As a proud vita owner it is nice to see that the little system is getting its own visual novel game that can stand up to Phoenix Wright. Dangana Rompa 2 Goodbye Despair serves as a well follow up to Dangana Rompa Trigger Happy Havoc by improving on gameplay from the last game.
The game follows Hajime Hinata as he starts his career at Hope’s Peak Academy. Yet come to his surprise a magical door appears and is transported to a classroom, which falls apart and you learn that you are really on a tropical island, where he meets his other classmates, a group of star pupils (known in the game as “Ultimates), and Usami, a pink rabbit who just serves as the opposite for the true star of the show Monokuma. Who turns the nice pleasant island into an all-out killing game.
The story does pretty well for itself as a sequel as it lays the foundation for the new cast and takes its time to build on what the player knows and expands on it. However if your new to this series don’t worry as you don’t need to play the first one to get it. It follows all the themes set out by the last game hope vs despair, being any ultimate, and the mystery of why is going on with the outside world while you are trapped on the island. If there is only one complaint I have with one of the ultimate is really only used for fan service.
The controls are separated into two categories the 2d and 3d. 2d just has you scrolling over items of interest and you can press any of the face buttons to interact with them. Yet the 3d controls could use a bit of fine tuning since it take a while for the camera to move and is also controlled on both of the thumb sticks.
The game play is broken down into three parts. Part one is Daily life where you go around exploring the island and learning the mystery of why you are there as well as learning about other characters. At the end of “hanging out with them answer a question about them for which you have to answer until you get it right and then collect a hope fragment. As well as Monokuma introducing the next motive to keep his killing game going.
Next is deadly life in which a murder has been committed and it is up to Hajime to search for every clues and lining up everyone’s alibi. You can’t advance until they are all collected to be used as truth bullets which will be used in the class trial. This is where the game really shines in terms of story as each is complex, heartfelt, and thought provoking as you are taking what you have learned to “whodunit” as Monokum would say it. The trial is composed of mini games like word finds, multiple choice, a surfing mini game where you need to choose the right path in order to get to the end and my favourite; the endless debate where you have to shoot either the phrase that is wrong or back up someone’s reasoning. Though what you can really take away from this that they add and modifies what worked and didn’t work for the first game.
Once that is all said and done there is only one of two outcomes that come at the end of the trail. You are wrong and it’s game over and you and your other innocent classmates are punished or you got it right and the killer aka the blackened is punished in an over the top kill sequence designed just for them. Yet I kind of felt the court trials took up way too much time then what they need to finding some debate pointless or just time filler.
Once the credits have rolled you are in luck because you can either go back in the game or check out all the new dialog that opened up or play the two extra modes in the game Island Mode were you play the alternative story in where Monokuma is defeated in the first act and you have to build a boat through the power of teamwork and not dying. The other is the Magical Miracle Girl Monomi, in which you play as bunny and you circle opponent and destroy them. I would go into story but spoilers.