Not many games get me excited nowadays, I need an enthralling story with an interesting cast of characters, sometimes crazy plot twists and most importantly enjoyable gameplay mechanics.
My favourite game of 2017 therefore has to be Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. Why you may ask? BECAUSE IT’S LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES, BUT BETTER. With a despairfully exciting group of new gifted students, this third installment of the Danganronpa franchise solidifies it’s place with all new twists and turns that you would never expect.
To be honest, hearing the high pitched, bloodcurdling voice of the psychopathic Monokuma and his dastardly children, the Monokubs, felt comforting which really is a strange sensation to feel when you’re playing a game about killing your friends. I don’t know why but it just gave me a sense of enjoyment that I don’t get out of many video games.
Danganronpa V3 really didn’t have to much wrong with it in my opinion. Each class trial was fun, exciting and always kept me guessing who the blackened could have been until the very last second. Each character was fleshed out completely and gave an instant pang of despair when they died. When a series can make you feel sympathy for each and every character when they die (as well as the ones they leave behind) is a testament to the writers and creators of such amazing characters.
I also found myself always hoping (hopelessly) that my favourites would live (which they did not seem to) unto the great beyond outside their prison like school. I was always engaged with this game, the art style, the voices, the designs and most importantly, finding out who killed my favourite characters. 😦
The emotional highs and lows hit you deeply as you make connections with these lovable buffoons through the free time events making it even more regrettable when your best girl or boy turns out to be the killer! This game truly is a social experiment where interactions between your classmates could seal your fate or someone elses.
This cast of deliciously weird, multidimensional characters came with very few to dislike. Their motivations, development and personalities created an intriguing atmosphere which truly did transcend that of the last two games. I enjoyed the company of a great deal of them (until some of them eventually bit the dust).
Stand outs for me were:
- Kaito Hyakuta: Ultimate Astronaut
- Obnoxious and confident in a good way, rounds out this cast of characters so well, always looking for the best in everyone. I would say, this seasons beacon of hope.
- He’s an astronaut, that’s sick.
- Shuichi Saihara: Ultimate Detective
- Takes some warming up to.
- Soft sweet, lovable and just an all around good guy/
- Tenko Chabashira: Ultimate Aikido Practitioner
- Hates boys, loves girls, could kick my ass anyday.
- Lovable and kindhearted.
- Angie Yonaga: Ultimate Artist
- Bat shit crazy bitch.
- Is adorably awesome.
- Maki Harukawa: Ultimate Nursery Teacher
- Trust me you’ll eventually like her.
Overall, the character that I always came back to no matter what was Maki. From the beginning her secretive character intrigued me, spending time with her was difficult, but, in the end, it is completely worth it. She is such a unique and fleshed out individual that falling in love with her is not out of the question.
Watching all of these characters grow and become accustomed to their new home
prison conveys their deepest emotional states and motivations for their actions. Seeing and compairing their developed characters from the first trial too the last contrasts greatly, as would seeing your friends being killed before your very eyes. It was a morbidly delightful experience to have a conversation with a character in one chapter and for them to be dead the next.
This installment is full of plot-twists, more than ever before. My gameplay experience was filled with a plethora of ‘What!’s and ‘Oh my god what just happened, no way.’ There is never a dull moment as you are thrown for a loop every time more evidence is uncovered. Oh and did I mention that you have to LIE now as well?
One of the most frustrating yet invigorating game play mechanics in Danganronpa V3 was having to lie to your fellow students to make the flow of the argument go your way. I enjoyed this new feature, however sometimes found myself wondering why none of my truth bullets would work. I’m not a detective okay, I’m also an extremely bad liar, ask my friends.
Class trials were always fun, the first being hook line and sinker for me, it threw me for a loop, and then another, and then another. I was the hula hoop on one of those circus performers, I NEVER STOPPED LOOPING. Each mini-game within the trials was also a tad different from past games, some being more enjoyable than others which spiced up the trials a bit, allowing for time to process and think about who the blacked could be.
Danganronpa V3 is likely to have to most controversial of endings yet. It’s story leading up to the end is quite similar to the others, however, takes a sharp turn towards the end that I don’t think anyone could see coming.
Each character contributes to an overarching story which enthralled me completely, making me sad when I finally put my controller down and finished the game. You root for your favourites mostly, but you find yourself rooting for everyone as you flesh out each character, their motivations, personality and for some, their true identities.
It is a great game, my number one of 2017.