Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is an action-adventure video game developed by Spike Chunsoft for PlayStation Vita. The game is the first spin-off of the Danganronpa series of visual novel games, set between the events of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. The game was released in Japan on September 25, 2014 and was released by NIS America in North America on September 1, 2015, in Europe on September 4, 2015, and in Australia on September 10, 2015. The game was released on PlayStation 4 and Windows worldwide in 2017.
Set between the events of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Ultra Despair Girls focuses on Komaru Naegi, the younger sister of Makoto Naegi, as she struggles to survive in the post-apocalyptic world created by Ultimate Despair. Forming an unlikely tag-team with Toko Fukawa (a survivor of the first game's killing school life), Komaru must out-gun a legion of deadly Monokuma robots and the fanatical "Monokuma Kids", who seek to turn Towa City into a "paradise for children" by murdering all of the adults with the mysterious group called the Warriors of Hope.
Why It Rocks
- It's the first game in the Danganronpa series not to be a visual novel, but rather a Third-Person Shooter game. While the visual novels are great games as well, it was nice for the Danganronpa series to try a new genre.
- The game introduces us to Makoto little sister, Komaru, as well as Yasuhiro Hagakure's mother Hiroko, Takemichi Yukimaru, and Kiyotaka Ishimaru's father Takaaki who are all very likable characters.
- Toko gains much more focus, development, and backstory exploration, going from an annoying cynic to a loyal friend. In the beginning, she made a deal with Nagito Komaeda to save Byakuya Togami from the Warriors of Hope, which involved bringing Komaru to their HQ. Because of this, Toko ends up tagging along with Komaru throughout a majority of the game. And as it goes on, Toko provides Komaru with emotional support and entails the former on her past. As the two learn more and more about each other, and while Toko does occasionally tease Komaru, you can tell how much she obviously cares for her. To the point that she's willing to break her promise to Byakuya to help Komaru escape Towa City. But by the end, she's willing to protect and escape with them both, her crush, and her best friend.
- The Warriors of Hope all have tragic backstories involving their abusive parents to explain why they hate adults so much and (most of them) redeem themselves in the end.
- Speaking of the Warriors of Hope, the idea of a group of kids growing to hate adults due to their abusive parents, leading them to join together to start a revolution by slaughtering the entire adult populace of their city in order to create a peaceful paradise for children is a very original and interesting concept for a game.
- The emotional moments are tearjerking, like Taichi's death, the Warriors of Hope's breakdowns, Yuta's death while trying to escape the city to get help for Toko and Komaru, Toko's discussions on her childhood, and Shirokuma's sacrifice, and Komaru's breakdown near the end of Chapter 5.
- There's much less protagonists this time (reduced from 16), which can be considered a bad quality, but it can also make the story easier to follow due to the fact that there are less people to keep track with over the course of the game.
- Monaca Towa and her half-brother Haiji are very unlikable characters.
- The game's prioritizes it's story above all else, and while it's a great one, it leaves the gameplay looking rough and unpolished in a number of areas and the graphics not looking incredibly detailed.
- The story has less tension than the other Danganronpa games.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls received "mixed or average" reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the game received an average score of 72, based on 35 reviews. The game sold a total of 70,596 copies on the PlayStation Vita during its first week on sale in Japan and was the third best-selling game of the week. The PS4 version sold a total of 1,810 copies during its first week on sale in Japan and failed to reach the sales charts. The Steam release had an estimated total of 32,000 players by July 2018.
The game has sold a total of 128,559 copies in Japan (PS Vita: 123,278 copies/PS4: 5,281 copies).