No, it was not worth ignoring Crymore for two weeks to play this sleeping aid.
(This post should be relatively spoilerless, except for the parts indicated by spoiler tags. Most of the screens I used were blacked out so you can’t guess who’s alive in each chapter. Expect unmarked Danganronpa 1 spoilers, cuz this is the sequel and the original’s anime and game have been out for a while. Get with the times.)
Danganronpa 2’s characters are fantastic.
Let’s try this again: One of Danganronpa 2’s characters is fantastic. Hell, they were so good I was almost fooled into thinking this game was gonna be worth playing.
Chapter 1+ spoilers (this really only spoilers the character’s personality after the first trial):
Danganronpa 2 is a visual novel that thinks it needs gameplay. This complicates things because it doesn’t.
Basic gameplay for the non-VN part revolves around taking a list of clues, and then as characters engage in conversation with one another, utilizing one of those clues to agree or disagree with one of the characters.
While it can be fun to progress through the story this way, that fun lasts only so long as you can understand whatever fucked up logic the puzzle goes by. And I can guarantee that won’t always be the case. So when you can’t connect with the writers’ broken minds, you’ll be stuck playing trial and error with the game, which quickly wears thin and results in drop-kicked Vitas.
There’s a bunch more modes, but they’re all equally awful. And I’m not gonna sit here and read the manual at you just to satisfy some butthurt Danganronpa fangirl who’ll take the omission of any minor feature’s explanation to indicate I didn’t “get” the game, when like the majority of the fanbase she just read the wikia and called it good.
I beat it. I “got it”. And it was awful. I’m sorry, fujoshi. You’re wrong about this series; it sucks. Let’s move on.
Much like Danganronpa 1, the set-up is great — you hit the ground running. Death, betrayal, people going whacko — all that shit bleeds quality. Except, after a few hours in you start to wonder why the fuck you’re playing this game when there are umpteen other more interesting things you could be doing. Like being in a coma.
Chapter 4 is the trough of this mediocrity cycle. The characters all get stuck in a funhouse, meaning the case revolves around the building’s architecture for the twists. Woohoo.
Now, show of hands, who actually likes architecture puzzles?
By the time I got to chapter 4’s trial, I had enough; I grabbed a walkthrough to tell me what exactly to do for the trial, threw my brain on auto-pilot, and then powered through the dialogue by jamming the X button like I was trying to get my Vita off. Can’t say it was nearly as enjoyable for me as it was for the Vita.
As to be expected from any NISA-localized title, poor writing, bad grammar, and spelling errors are jarringly prevalent. Like I mentioned earlier, I found myself running through the dialogue as quickly as possible to get through the mind-numbing dialogue, but I did slow down to grab a few screens as examples.
I mean, I can accept a certain level of unprofessionalism. But when half the problems can be solved by one run of spellcheck? Well, you’re basically insinuating your audience is gonna be too stupid to notice the errors. And don’t get me started on the untranslated Japanese text or the dialogue that sometimes cuts off at the bottom of the screen… The only way this coulda appeared more low-budget is if they outsourced the translation to Bing instead of Google Translate.
Ending spoilers ahead.