to hope or into horrid despair? Let’s jump right in and find out.

Spoilers for all three games lay below this point, so if you must, turn back now. Here’s a picture of Shirokuma to keep you from accidentally looking down. Isn’t he cute?

ShirokumacgAlright, still with me? Good, let’s break this review up into a few sections. We’ll proceed to go through plot, game play and then discuss extra content/replay value.

plot:
You begin taking a look at the life of one miss Komaru Neagi, little sister of Makoto from the first game. She’s been living a year and a half, in a two bedroom apartment. As a captive, unable to go outside.
One day she hears noise outside of her door and believes she’s being saved. Only to be met by the steal claws of a Monokuma ready to kill her. She proceeds to run out and meet with Byakuya and other members of the ‘Future Foundation’. The Future Foundation is an organization that was formed to combat the despair and tragedy caused by Junko Enoshima.

You’re given the hacking gun to combat the Monokuma’s and get about 5 to 10 minutes of over powered gameplay in which breaking them is easy.
Then Nagito happens, and he reworks the gun to scale it for game purposes. I say Nagito, because we know that’s who it is. However, in this game he is merely known as ‘servant’.
You get tossed into this killing game, where these 5 kids known as the Warriors of Hope are slaying ‘Demons’ [Adults], to create a paradise for children. They are the ones controlling the Monokuma’s, the Monokuma kids, and the robots of the city. [I feel like their robots were also the basis for the Monobeasts in Dangan Ronpa 2]

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The Warriors of Hope are a group of kids from Hopes Peak Elementary, because that was a thing. [Since WHEN was that a thing? Neither of the previous games mentioned any branches of the school outside of the academy. Which had like, extreme rules to get into…unless you paid them a ton of money and got into the reserve course…but we all know how that turned out.]
and we’re all in the trouble maker class. They also all had completely horrible home lives and were almost all going to commit suicide together when Junko ‘saved’ them. Of course, let’s be honest with ourselves here. She was totally using them to spread despair, of course. At least these kids aren’t that delusional and know that she was using them.

The game is set up in a series of 5 chapters as opposed to the other two games 6 chapter format. Which I suppose is why it felt a little short to me, each chapter you fight a different warrior of hope while slowly discovering more and more of what’s really going on. Which is that Monaca, the small girl haired child in a wheel chair is trying not to create a paradise for children but instead to create the successor to the Ultimate Despair.

We are led to think through most of the game that the one she’s trying to make into Junk’s successor is herself, in the last chapter though. We discover the one that she was trying to turn into the Ultimate Despair the whole time. Is you, younger sister of the Ultimate Hope that killed Junko.
Not going to lie, if Toko hadn’t of been there with Komaru. It probably would of worked, when it shows the image of Matoko and Komaru’s parents dead. Even I snapped a bit, I wasn’t even really paying attention to what I was clicking and thought for a moment that I made the wrong choice. Which, ultimately I was told later by someone else playing that both choices at that time were to press the button.
Well it’s good that Toko was there to slap the despair out of you.

This is honestly the most base summery I could give of the plot. A lot of the finer details are a lot more unsettling and disturbing. I should say that this game should carry a lot of trigger warnings. The subjects talked about include but are not limited to physical and mental abuse, child rape, suicide, graphic death scenes. I thought the last game jumped the shark when it was talking about people having sex with a dead body. There were moments in Ultra Despair Girls that really churned my stomach.

I did enjoy the scene in the ending that showed the AI’s in both Shiro and Kurokuma and revealed that they were prototypes for the AI Junko that appears in the next game. I enjoyed seeing Izuru and the hints that are dropped, such as saying that he’ll be a different person the next time she sees him. The only thing about the ending that really bothered me, was that Monaca lived. Not only lived, but is still out there somewhere working on becoming the Next Ultimate Despair.
Since she doesn’t show up in DR 2, there is no real info on her whereabouts or if the Future Foundation is sure that she is still out there. Will that tie into the next game? I really hope I don’t ever have too see this psychotic little brat again…

Monako

Alright, now let’s get into the game play. I played on the easiest setting because I wanted to get a feel of the story. So I can’t speak for the higher difficulties but…IF I HAD IT ON THE EASIEST SETTING. THEN I THINK I WOULD KILL MYSELF IF I TURNED IT UP ANY HIGHER!

The hit boxes on almost everything are nearly impossible to hit. Ammo is limited enough on the easy setting, forget what it would be any higher. The puzzles are fairly easy and make for fun game play and make you feel rewarded with special music and animation for beating them. It’s honestly the shooting part that drove me crazy, perhaps it’s just that I’ve never been very good at 3rd person shooters.
Or shooters in general. So I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me the game play was kind of annoying. I missed the almost graphic novel like style of the other two games.
I understand trying to move a game into a new Genre, but this was sort of like…the Chain of Memories of Dangan games.

Now for the extra content/replay value. Well, as in DR 2 there is a hide and seek. Inside of Hidden Monokuma’s, it’s the hidden Warriors of Hope. Finding them helps your overall score, which is based on your battle, your puzzle solving, how many times you retry and finding the hidden Warriors. I never got higher then a C, but each chapter is ended with a fantasy Toko is having of Byakuya getting whipped.
…..
Hot. I MEAN, -cough-

Aside from that, post game you can of course unlock the background music, cinematic scenes and images from the game. There is also the novel Ultimate Despair Hagakure which is a side story about Yasuhiro and Leon’s cousin battling their way through the Monokuma filled city. It’s formatted in the style that DR: IF was when you could read in during DR 2.

So is there replay value? Yes, if you mess up puzzles or just want a better score. Want to find the Hidden Warriors, or since this IS a Dangan Ronpa game. Maybe all you want to do is double back and catch all the subtle foreshadowing that lies before the final chapter. If this game is anything like the other two, it’s there for sure.

Overall? I liked the game. Not nearly as much as the two that came before it but it was still fun. I will say though, they jumped a few sharks this game. I’m also really glad that we didn’t end up killing any of the kids really. A picture post game tells us that they all lived. Monaca aside, i generally feel bad for most of the kids in the Warriors of Hope. They had legitimately horrible lives, Monaca…oh no, people in her home ignored her.

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In comparison to ANY of the rest of those kids, she’s just…GAH. They created her with the idea of making a completely unsympathetic character that the fans could hate. They worked to give her no redeeming qualities and I feel as if they really succeeded. She’s a psychotic bitch, that’s all there is too that! Now, Spike Chunsoft. Get to work on DR 3 amd let’s not venture back into this 3rd person shooter style.
It’s nice for one game, but it could get tiring fast.

~Midnight

Pokemon ORAS [7.8 too much water, just kidding.]


pokemon-oras-cover (1)
I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!

I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?

I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.

Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.

One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.

The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.

ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.

One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.

hero_heroine_contest

Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.

Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]

mega-metagross

Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.

SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.

TOO MANY, DON'T LIKE!

TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!

That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.

Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.

Maybe…

~Midnight


SAVAGE

So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?

I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.

In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.

I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.

Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.

~Savage

Pokemon ORAS [7.8 too much water, just kidding.]


pokemon-oras-cover (1)
I’m going to be the first person to admit that I never liked Hoenn in the old games, it was my least favorite region for a multitude of reasons. [Least fav starters, bad evil teams, too much water, ect.] So when the remakes were announced I was like, “Oh great, that thing I never wanted” but being a fan of the Pokemon series I owed it to Nintendo to go back and give Hoenn a fighting chance, maybe the remakes would make me not hate it, maybe I could come out saying “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” So i sucked up my pride and pre-ordered myself a copy of Alpha Sapphire. Upon booting up the game I realized, MY MEMORY OF THIS GAME IS HORRID!

I can’t even name half the gym leaders, much less any of the elite four. I remember the Team leaders names but that’s from years of sheer unadulterated loathing! How did the plot go again?

I DON’T REMEMBER! I remember showing up in a moving truck and Norman being your Dad, that’s like…it. So basically I noticed I would be playing this game all over for the first time for the most part.

Now, what did I think of it? Honestly? I loved it. There were a lot of small details to this game that made me really happy. First off, the graphics are amazing, half the time I can hardly convince myself I’m playing a Pokemon game with how lovely everything looks. Second, cut scenes, yes you heard me right. Pokemon, with cut scenes.

One that really stands out in my mind is when you reach the end of Petalburg Woods and it cuts to the Aqua Grunt you just beat calling their superior, I nearly burst out into tears. One of my favorite things about Pokemon is their evil organizations and getting just to see something as small as that, giving us insight into how they work was a huge treat.

The plot was a lot more polished and finished then I remember it being before as well, everything fell into place and for the first time ever I found myself not hating Team Aqua or screaming about how stupid their plan was. Why? What changed? Was it the way they put more depth to Archies character? How everyone responded when Kyogre did start the huge downpour? I can’t say for sure but as completely jaded as I was against these teams I expected to hate them a whole hell of a lot more then I did.
The after game also had a really interesting and engaging plot going on to get you to Rayquaza and Deoxys.

ORAS of course plays pretty much like your typical Pokemon game, integrating things from the new game into the old. New things that were kept include Super Training and Pokemon-Amie, though we lose the roller skates and the ability to customize our characters. [-sobs softly-] We gain Pokemon contests and Secret bases which were some of the staples of the original Sapphire and Ruby games. I haven’t done much with my secret base yet so I don’t have much room to comment on how that works I have run a few Pokemon through the contests. Somehow, they seem easier then I recall perhaps that’s just my bad memory of the game though.

One thing does bug me about the contest though, THESE THINGS, these ugly ass outfits! I mean, the contests are fun, the cosplay pikachu you get is adorable but what are these?! An absolute fashion disaster that’s what! If we couldn’t have customization anywhere else in the game we could of at least had it during the contests so we wouldn’t have to look like freaks! I’m not sure which outfit is worse, the ugly tutu that the girl is wearing or the….1970’s vomit that the guy is stuck with.

hero_heroine_contest

Something I know is easier is making Poke’blocks, there used to be a mini game to create your poke’blocks but now it’s as easy as popping four berries into the blender and hoping it will spit out the poke’block you want, I saw some kind of guide on how to make them so I guess there is some kind of skill to it but honestly it was never a function I was a huge fan of, call me when we’re mixing up poffins in Sinnoh.

Another new thing that transferred over from the new games was the new experience share. I know this bothered a lot of people since they claim it makes the game too easy, but as a person who plays Pokemon casually I think it’s the greatest invention since the Pokemon Storage system. That being said however, I feel like the challenge level of this game was relatively low, I can’t recall being overly threatened by any of the gym leaders and I laughed at every Team Aqua battle and took out their pokemon with one magical leaf or psychic attack. The only battles that I struggled with at all at first were the elite four and the champion.
[Mega Metagross is evil and needs to be burned.]

mega-metagross

Another new feature that you get near the end of the game is the Eon Flute, which allows you to summon the Latios/Latias you were given earlier in the game from anywhere and fly around the skies of Hoenn might be the most wonderful thing ever. It totally eliminates the need for the HM for fly. which is a good thing because that brings me to my biggest complaint of this game.

SO MANY HM’S! You need surf, you need Dive, you need Waterfall, you need Cut, you need Rock Smash, you need Strength…. I can’t even with this. I know this is the way it used to be but gonna be rather honest with you, didn’t miss it. I ended up with two HM slaves on my team just to accommodate all of the HM’s I needed just to get through the main story line. I should not need two HM slaves just to finish the main story.

TOO MANY, DON'T LIKE!

TOO MANY, DON’T LIKE!

That aside, everything in this game was really spot on. I have a whole new view of Hoenn, I like it a lot better then I did before and i’m hoping for more remakes like this is the future.

Can you imagine Team Galactic blowing up a lake in these high res graphics? That’s the things my nightmares are made of and of course, my largest dream would be to see the Kanto region done like this. Can you imagine having cut scenes with Team Rocket and interacting more with Giovanni? I would sob my eyes out in happiness.
Overall, this was a great experience that gave me a whole new view of a game I previously hated. Oh and IGN can suck it, there wasn’t too much water! There was actually LESS water then i remember there being…at least I think there was…maybe the same amount.

Maybe…

~Midnight


SAVAGE

So, I come from a rather different perspective from my pal Midnight. For one, Gen 3 is one of my favorite if not my favorite generation of pokemon. It was the last gen I played with my dad (who was pretty much the only other person who played pokemon with me at the time), and it was the time for me when a brand new pokemon game was still fresh and new. Its also one I played with the most often, since I lacked pretty much anything else to do at that point in my life. So, overall, I came in to ORAS with very high expectations. And?

I will say this-it definitely feels like Hoenn. It captures the feel of the old games, and the new things seem to fit in perfectly. The entire game feels very familiar and fills me with all kinds of nostalgia. In addition, the new designs, graphics, and other gameplay elements really worked great for the game. Things like Flannery being so adorkable and Wally being so frail, the new designs and the ways the characters are animated just do so much better to give the characters and places personality. As for the new elements to the story, I really like them too. The new motivations for Magma and Aqua, the new stuff with Steven, the entire Delta episode all were great and added so much more to the game’s story, which was pretty ambitious to begin with. However, I will say I don’t really like Zinnia…she just really annoys me with how high and mighty she is about everything. But hey, that’s one part.

In terms of gameplay stuff, there was a lot to like. I really like the tip-toe and pokenav feature, so you can find pokemon with egg moves with just a little bit of patience rather than chain breeding things. The Eon Flute was also just a brilliant new addition, as it makes flying around so much easier…pretty much making the HM Fly utterly obsolete. Supertraining and pokemon amie are still here, and they remain great. However, there are some issues I found with the game, part of them dealing with some things that are a little too old fashioned. Having separate poke centers and poke marts is a small thing, but it does get a bit on the annoying side at times. Also, one thing that did change I’m not happy about is that the Safari zone…isn’t even the safari zone anymore. Its nice to catch pokemon by battling and your own poke balls, but there isn’t that sense of variety. Though now I remember, the old Safari Zone in Gen 3 wasn’t that amazing either. I do like the Mirage Islands and the new way to catch legendaries. With nearly every legendary absent from X and Y, you can catch so many. Though I find it funny some legendaries are so easy to capture, but the Golems remain just as they were, incredibly complex riddles to get to them all.

I will say, my first play through was a Nuzlocke, and it was very rewarding in terms of difficulty. The game without exp all remains tough, and while I had a good mid-point, I was nearly destroyed the 8th badge and onward. Seriously, Wallace’s Milotic is a freaking nightmare. But with alot of determination…and using two pokemon pretty much to take on the Elite Four, I succeeded. It reminded me of the challenge there was in the original Ruby and Sapphire, and I’m quite happy after you beat the Elite Four, they get bumped up to be even more powerful.

Overall, these games are fun, nice, and most significantly, beautiful. Gamefreak really put their all to make everything look amazing and it does. The scenery, the birds, the water, the character designs, it all works awesomely. Its been fun seeing the remakes of the games, and while they didn’t add an insane bunch of new features, or even some features people loved in X and Y, they made sure this was an incredibly well done remake. If you’re a pokemon fan..you probably have it already, but really if you don’t you should get it. Its just a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what other surprises the game may show next.

~Savage

Dangan Ronpa 2 ~ Goodbye Despair

Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Danganronpa2characters

As a huge fan of the first game I have been waiting for Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair to come out for months. So when I got the text from gamestop telling me that my pre-order came in I rushed over on the release date and bought it. Now some of you here might be like “Midnight, the fack is a Dangan Ronpa!?” so I will be more than happy to tell you what it is. Dangan Ronpa is a Murder Mystery, Psychological, Urban Fantasy, Action Adventure game. The premise of the second game starts with you on an Island having a “Love-Dovey School Trip.” Where the goal is to collect Hope Fragments by getting closer to your classmates.

Monomi

This peace and quiet lasts all of about twenty minutes into the game. Then the real plot begins, where the evil Monokuma or Mono Bear takes over the School trip and turns it into the “Killing School Trip.”, the gameplay is pretty similar to the first game with some small things added.

Monokuma

The first thing I noticed that really stood out was the addition of a digital pet you could take care of that grew depending on how much your character walked. It had a hope and despair meter that helps decide what it will grow into. Despair is gained by ignoring it and letting its home get messy and hope is obtained by giving it gifts. I’m not entirely sure what comes from maxing out the despair vs maxing out the hope but I thought it was a neat little feature and doing it helps you get skills, items and coins to buy items.

Most of the other new feature take place during the class trails and I’ll talk about them later. Let’s look at characters and plot. The cast of both games is a set of students from a high school known as Hopes Peak Academy. The requirements to attend Hopes Peak are that you’re already in High School and that the school itself scouts you out for being the very best at what you do. The cast of characters in this game include Hajime Hinata, this is the players avatar for a majority of the game his ultimate talent is unknown.

Nagito Komeada, the Ultimate Lucky Student. Byakuya Togami? The Ultimate Affluent progeny. Gundham Tanaka, the Ultimate Breeder. Kazuichi Soda, the Ultimate Mechanic. TeruTeru Hanamura, the Ultimate Cook. Nekomaru Midai, the Ultimate Team Manager. Fukuhiro Kuzuryu, the Ultimate Yakuza. Akane Owari, the Ultimate Gymnast. Chiaki Nanami the Ultimate Gamer. Sonia Nevermind, the Ultimate Princess. Hiyoko Saionji, the Ultimate Traditional Dancer. Mahiru Koizumi, the Ultimate photographer. Mikan Tsumiki, the Ultimate Nurse. Ibuki Mioda, the Ultimate Musician and Peko Pekoyama, the Ultimate swordswoman. Each character is fun and interesting, though since this is a murder mystery game you don’t get as much time to appreciate some as much as the others. That’s the benefit of the post-game island mode. In which you can take time to get to know all the characters that may have died too soon in the main story for you really to connect with.

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There are two more things you can access from the main menu after you play a bit of the main story. One of these being the mini-game called Magical Miracle Girl Monomi. The other thing is the novel mode, which presents a ‘What-If’ story based off the first game. The story focuses solidly on Mukuro, the Ultimate Solider and sister of Junko Enoshima. It’s just something to read, though I think it would be a nice game mode. The Magical Girl Minigame is sort of boring, kind of repetitive with little difference in levels, attack or anything. You get items to upgrade Monomi but I think it would be a lot more fun if it actually changed her appearance in the mini-game. It’s good to pass some time mindlessly and does get you a trophy but that’s about all it’s good for.

As for the story and how it stacks up against the story of the first game. THIS WAS FANTASTIC! I was really big into the first game and played it to the point I actually got all the PSN trophies so I was a little nervous that the second game wouldn’t stack up to it. I was wrong. In particular the last chapter of the game was so intense with its plot twists and additions of facts that made everything else in the game come together. It had to be some of the most intense storytelling in a game I’ve seen in a very long time. The final trial of the game also has some of the characters from the first game in it for a brief time, so it was a real treat for someone who enjoyed the first game as much as I did to see those characters return even if it was for a short period of time. The class trials themselves run very similar to the way they did in the first game. However, they added certain aspects that make them slightly harder. The first big change I want to talk about is the change they made to Hangmans Gambit. I HATE this update, they made this FAR harder than it was in the first game, It’ll make an achievement like “Go through a trial without taking any damage” almost impossible. I don’t really know how to describe how they changed it in words but it was a bad choice and makes the Hangmans Gambit really fucking hard. The next added feature is the Logic Dive. This mini-game features Hajime skateboarding along a virtual sort of cylinder and moving to the correct paths of logic by skateboarding to the correct answers. This is actually a lot of fun and a wonderful addition to the gameplay. The very last new gameplay aspect is the truth blade, in which you cut through other peoples rebuttals and then cut through it with evidence. This is fun but can be a pain in the ass at times.

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My major issue is that maybe it’s just my Vita, or maybe my copy of the game but I experienced MULTIPLE game crashes. At one point I didn’t save through the entire chapter, so when the game glitched I lost an entire chapters worth of progress. I don’t know if this happened to anyone else but if it did, this was a major flaw to the game.

Anything from this point on will be spoilers so if you want to play the game yourself, please stop reading here. Here’s a picture of Monokuma to look at so you don’t see anything.

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The story itself, in detail is absolutely amazing. It follows a lot of patrons from the first game but manages to do them without making it seem like it’s copying the first game even stopping to take shots at itself when things get to similar. Monokuma reveals the memory loss plot quickly and says that it’s a tired old trope and isn’t interesting anymore. The reveal of a ‘Serial Killer’ amongst the group in the second case is slept through and mumbled “This again?” by Monokuma. The game is more than willing to take a few shots at itself when needed. Of course, just because it pokes fun at them or passes them off as things that aren’t a big deal doesn’t mean they don’t have something to do with the plot. For example the memory loss plot drives a lot of the games conflict, all building up to the most epic reveal I could imagine in Chapter 6. Something so mind blowing, that it made everything in the game suddenly make sense.

You’re basically playing as the series villains.

From the very beginning of the game, up until the very end the entire thing seems strange. It becomes very apparent at one point that you’re in a game of sorts. A virtual world that your avatar has been uploaded into. Why you may ask were these High-School kids locked away in a virtual world? Well as we all know from the end of the first game, the world is basically destroyed by the biggest, baddest, most tragic event in human history. These kids, in this virtual world are remints of the despair left behind by Junko Enoshima. This virtual world, was created so they could gain back hope and then their avatars could be uploaded into their real bodies. Their real bodies may not even look like the ones in the virtual world anymore, in chapter zero, we see the character Nagito with his arm cut off and replaced with Junko’s arm.

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Apparently this is only the tip of the ice burg of things people did to parts of Junko after she died at the end of the first game. I really don’t want to say what the game mentions, I can barely think about it without feeling sick to my stomach but I will say they don’t hold anything back. This blew my mind, and when you look back on it from chapter 6 everything that you may have questioned or wondered about. Every motive that may have seemed suspicious to you, suddenly falls into place. The reason the program changed from a world that was supposed to help inspire these kids with hope to the ‘Killing School Trip’ of despair was a virus planted in the game by….

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You. Yes, you, the main character. Hajime Hinata. You are the one who planted the virus in the world, the reason everyone is dying is because of you. Of course, outside of the virtual world the person known as Hajime Hinata doesn’t actually exist anymore. In his place is a manufactured personality that Hopes Peak created known as Izuru Kamukura. Originally he was a reserve course student, someone who paid their way into the school. Then he was manufactured into an Ultimate…everything. This school is sick, like seriously sick. They cut open his head and changed who he was. I can’t even with this school. No wonder the Ultimate despair started there.

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DID I MENTION THIS GAME IS FULL OF PLOT TWIST? The entire last chapter left me in a pile of feelings. At one point the whole thing gets so depressing I felt like I was drowning in despair myself. The addition of characters from the first game, including my favorite Byakuya Togami was wonderful for nostalgia value. Speaking of Byakuya, the obese one that shows up in this game is a….decent imposter, but I think for the Ultimate Imposter he could have done a better job. I grinded the hell out of Byakuyas events in the first game so I could find all the flaws in the imposter.

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The feelings this game left me with were rather intense, I flickered between despair and hope and in the end of everything I know that this isn’t really a happy ending. The ending makes it rather clear despite the fact this was a virtual world, the avatars of the people who died were deleted and there is little to no chance of them being brought back. It’s a rather down note to end on but overall, the ending still has a glimmer of hope with it.

I LOVED this game, I adored everything about it from how the deaths played out to the class trails. Even with the problems, I cried at, at least two of the executions and one of the deaths. Now excuse me. I have some final trophies to get. Stupid hidden Monokumas…. *picks up Vita*

~Midnight

Corpse Party [So many damn Bad Endings!]


SPOILERS AHEAD:

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So in a total fit of curiosity a few days before my birthday I didn’t figure that credit card info for my Ps3 would transfer over to my PS Vita. Well I was wrong, so I ended up downloading myself Corpse Party. Well it would be rude to accidently download myself a 20 dollar game and not play it. So I set off to the journey of Corpse Party.

Game play is fairly simple, you move around as the sprite characters and explore the haunted school. What is not fairly simple is figuring out what’s going to kill you, what isn’t, what’s going to lead you to a bad end or what’s going to complete the plot. The worst part about this is sometimes you can make the wrong choice and not know for twenty minutes or more that you’ve messed up and you can even save after a bad choice and screw yourself up completely. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if there was a way to skip dialogue you’ve read before, but there isn’t!
Seriously! HOW was I supposed to know I wasn’t supposed to give them the student I.D. back before finding the baby statue!?

The plot itself it really solid, you start off the game with one of your class mates leaving to move away from the school. So your class rep and resident occult leader suggests a charm she read on the internet. You go to perform it and it messes up, throwing you all into different closed spaces in this haunted school. From here, you split up into different groups for each chapter.

Chapter 1 you play and Naomi and Seiko

Chapter 2 as Kishinuma and Ayumi

Chapter 3 as Satoshi and Yuka

After that it switches between the people who are still alive. Chapter 5 giving you the most playable characters of all the chapters. Each chapter plays out the story, you can either make it through the chapter safely and move on to the next one or hit one of the very murmurous bad endings.
Chapter 2 I think I was buried alive like 7 times before i figured out what to do. I love alternate endings as much as the next guy but as I stated above, there needed to be some sort of way to skip text. It was really annoying to clear some of these parts multiple times.

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You don’t come out with everyone you come in with. No matter how hard you try, this might be the other part of the game that rubbed me the wrong way. It had a set thing of students it wanted to live and if you let any of them die, it was a bad ending. However, if you let other ones die, it continues you on to the regular ending.
I wish there was some kind of ‘Good End’ where everyone lived, or perhaps you had more choice in who lived and who died. One of the deceased was one of my favorite characters and even from beyond the grave she continued to be amazing and a real trooper.

Chapter 1 is alright, it’s not the best chapter of the game by any means. Perhaps it’s because I liked Seiko more then Naomi and in the end of the chapter Seiko dies. This best friend group, or girl who is straight [Naomi] and the lesbian that loves her[Seiko]. Begin exploring the haunted school they are in. Though Naomi has a broken ankle that is almost never talked about again in the later chapters when she’s with Satoshi even though the splint that Seiko makes her breaks, huh, didn’t even think about that part until now. It was the first chapter so I don’t remember the details to it too well, the part that screwed me up the most was trying to escape the nurses office when the black mist is chasing after you. You have to look around the room and find some oil to throw on the hair barring the door and then use the lighter on it. Though this only triggers after you try to burn the door down twice. I’m not ashamed to admit I had to look up a guide during this part because honestly I’m not sure how you’re supposed to figure out some of these things on your own.
Naomi, being thrown to the brink of insanity by this place yells at Seiko and causes a huge fight between them. The group breaks apart and you play briefly as both of them. Seiko hears a voice and goes to follow it, the next time we see her is hung in the bathroom stall in the girls bathroom on the third floor. This is not a death you can stop, either option you pick leads to her dying. I was not pleased with this at all, I honestly really liked Seiko and was rather angry this was how the chapter had to end.

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Chapter 2 was a lot more interesting of a chapter but where I had probably one of the hardest times. You start off the chapter with three characters actually, Kishinuma, the school bad boy. Ayumi the class rep and resident occult leader and Ms. Yui the homeroom teacher. You loose her rather early on in the chapter unfortunately and that leaves you with the two students to go looking for her. The game will often have ‘earthquakes’ which is actually the school shifting around. After a ‘earthquake’ things that were open to explore before might be closed off and other places that weren’t open before might be open now. In this case, the class room that the teacher got injured in so you won’t be finding or saving her for the remainder to the chapter, don’t even try.
You wander around a bit until you walk into the room where you find the child ghost. This little guy might look cute at first but he is the bane of your existence! You’re told not to look him in the eyes, which is pretty easy in the room itself when you get the item you need, but then you move on with the plot and the blasted kid invades the hallway and follows you and if you don’t walk carefully and trick him into getting caught up on the holes in the hallway. You’ll get moved to a cut scene of Kishinuma getting buried alive. You have NO idea how long i took me to figure out the path to get past him or what I was supposed to do next, I was so sick of reading the part where you get buried it was maddening.
This chapter contains probably one of the more brutal deaths of the game, the girl who was going to be transfered at the start of the game. Mayu, is flung by two of the ghosts into a wall at high speeds and well. Let me tell you, the result does not look pretty at all. I pride myself on a high constitution and if this game was in any higher resolution then it is, I probably would of thrown up. Thank goodness for low graphics. No, there is no way you can save her by the way. This chapter also has a fantastic fake out as well, but i’ll talk about that in chapter four.

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Chapter 3 is a pretty good one if you care about Yuka and her quest to go to the bathroom, I’ll rant about my feelings on that one later. This chapters best moment is when you discover the second building to the school. You move across the walk way and Yuka and Satoshi figure that the woods outside would be a good place to go to the bathroom. So Yuka heads back out and you encounter the ghost with an eye missing. She’s really freaky and if you don’t run away from her right away, there is a really freaky scene of her scooping out Yuka’s eyes with scissors. Yeah, as you can tell I failed to run away in time once.
Once Yuka gets inside from that scene, her brother is missing. She begins searching for him and runs into someone she thinks at first is her big brother but it’s another human that’s been trapped in the school. His name is Kizami Yuuya, and my initial reaction to him was “Oh DAMN, he’s SMOKING!” He says that he’s lost his little sister as well and offers to go with you to find your brother and his sister. We find out between here and chapter five, everything with Kizami isn’t exactly on the up and up.

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Chapters four and five are super spoiler heavy, if you don’t want to know critical parts of the plot please stop reading the review here!

I’ll sum them up in a few words: This stuff is fucked up. The real core of the plot shows itself to the characters through a serious of flashbacks but not before they appease some of the ghosts by returning the tongues that had been cut out of their mouths at the time they’ve been murdered.

Chapter 4, we find that Kishinuma, who at the end of chapter two was dead is not actually dead. It was a fantastic fake out, I was sitting through all of chapter three being mad that both of my favorite characters from chapters one and two were dead and then bam, he’s not dead. Good fake out game. Kishinuma and Ayumi gather slowly the three tongues of the children. One of which is out by the pool in which Ayumi almost drowns, this is another case of “HOW COULD I OF GUESSED THAT?” you pick up the key to the pump room, you see waves in the pool. My first assumption is to drain the pool, well that brings you to a bad ending. What you need to do, is run to the locker room, see Ayumi isn’t there, then go into the water. (which if you read the dialogue of Kishinuma saying he can’t swim makes no sense at all) Then you have to find the exact place the ripples were, dive down and get her before the timer runs out! Another one of the tongues is under the floor boards, and so on and so forth. Once you return the tongues to the kids, one of the kids lets the two characters back to their own world. However, that’s when the plot twist hits like a two ton truck. The murderer is not the teacher like we once thought, but one of the supposed victims ‘Sachiko’ and the reason everyone ended up where they did was the charm was flubbed and they angered Sachiko.

Now we come to Chapter 5, this one is much longer then any of the others and has the most bad endings that you can encounter of all of the chapters. You play as everyone left alive at this point, meaning Satoshi, Naomi, Yuka, Ayumi and Kishinuma. Ayumi and Kishinuma after finding out the truth head back to the school to help their other friends escape. That is, if you make that choice, the first choice for a bad ending comes very early on where you can make it so Kishinuma decides not to go with her, this is a horrible choice and is a round about way to a bad ending you’ll get in about twenty minutes so if you don’t want to waste your time on that, chose to go back with Ayumi. On another play through, I say it’s worth it if only for his love confession to her but do it when you’re trying to collect all the bad endings. You have to be pretty careful about everything during this chapter, something as simple as meeting the two groups up too early can spell a bad ending for you or leave you angry and frustrated trying to figure out what to do next. The story takes an even more messed up turn when you learn about the Principal and Sachiko’s mom who used to be the school nurse before her untimely death at the hands of the principal. Reading the nurses diary is pretty erie. Oh though not as erie as something earlier in the chapter. When we first start up with Yuka again, she discovers that Kizami has murdered his friend Kurosaki and desires her to be next. Maybe she should of played the cute little sister card, it might of pacified his crazy. Any which way it leads to a chase scene with the creepy sounds of him calling out for you before his demise in the nurses office.
If you play this chapter correctly you can appease Sachiko and begin running out of the school, though there is no real run function in this game. If you are luck enough to make it outside before the 7th bell, you’ll be fine. If you’re not, the school creates a new malicious spirit or a new Sachiko and you’re trapped there forever.

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The characters are well for the most part fairly enjoyable. Everyone likes different types of characters and I can see where some people would come from in liking characters that I didn’t…

Except for Yuka, how can ANYONE like Yuka? She’s really REALLY annoying! I mean, she plays no real part in the story other then being Satoshi’s little sister and thus if you let her die it’s the trigger to a bad end. Other then that, it’s Yuka and the great quest to go to the bathroom. Seriously!? There are holes all over this hell hole, just pee in one of them! Oh god, what are you going to hit, someone’s corpse!? Big whole barring you from the bathroom stalls, pee in it! Stop complaining, stop whining for me, I DON’T CARE! The only good thing to come out of her story line is Yuuya Kizami and I use the term “Good Thing” lightly considering he’s a deranged psycho who murders people….he’s REALLY hot though, what is it with hot guys being psycho?

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She’s 14 for crying out loud and she acts like she’s four! Also, the part where she pees herself, takes off her panties and then talks about the wind on her…well um, game, game no. Game stop, Pedo Bear is coming and it doesn’t look good for you.

Sorry, that rant was rather unprofessional of me. Let’s look at the overall.

Overall: Corpse Party was a good horror game with some generally creepy and interesting moments, the puzzles were a bit complicated at times and I had to resort to a guide more then once but that wasn’t such a big deal. The biggest short coming of this game is the inability to skip scenes you’ve seen before it would of made the game a lot more fun for me. If you like horror games, I would totally recommend this game but just don’t get too frustrated by having to go through the same thing over and over again.

I give Corpse Party for the PSP a solid 7/10.

~Midnight