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Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls – Review


This time the world of Danganronpa it is projected outside the school universe to manifest itself in an external world which is now collapsing. This spin-off of the well-known visual novel, is proposed as a TPS with an eccentric appearance from start to finish in all its components, combining aspects of pure fan service and non-sense to the more particular ones of the story itself.



Starting the story mode, the life of a teenager is told, Komaru Naegi, who since high school has lived locked up in an apartment without remembering well why. The routine is overthrown by a mysterious visit: a strange bear wants to break the apparent stillness in which Naegi lived with intentions that are anything but friendly. The bear, one of many Monokuma who will meet in the streets of the game, which seems to want to assume violent attitudes not only towards the protagonist but also against any human being who has crossed the threshold of childhood.


Fortunately, in fact, Neagi will survive: this coincides with the first phase in which the player will take possession of the character and free himself to escape outside the building in search of help and answers. In the initial moment no one will believe in what she has seen, some would even want to arrest her, but the threat looms and before things turn in the worst way for this future heroine, a host of Monokuma invades any place on several occasions, putting an end to even the accusers of Naegi.

Does the danger seem distant? No, Naegi has the serious flaw of not being in the best of age anymore: childhood, carefree, games and entertainment. The matter will be clarified with the first meeting of a special service that acted first to avoid the defeat of the world, with which some contacts will be made later, the Future Foundation, then with the same mysterious children, cause of whatever evil is afflicting the city.




The characters encountered during the game are very varied, as well as the antagonistic children themselves, however to make the story more interesting, different figures will be inserted during the gameplay that will appear only momentarily to be eliminated shortly after in mysterious circumstances or who will remain in the party. The "genocide jack" will be a very useful example for the purposes of the game, an extravagant character, bordering on the double personality who, however, will prove to be a precious helper, finally deciding herself to stay by Naegi's side, despite numerous suspicions about relations with beloved master Byakuya. The latter in fact has ties with Fukawa but it is the same who saved the protagonist by giving her a mysterious weapon and training her to proceed among the Monokuma. What essentially will save Naegi will be the megaphone, typical of the school, which will provide widespread sound shock waves that are not indifferent enough to wipe out the Monokuma.

On the other hand, they will be very resistant: it will be necessary to fire even more than three shots, except if the weak point of the evil bears is identified. These with an average trend will go towards any human being large enough with the typical smile that has always distinguished them in the series, sometimes still full of strictly pink blood.

The bizarre weapon works like any similar one: it has an aim, unfortunately not very exact and a reloading base so that with each shot we will lose "ammunition", or more simply the reload since they are not real firearms. They will be very varied, some for example are the typical and normal "shot" shots, others generate particular energies, others move objects and only some well tracked in the game, others will limit the movement of enemies for a period of time making them start dancing and numerous others.




Fukawa on the other hand, is probably the fastest and strongest having hand-to-hand weapons, simple scissors, which however in her hands become weapons of destruction to be kept under control if you think that with excessive use Fukawa would lose his head. In fact, his actions during the game are limited by a time bar. Never mind, every element that makes up the weapons can be improved and stabilized, as well as buying ammunition at certain points in the game in special shops, exchanging for coins found along the way or killing the Monokuma.

The characters that will follow us during the game are well characterized on average, but more appreciable if you know and appreciate Danganronpa, so if someone were to start with this spin-off they would find only a brief history of some characters or simple anime clichés. Japanese, particularly present. The protagonist, however, is perhaps the most predictable character during the game: she is afraid, she does not impose herself too much, suddenly and in alternating phases she finds courage to act like a heroin-like, finally she will save the world without allowing herself to deepen more than that his character or many others who will pass on the sly who may or may not have much more to say.

If the story-characters side is relatively accurate and justifiable if immersed in the world of Danganronpa and with long interludes that would like to bring the visual novel side back to life, the gameplay appears entirely curious and connected to the previous aspects: on the one hand without a real sense, on the other hand it could be brilliant following the logic of the series and the Japanese clichés. The paths are rather short, very linear, even if the game world appears vast, there will be numerous blocks given mostly by cars or walls to block any alternative passage and you will be forced to pass through an entire building, which is also quite repetitive, rather than climbing over the obstacle as sometimes can happen. In buildings or on the street, sometimes there will be areas in which we will have to move following a tactic due to the numerous presence of Monokuma, the bonuses will be given by the use of certain ammunition that cause different effects. The environment, therefore, is not that large and the few short routes then blocked by something contain information about the game, about the people who were there or objects.




Or simply waiting for us there will be children dressed all the same in Monokuma masks who will not attack - and will not be attacked - but who appear disturbed, cheering for the situation or playing with the remains of people. Some of them will sometimes give us gifts, others will be just the figures representing the shopkeeper. They are neither more nor less than what any child in this universe would be, but certainly less clever and with less clear ideas than the antagonists par excellence of this world, also, as mentioned, children. They will guide the will of the Monokuma and create post-apocalyptic disasters in a completely surreal scenario even for any horror scene, but appreciable for a generic and imaginative TPS inserted in the curious world of Danganronpa.

To break the monotony of the streets and buildings, there will be different types of Monokuma, the normal ones, those that will throw grenades, those that attract other Monokuma in defense, other generic or particular bosses at the end of the chapter. Bears, generically, most of the time will be "hidden" so it would be better to act with caution, then noting how Naegi is essentially slow in movements; instead they rarely appear breaking objects, others are busy feeding themselves with the remains of people. The scene, however, is less apocalyptic than it seems, despite the Danganronpa universe does not shy away from showing raw violence within it: the aim is to delight fans of the series in situations that are always unlikely or that they find in several hours. vaguely sense in the world of Danganronpa.

The game is essentially an unpretentious TPS, Naegi herself is a character without particular characteristics or abilities, this manifests itself in the whole gameplay, a simple fragile girl without art or part who, however, restores order by taking almost without realizing it all in her hands. The goal is even less heroic than the apparent one: you just want to make you live an experience full of fan service consistent with this universe in a new formula given by the same characteristic of being a spin-off. By now it is clear that the limits are not only graphical, given by a general graphic which now appears largely outdated, environmental textures often grainy, but which can be balanced on the other hand by the general atmosphere of the game and by the comic aspect; but also by the propensity or not to this series. Essentially recommended only to those who not only appreciate, but love Danganronpa, as many situations may not be clear and in-game repetitiveness does not help. All negative aspects that for others can be overcome or appreciated as instead a breath of fresh air and lightheartedness in the world of Danganronpa.





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