"Only hope can defeat dis bear. (ʳ ´º㉨ϟ)ʳ"
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc was released earlier this year, and the sequel is hot on its heels. These two games are ports of PSP games, and were released as a Vita collection in Japan. After playing both games and seeing their similarities, the decision to bundle them in their home country makes perfect sense.
Danganronpa 2 begins more or less the same way its predecessor did. Player character Hajime Hinata has been accepted into the prestigious Hope's Peak Academy, a high school for students who have a special talent that makes them the best of the best at something, whether it be nursing, martial arts, or something shadier, like organized crime. Just as he's about to enter the building, he blacks out, and when he wakes up, he's in a classroom with 15 other students. None of them have any idea how they got there.
These characters are mostly as one-dimensional as the cast of the first game, mostly consisting of one gimmicky personality trait that gets worked to death. These human-shaped trope monsters range from amusing, to acceptable, to annoying. Gundham the breeder is a fun character who seems determined to use his Four Dark Devas of Destruction (which are hamsters) to take over the world. Ibuki is an overly-energetic-but-harmless rocker who seems to practically bounce off the walls whenever she appears. Meanwhile, Hiyoko the prepubescent-looking Japanese dancer is a hateful little girl who gets away with spewing bile because she looks like a 9-year-old, a trope that anime fans will immediately see as played out. Mikan the nurse is insufferable, perpetually nervous and constantly apologizing for things. She's one of those annoying victim characters who is supposed to be clumsy and vulnerable and ends up the target of several shamelessly fanservice-y scenes. She'll trip and fall, landing with her ass up in the air, squealing “Oh, I'm so embarrassed, please, don't look at me!” while making no effort to actually cover herself up, like she's Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl. It ultimately feels like most of these characters are just there to be potential murder victims or suspects for the few more important characters to deal with. Still, as far as flat characters go, most of them range from likeable to delightful in their absurdity, thanks in no small part to the game's excellent script. This group is perhaps even stronger than the similarly-flat cast of the first game.
Staff review by Rhody Tobin (September 16, 2014)
Rhody likes to press the keys on his keyboard. Sometimes the resulting letters form strings of words that kind of make sense when you think about them for a moment. Most times they're just random gibberish that should be ignored. Ball-peen wobble glurk.
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