Visual novel adventure games are a tough sell for the majority of gamers, and that’s a shame because titles like Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc demonstrate why this genre needs more love from the mainstream press. Published in 2010 by Spike, this title is the first one in the series and as such introduces players to many of the concepts that would underpin later games.
One interesting conceit that sets this title apart from its peers is its fast-paced gameplay. That might sound strange for a visual novel, and it is, but it is also the secret sauce that makes this title one amazingly delicious treat.
How to Download Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
To download the game, click on the Download button at the end of the review. You might be also interested in the sequels: Danganropnpa 2: Goodbye Despair and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
The Game Review
As in most of the games in this genre, you star as a student. Your name is Makoto Naegi and you are enrolled in some kind of Battle Royale-esque fight to the death with his fellow students. We admit that sounds somewhat grim but, really, it’s done in that quirky, light-hearted style so common to manga and anime. Fans of the Ace Attorney games will recognize the art style and presentation almost immediately.
Like those games, investigation and deduction are key to advancement and unraveling the who, what, when, where, and why of a situation is often up to the player’s intuition and participation in the game world.
Class trials consume the majority of the player’s time with the game. These consist of everything from a rhythm-based minigame or even a puzzle-based section. We really enjoyed these sections but they could become tedious after a while.
It’s not that they are lacking in the fun department so much as they take away from what is a pretty compelling story. It’s crazy, funny, and it makes you want to know what happens next. The mini-games become a sort of unwanted interludes between these segments. In fact, much of the game was translated into its own manga series.
Another thing that is likely to stand out almost immediately about the game is how beautiful the graphics are. Using a unique 2.5D style that is filled with bright colors and bold lines. First arriving in 2010, you wouldn’t be able to tell this from the crisp graphics and it is always enjoyable when a game is timeless in this area. Why? Dated graphics are usually one of the first excuses players turn to when they try to shun an older game. You won’t have that problem here.
Who is this game best for in terms of demographics? We think that visual novel fans probably already know all there is to know about Danganronpa but those of us that haven’t experienced it should be first in line.
This might change your mind on what is one of the oldest genres in video gaming but which is done here in such a novel and interesting way. We admit it isn’t as action-oriented as most every triple-A blockbuster is these days but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in production value and compelling content.