FAIR WARNING: This review contains light spoilers for Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. I know it’s a big ask, but I would highly recommend taking 60-70 hours of your life to play through this incredible game and its equally brilliant sequel, Goodbye Despair, before moving onto Ultra Despair Girls if you want to get the most out of its story.
With Dennaton Games’ Hotline Miami becoming one of indie’s crowned champions back in 2012, a sequel to the adrenaline-fueled slash-em-up was surely on the cards. Sure enough we now have that sequel in the form of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.
Age takes its toll on us all. As the years go by, those grey hairs, wrinkles and peg-legs become more and more pronounced. It’s not clear when it happens. For some it’s around middle age, where the realisation that time doth not stand still inspires them to dye their hair fluorescent pink or drive around in a Honda Midlifecrisis.
Right, allow me to just get one thing out of the way. It’s going to be very hard for me to review Akiba’s Trip. Why? Well, because I’m basically about to admit that I love a game where your primary objective is getting into fights with Japanese teenagers and relieving them of their clothes.
I thought very highly of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc when its Vita port released in Europe earlier this year. Its tried and true murder mystery premise was familiar, but felt entirely fresh because of its setting with remarkably well written characters and plot.
Note: To avoid spoilers, this review will only describe the premise of Danganronpa. Any story elements or important plot points are left for you to discover!
A glaring issue with Japanese-made games is that the vast majority of them never make it to the west. We’ve seen this recently with the perfect scoring Yakuza 5, its upcoming counterpart Yakuza Restoration, even games that should have been released over here, such as Ace Attorney Investigations 2. More recently, though, we’re lucky to have publishers stepping up to localise such games; Rising Star Games and NIS America have been doing God’s work in this regard, releasing a plethora of interesting (and often superb) Japanese titles for our enjoyment.
The 2D platformer market is booming, not just on handheld but also for PC and console gamers looking for some old school fun. It’s been a solid year for genre with titles such as Guacamelee, Rayman Legends and Rogue Legacy, but none of these great games feature steampunk robots in a Spaghetti Western setting.
The beat ’em up genre has sadly been neglected the last few console generations. The days of slotting coins into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or ruining controllers in the name of Streets of Rage are unfortunately, mostly a thing of the past. It’s true that there is the occasional game following similar formulae, and the genre is enjoying a bit of a revival among indie developers with games like Charlie Murder and Guacamelee!, but rarely is the beat ’em up touched in a bigger budgeted environment.
Originally released back in 2009 for the PlayStation 2, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 provided an obscure blend of brilliance for RPG fans to sink their teeth into. The taste was wholly unique: a rich narrative intertwined with traditional role-playing elements and a stimulating social simulator proved to be a clever and thoroughly addictive combination.
A traditional fanfare of photography flashbulbs, developer spiels and baiting journalists greeted Sony’s announcement of the PSVita. Fancy features were touted, pricing strategies discussed and time frames were given. But there was one particular presentation that stole the show. A game which defied belief and set the standard for what people would come to expect from Sony’s next generation portable.