At just over a year since Danganronpa 2 released in the west, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is the latest to be released in the popular Danganronpa series.
Set between the events of first game, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and its sequel, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, you play as Komaru Naegi (sister of Matoko Naegi), a normal high school girl who leads an “abnormal daily life” (in her words).
When we first meet her she is imprisoned in an apartment in Towa City after she is separated and kidnapped from her parents, unaware as to what is happening on the outside world. She is rescued by a team called Future Foundation, after robot Monokumas attack the apartment complex.
Komaru is soon given the Hacking Gun and told to find another member who will help her. Instead of a visual novel like the first two games you play a third person shooter, with the Hacking Gun you have a laser target which helps to aim to shoot the Monokumas.
Komaru escapes, but not without seeing the horror unfold of the Monokumas killing the adults in horrible ways. Behind the attack are the Warriors of Hope, 5 children who want a paradise with kids only and no adults. Each child has a reason as to why they hate adults and they are not pleasant. She is captured and soon meets ‘The Servant’ of the 5 children who explains the situation to you. She then meets the children face to face who then release her into Towa City but not before attaching a bracelet and start to play the hunting game with her. She soon meets Toko Fukawa who has been assigned to help Komaru escape the city.
The first chapter will take a lot longer to complete than the others as there are many tutorials on how to play game, how to use your weapons, enemies, puzzles etc. It did take me a while to complete it but soon after I got into the flow of the game and I knew what to do. It was essential especially getting a new bullet for the Hacking Gun as it taught you how to use it at the right time.There are also different types of Monokumas which you can destroy with the 8 different bullets you acquire.
As the story goes on you see Komaru grow from a scared girl who didn’t want to do anything other than run away to a brave woman who wants to save the adults from the Warriors of Hope. It is also great to see Toko get a storyline as well, we learn about her past and how she became Genocide Jack. We didn’t learn too much about her from the first game so if you are a fan of Toko (which I am) then you will love her in this game. You can also switch and fight as Genocide Jack though you only have a limited amount of time.
Throughout the game you pick up items such as books, mangas and diaries which cuts away to scenes with Komaru and Toko talking, these involve stories about each other. You can also pick up skill books which help Komaru in the game, you can add more as you level up including enemies dropping more items, extra health, raise your level quicker etc.
The cutscenes switch from 3D to anime, the theme of the story is very dark especially with the children wanting to kill all the adults and showing no remorse for it.
It does focus more on the story than gameplay but that’s a good thing as Danganronpa has always had a great story line and this game has more twists and turns as the previous ones.