I guess you could say I’m a fan of Danganronpa. After giving the Trigger Happy Havoc a 5 star review, my attention turned to the announced sequel, Goodbye Despair. Being able to play the follow-up to what is probably my favorite Vita game just a few months later sounds great. However, when I did finally get my hands on this early release, I was a bit hesitant to jump right in. What if I secretly didn’t enjoy the original as much as I thought? What if this sequel doesn’t live up to my expectations? Even worse, what if it is just plain bad? Well I had nothing to fear because Goodbye Despair, through the prologue chapter, it exactly what I hoped.
Before you start harping on me for judging a game based on its intro, Danganronpa doesn’t pull punches. Even the prologue is setting up the core of the story. Despite its familiar beginning, involving the students all going unconscious and gathering in a single classroom with no memory of how they got there, things quickly take a turn. Magical Miracle Girl ☆ Usami(actual name, best name ever), a Monokuma like rabbit, greets the players and introduces them to the location of their “class trip”, a tropical island where they need to build hope to go home.
Wait a minute, hope? Isn’t this game about murder and despair? Well for that you’ll just have to play the game yourself. Though you may not get deep into the craziness of the story, you will be introduced to some new features. Walking from location to location now brings you out to a third person perspective, returning to the traditional first person camera when entering a zone. The island, well the group of islands, provide much more variety than Hope’s Peak Academy ever could. From a moo cow ranch to an airport, there is plenty to see. Along the way you’ll undoubtedly run into your other 15 classmates. Much like Trigger Happy Havoc, building relationships is a major focus. Also like THH, the cast is a dynamic bunch, to say the least. It’s far too early to say whether or not they are more or less likeable than in THH, but be prepared for a few surprises that may catch you off guard. I like to think I have a decent idea of where they are taking this, but I’m the same person who thought Sayaka really liked me…I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE SHE SET ME UP!
Other new features include a leveling system to unlock new skills and a digital pet. Leveling up is accomplished by walking, talking, and exploring. Walking is also how you raise your digital companion. It is also important to clean up after it…trust me, I already lost one…don’t judge me. Having not yet participated in a trial, I can’t speak to how similar or different that experience will be, though I assume it will follow the general rule I have found to be true with this sequel. Minor and logical improvements. Nothing is drastically different, making it very easy for fans and new players alike to pick it up and start enjoying the game. The changes and improvements present are welcome, which is a feat in and of itself.
There is plenty more to talk about, but for that you’ll have to wait for the full review. In the meantime, I am dying to dive back into this game. This is everything that made Trigger Happy Havoc great and then some. Barring some catastrophic failure, Goodbye Despair is looking to more than live up to expectations. I could easily recommend this game now, but if you need more convincing keep checking back for the full review in the coming days. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to return to pressing triangle and touching everything.