Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony - PlayStation Vita
- Murder Mysteries: In a world where everyone is trying to survive, nobody's motivations are quite what they seem. Use your skills to solve each new murder or meet a gruesome end.
- Lie, Panic, Debate!: The world is shaped by our perception of it. Fast-paced trial scenes will require lies, quick wits, and logic to guide your classmates to the right conclusions.
- New Minigames: Between the madness of murdered peers and deadly trials, enjoy an abundance of brand-new minigames!
- Languages: Enjoy original Japanese and new English voices, plus new English subtitles.
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The third main entry of the hit murder-mystery adventure game series, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is an all-new journey into the world of Danganronpa. As the killing game begins a third time, the line between lies and the truth has never been more blurred! Welcome to a new world of Danganronpa , and prepare yourself for the biggest, most exhilarating episode yet. Set in a "psycho-cool" environment, a new cast of 16 characters find themselves kidnapped and imprisoned in a school. Inside, some will kill, some will die, and some will be punished. Reimagine what you thought high-stakes, fast-paced investigation was as you investigate twisted murder cases and condemn your new friends to death. Forget what you thought you knew about Danganronpa and join a completely new cast of Ultimate's for a brand new beginning.
Top reviews from the United States
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The characters in V3 are compelling, the mysteries are intriguing, the sound track and voice acting are very good, and the mini games you play during the class trials are the best of the lot. If I had to ding one thing, it would be that the murders at times can lean a bit too heavily on elements from the previous games. Having played Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair to 100% completion, I found myself more than once saying sarcastically, "Gee, where have I seen this before?" And while I didn't have much of an issue with it, I can see where some people might be disappointed by the ending.
As far as post-game content goes, Killing Harmony has the most of any Danganronpa title to date. I very much enjoy the relationship building component, as I did with the other two games. Unfortunately, not being a fan of JRPGs myself, the "Ultimate Talent Development Plan/Despair Dungeon: Monokuma's Test" have been more intimidating. The only thing that keeps me playing it is the fact that you get to watch scenes where characters from Trigger Happy Havoc, Goodbye Despair, and Killing Harmony interact with each other, often with hilarious results.
A couple other notes. A demo of this game exists across all the platforms for which it's available - Vita, PlayStation 4, and PC (via Steam). Play it first (it takes 1-2 hours depending on whether you want to meet all the characters) because the full version can read its save data, which will unlock some bonus items. The Vita version, like all the other Danganronpa games including its 3rd-person action spinoff ( Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls - PlayStation Vita ) is compatible with the PlayStation TV ( PlayStation TV ). A HQ Audio patch is also available for the Vita as a free, standalone download that adds the original Japanese voices while improving the voice clarity of the English dub. The latter is particularly noticeable if you're playing on a PSTV, so that alone is worth it. Just make sure you have enough space on your memory card, as the download itself is about 1.5 GB.
Overall, Killing Harmony is an absolutely worthy addition to the franchise. Newcomers should definitely play the first two before jumping into this one, while keeping in mind that there is a fairly significant time commitment involved. None is conducive to being played in short bursts - some of the class trials alone can take upwards of 2-3 hours. Be patient, though, and you'll have a very rewarding experience.
Let me back up - I really did enjoy the game. It was very polished in every way (graphics, the mini games during trial, music), where there were parts in Danganronpa 1 and 2 that were really rough, they learned from them and really made things much smoother and better in this third game. As murder mystery visual novel go, this is still one of the top top games out there, and consists of a good deal of gameplay than just pure reading. It's also a decently long game as well - story only, it ended up being a good 5hrs longer than Danganronpa 2.
There are still plenty of rollercoasters abound in this game. Case 1 was absolutely fantastic as a starting case, and easily trump over the starter cases in the previous two games. The end cases were great as well, but I find they were lackluster compared to Danganronpa 2 (but then again, I highly doubt they can ever top THAT game).
One of my biggest problems have to do with characters. I'm not sure if this is simply a localization problem or literally character design issue, but there is one character who I absolutely cannot stand. Many of the other characters I also just don't feel anything about. Even my favorite character, i feel like I like him the best primarily because no one else is better. Additionally, cases 2 and 3 were just really lackluster. ALTHOUGH I will say that the executions in v3 seems more brutal than the past games - to the point where while the case itself didn't really standout and I didn't feel much when the blackened was revealed, the execution actually made me feel really terrible for the character that just got executed.
Finally, the end cases...so they were good. Great even. But they totally do not beat the end cases/reveal for Danganronpa 1 and 2. ESPECIALLY 2. I think it's unfortunate that v3 came after 2, because I have a feeling it'd be utterly impossible to ever top 2's reveals and ending. v3's last two cases were very clever, absolutely, but it didn't really make me go "OMG!!!!".
This is gonna sound super weird, especially as I'm trying to not spoil, but v3's reveal actually made me, the player, feel really bad for liking the Danganronpa series. Like - if that is legit what the writers wanted to do, then they absolutely succeeded. Unfortunately, it does also totally dragged the end down for me - story wise it's great, but emotionally wise it was a huge damper. I think that's why you might see people say that the ending is "disappointing" - i don't think they mean it literally that it's a bad ending, so much as it made themselves experience "disappointment" as a general emotion. It is just sooooooooo bizarre. I think this is why after thinking on the game for a couple of weeks, I realized that I just did not leave the game on a "positive" note, and forever more when I think of this game, I'll just have that vague sense of...disappointment. Again not because the story is bad, but it literally feel a bit like the game is intentionally trying to invoke that disappointment feeling.
Does any of that make sense?
I think if the writers genuinely wanted to do this, then this game was absolutely genius. If they did not, however, then it can be considered a bit of a flop, and their writing backfired on them.
Side note - download the free sound improvement DLC to improve the music and sound quality, and if still available (should still be), download and play the Demo. Saving the demo and then loading it in v3 net you an item that'll unlock a bonus scene (in chapter 1, talk to Tsumugi to trigger it). (Edit: You can get the demo bonus item also from something in game, so not having played the demo doesn't lock you out of it. However since you don't get access to the in-game mini game until past chapter 1 (and the event can only be triggered in chapter 1), having played the Demo basically lets you see the bonus scene earlier)
Overally, I STILL would highly recommend this game, especially to fans of the Danganronpa series, but even to people who just like visual novels but not necessarily know anything about Danganronpa. This just isn't the best of the lot.
Any sequel would ruin the whole thing.
The only frustrating part is that several gigabytes are needed for the Japanese audio.
Top reviews from other countries
The twists and turns are exciting and heart-wrenching, and in usual Dangan-form, the game will make you feel deeply for a number of characters before mercilessly killing them off, one by one.
In regards to the artwork and design, this may be my favourite Danganronpa yet. Each of the characters feel incredibly unique, and I'm a huge fan of each one's design and how it relates to their personality/Ultimate ability, as well as the overall aesthetic of the school. For once, I feel like the environment was truly alive, and it was fun to explore and unlock new places as the story progressed.
As for the controversial ending that has the fandom split... at first, I wasn't a fan. It was almost difficult to believe what the game had done, what it was telling me. But a few days later and after chatting about it with some fellow fans, I've actually come to appreciate it. Maybe not in the context of the game and story itself, but for what the developers were trying to say and do. I'll leave it at that cryptic statement - after playing the game, I hope my comment will make more sense to anyone reading.
Finally, a head's up for newcomers to the series - if you plan on playing V3, make sure you've played Danganronpa 1, 2, Ultra Despair Girls, and watched the Danganronpa 3 anime (Side Future, Side Despair & Side Hope) before jumping into this game.
Those who enjoy Danganronpa mostly for its mystery-solving would probably rate this better than I have. The methods behind the murders this time around logical and largely well written. I was rarely stuck searching for an answer, but I also never went into a trial with everything figured out already. Each case unfolds gradually, just the way it should. Meanwhile, the minigames are a bit of a mixed bag. Psyche Taxi is painful in comparison to Logic Dive, Mind Mine is dull, and Argument Armament is a huge step down from previous rhythm games (aside from the awesome customized outfits for all your opponents). However, the two new trial mechanics, Mass Panic Debate and Debate Scrum, work well with the writing to make key moments more exciting.
The problem is that the storytelling just isn't up to snuff. The cast in V3 is closer knit and more welcoming than the first game at least, but also less engaging. Many of the characters feel like mashups of previous Ultimates but with less interesting backstories. A few, like the man-hating Tenko Chabashira, receive barely any development beyond a few token gimmicks. I had my handful of favourites, but I was rarely upset when someone died. The freetime events felt strangely lacklustre, too, frequently repeating the same idea over and over.
In the interest of not spoiling too much, I won't discuss the plot in detail, but chances are you've already heard about the controversial ending. While there are those who enjoyed it, I largely found it nihilistic, pretentious and poorly written. In the previous two games, the final trial was always a highlight: all the loose threads pulled together for some horrible revelation, but the characters pushed past that and managed to attain their own bittersweet endings. That is not the case at all here. The ending takes a swipe at the fanbase and demolishes the legacy and themes of the previous games.
There's a prevailing sense of *tiredness* to V3. I got the sense the creators were sick of their own story; V3 was their way to torch the franchise so they could move on. When the next Danganronpa game is released (which with this much popularity is nearly inevitable), I hope it will be with a new creative team who can breathe fresh life into the series.