Danganronpa is like an onion. As you peel the layers apart, you discover new layers to it, and also you’re very likely to cry a lot. After last chapter’s surprising and despair-inducing ending, I was left in a state of flux.
As with any Danganronpa game, loss can be crushing. The game enforces that with your up-close and personal view of the game’s first victim, but it also forces you to move forward in order to survive and honor the memories of the lost. As always, though, the game isn’t meant to be fair, and Monokuma has no intention of ever changing that.
The other major feature of any Danganronpa game, is building your relationship with your friends. Doing so makes sense within the framework of the story, unlocks further abilities for use in the class trials, and as always is pretty darn funny. It’s a tried and true formula for the series. The writing is always at its best when it acts like a cat chasing that weird yarn to the very end, and the dating sim-esque qualities dampen the tension of the main story for a little while…until it, of course, amplifies those tensions all over again for the next class trial.
I’ll say this for Danganronpa: it always knows how to spin a yarn and make each trial its own thing. The new game alone introduces new variations of old classics like the “Hangman’s Gambit” mini-game. But it also introduces new mini-games like “Argument Armament” and “Debate Scrum.” They help liven up a series that’s never been a stranger to reinventing itself. Personally I’m a fan of “Debate Scrum,” as I’m always a fan of exaggerated group debates.
So far though, Danganronpa’s new additions have helped the series quite a bit, not to mention a little bit of deemphasizing of the series mythology helped create a new entry point to the series for new fans. While I’m a fan of exaggerated mythology, so far Danganronpa’s rebirth has been a fantastic one, I’m looking forward to the new heights (or I suppose “depths” would be more appropriate) the series will explore. Here’s to the Punishment Time.