Are you ready for a fun spin-off in the Danganronpa series? Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is not a visual novel, which might surprise some of you. Instead, it’s an action-packed released that takes the Danganronpa universe and flips it around. Want to learn more? Then check out our Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls review!
Daganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is set during the time between Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair. This spin-off is actually a mix of puzzle and action shooter with some RPG elements. The main protagonist is Komaru Naegi, the younger sister of Makoto Naegi – main protagonist in Daganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. You’ll also get to meet her sidekick Toko Fukawa, who is better known as Genocide Jill. Toko might be a bit calmer, but her alter ego is still a homicidal maniac.
Instead of a murder whodunnit, you are tasked with hunting down Monokumas, cute but murderous black and white bears with razor sharp teeth and red eyes – that is their weak spot. Ending the Monokuma invasion is only part of the game, as there is also a lot to explore and discover not to mention plenty of collectibles to find and puzzles to solve. Ultra Despair Girls is a more straightforward game than previous games in the main Danganronpa series, which doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing!
The story is really good and full of twists and turns. You play as Komaru Naegi who has been kidnapped and forced to live in a remote apartment without any outside contact for more than a year. Her situation changes when a Monokuma barges into the apartment she is being held in, allowing her to escape before being rescued by Byakuya Togami, from Trigger Happy Havoc, who works for the Future Foundation. He gives her a weapon that looks like a megaphone, and she escapes shooting her way to freedom.
She eventually meets Toko Fukawa/Genocide Jill, and together they fight the deadly Monokuma invasion. As you play, you’ll also run into a group of children who sorta look like miniature Monokumas in school uniforms. They call themselves The Warriors of Hope, and their leader wants to create a Children’s Paradise. Unfortunately, for that they first want to destroy every adult in the city.
The megaphone is fully loaded with truth bullets, the same truth bullets from previous games. The difference this time around is that they are not used to put holes through statements. Instead, each bullet type has a single use and a purpose. For example, Break is used to blow up Monokumas, while Link allows you to possess a Monokuma and kill the other Monokumas. Move can be used to activate toy machines, switches and anything mechanical. There is a total of eight truth bullets that you will unlock as you progress through the story. Be sure to explore everywhere and shoot anything that moves!
Genocide Jill, Toko’s split personality, uses her scissor hands to slice the Monokumas. She’s a ton of fun to play with, but unfortunately, she runs on batteries. When depleted, she will revert to Toko. Monokumas sometimes drop batteries when defeated, as well as extra hearts and Monocoins, which you will need later in the game. There are presents scattered around the game world that sometimes have batteries in them, so you will have many opportunities to play as Genocide Jill to unleash the carnage.
And now, let’s talk about the game’s puzzles. The MonokuMan rooms are awesome little puzzle rooms which involve activating an arcade machine to see the locations of the Monokumas. Once you have memorized their locations, you are given an objective to complete – said objective changes with each puzzle room. If you can manage to get to the exit without being seen, you should be good to go. And if you’re caught, you’ll get a chance to try again.
Combat is in real time, so you should be on your toes at all times or else you risk being ambushed by the Monokumas hiding around every corner! Use the Break bullet and aim for their red eyes for an effective kill. Bullets can be replenished by finding presents, as well as from ammo drops from the Monokumas you defeat. If you’re in a bind, you can also obtain some from toy machines.
The game features a trophy list with a Platinum trophy. Depending on your skill level, you could have a shiny Platinum for your collection in roughly 15-25 hours or so. Luckily there are no missable trophies thanks to the game’s chapter select, which is definitely a big plus for trophy hunters. There are plenty of collectibles to find in the game, not to mention you need to get an A rank in each mission if you want to make good progress towards that Platinum.
Overall Daganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is a lot of fun. It looks and plays so much better on the PS4 than it does on PS Vita, and it felt as if the shooting mechanics have been improved over the original Vita release. If you’re a fan of the Danganronpa series, then I highly recommend you get this one right now. Sure, it’s set in a different genre, but the many nods to the first two games in the series as well as the expansion on the Danganronpa universe’s lore make this an entry worthy of the Danganronpa name.
This Daganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is based on a PS4 copy provided by NIS America.