Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair

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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

A big thank you to Adrian Simple for guest hosting yesterday on the show. If you are wanting to add a gaming news show to your lineup, I highly recommend The Gaming Observer. I listen in every day and it’s a great way to start the day. 

We’ve talked about Danganronpa on this show before and today, it’s time to tackle that game’s sequel. I want to give a quick content warning again, this series does involve Hunger Games-style violence involving teens so if hearing about that kind of thing bothers you, maybe just tell your Echo device to skip today’s episode. I won’t go into detail or anything but hey, it’s a strange game. Alright, everyone good? Everyone ready? Today’s game is Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, developed by Spike Chunsoft and originally released on PSP in 2012.

Danganronpa 2 starts off at a pretty strange place if you played the first game. You take the role of Hajime Hinata, a new character who is about to start life at Hope’s Peak Academy, the same high school for Ultimate students where the first game took place. In the classroom, you meet the 15 other students that make up your class, with new Ultimate talents ranging from the Ultimate Gymnast or Ultimate Chef to the Ultimate Gamer. After some quick introductions, things start getting strange. The teacher shows up, a rabbit named Usami who is clearly meant as a parody of the anime magical girl trope, and the classroom walls literally fall open to reveal that the class is on a tropical island. They are told they must all become friends and find their hope to complete this class trip.

Things take a dark turn, however, when Monokuma, the mascot villain of the first game shows up and takes over, telling the students that in order to return to their lives, they must get away with murdering one of their fellow classmates. From here, the game falls into a familiar rhythm to the first Danganronpa. During downtime, you can choose to talk with and learn about your fellow classmates by giving them presents that relate to their character. When a murder occurs, you must investigate the crime and then participate in a class trial, where everyone must determine the identity of the killer amongst them. Players must answer the questions raised typically by playing a short minigame. The minigames played are all new though, compared to the first game.

A large part of the story of Danganronpa 2 is figuring out how it relates to the events of the first game. I won’t go into detail since even a basic premise may spoil events of the first game but if you played the first one, the presence of a couple of characters in this second one should be confusing, to say the least.

Danganronpa 2 received high praise when it was released in Japan. The game wouldn’t make its way to the west until 2014 on the Vita and wouldn’t receive significant attention until its worldwide PC re-release in 2016. The mini-games were considered huge improvements over the first game’s and many considered Danganronpa 2 to have the better story and cast of characters. Danganronpa 2 has since released on Mac and Linux as well as a release on the Playstation 4 in a pack of all three main Danganronpa games. In a recent announcement, the series will also be receiving mobile ports on Android and iOS.

Thank you so much for listening! If you like the show and want to help out, please leave us a review on Amazon. These reviews help give me feedback about the show and help bring in more listeners. Also, if you like podcasts and want to hear some gaming news for the week, go subscribe to The Gaming Observer Podcast. Adrian and I just launched this podcast last week and will have a new episode probably the same day you’re listening to this show! Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.