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11/15- Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair for PC 




A while ago, I played the first Danganronpa game: Trigger Happy Havoc. Despite my complications with some of the gameplay elements and the ending, it was a fun murder mystery visual novel involving teenagers. I knew there were currently two other mainline Danganronpa games. Eventually, I was going to beat 2, but... I spoiled myself about a year before, thanks to an online playthrough. Still, even though I remembered some huge events, it's not like I remembered most of the smaller details. So, did Goodbye Despair fix what I hated in the original game and improved in other areas? 


Goodbye Despair stars Hajime Hinata and fifteen other students from the world renowned Hope's Peak Academy. Hope's Peak Academy is a school that nurtures talented students called Ultimates. Although they wish to learn at the academy, a magical rabbit named Usami teleports the students to a tropical paradise. Usami wants everyone to get along and not fight each other. Essentially, she wants peace. But, after the students decide to go swimming at the beach, a familiar creepy voice has returned. Monokuma somehow came back, and Usami tries to fight him off. However, Monokuma beats the life out of Usami, destroys her Magic Stick, and transforms her into an abomination. Monokuma gains control. He then tells the students that in order to leave the island, they must kill each other. But, a class trial will begin to decide if the killer lives and the rest die, or the rest live and the killer dies. Some references to the past game are mentioned, and a traitor is revealed to be among the group. Like the last game, this game is split into 6 chapters. Who lives? Who dies? I won't spoil it. As for the cast, I think I like this cast more than the first game's, even though there are some obvious ones who will be on the island and I can't wait to see die.  


Goodbye Despair does a lot more visually and audibly, even though the game uses some assets from the first game. First off, the tropical setting makes the game a lot more colorful than the stale school setting of the first game. And, there's a lot of places that would fit on the six separate islands. Plus, I like the cast designs more compared to the first game. But, the biggest upgrade is the music. Beautiful Ruin or whatever sounds a lot more pleasant than Box 15 and the like.  


Goodbye Despair made several improvements in gameplay. Exploration is a little bit better, by allowing Hajime to run in overworld locations. As the amount of locations and islands are a lot, it cuts down on needless time wandering around, looking for the right location. Also, location investigation has been streamlined a lot too, since the game won't allow Hajime to leave until he looked around that area thoroughly. There's also no reactions when talking, making dialogue a lot more manageable. Hope Fragments are like what happened during talking in the first game, but it seems giving people items makes a bit more progress than before, and the items are not randomized this time around. All one needs to do is use Monokoins at the Rocketpunch Supermarket. Also, random Monokuma stuff will appear in the background and will reward Hajime with Monokuma Coins. Hajime can also take care of a virtual pet, even if it seems it does nothing.  


The Class Trial is mostly the same, but most of the stuff is new or improved. Non-Stop Debates now contain truths, which Hajime can confirm with evidence. The puzzle and rhythm minigames have returned, and have been given some much needed attention. The Closing Arguments are a lot better, since a row of certain panels have to be used before another row comes along, and there's also hints. Rebuttals happen when a character is often confused, so Hajime just needs to cross swords and present evidence. Logic Dive is a racing snowboarding minigame where Hajime answers basic questions. So, yes, it's mostly better, even if the rhythm minigame really sucks. 


I enjoyed the ending a little more this time, even if it was really insane and got a lot more philosophical than the last game. But, it was still a lot more fun than the first game, for sure. Can't wait to play V3. My heart is in anticipation! 

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- Carrion (Switch)
A devilishly macabre take on the monster movie formula where you play as the monster. It's bloody, gory, and a lot of fun, though I wish it were longer and had a bit more gameplay depth.
- Pikmin 3 Deluxe (Switch)
As delightful as I remembered it, though it seems shorter—maybe I just rushed through the game too quickly. I'd gladly play a Pikmin game twice or thrice as long, just give me more stuff to collect and more weird creatures to fight.
- The Last of Us Part II (PS4)
I'd read that this was an emotionally draining game, even compared to the first one, and that's an apt description. I didn't totally love the way all the story beats played out, and the number of flashbacks was beginning to border on comical by the end, but it's still an engaging story. And I still quite like the stealth gameplay, though I played on Normal difficulty which seemed way too easy overall, I probably should've just jumped straight to Hard at least.
- Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch)
Wonderfully charming RPG in the vein of Paper Mario that I fear hasn't gotten enough attention this year. If you're looking for a classic Paper Mario RPG experience, definitely check this game out.
- Control (PS4)
Really enjoyed this one, from the weird and creepy story to the combat and breadth of abilities you unlock. Ending felt a little abrupt, really feels like they just left things hanging for the sake of DLC or a sequel, but oh well. Also I wish the game ran better on the PS4; it wasn't unplayably terrible but boy the frame rate drops and blurred textures got annoying after a while.

Console: 110

Overall: 110

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Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan 

Shadow of the Colossus 


Golden Sun

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country 

Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood 

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition 

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade 


Shantae and the Seven Sirens - New Shantae adventure finally came in the mail and I am very happy with it. The collector's edition is enormous and beautiful and comes with a soundtrack full of jammin' tunes that despite Jake Kauffman's absence fit right in with the theme and tenor of the Shantae series. Half Genie Hero was something of a low point for me because it downplayed the series' Metroidvania elements in favor of linear stage design and in doing so sacrificed the grace and ease with which the world could be explored. Also of note is the fact that previous games outside of Pirate's Curse necessitated a halt in the action to dance whenever you wanted access to say, some extra jump height from your monkey transformation. The new way transformations are handled is seamless and satisfying and feels like an important step in the series, and brings the game flow much more in line with Pirate's Curse.

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