Imagine that you’re accepted into the country’s number 1 school but then you can’t leave the school ever because the headmaster won’t let you. You can only leave the school once you kill someone, while every other pupil knows nothing of what you’re doing or you stay in the school until you’re dead. This what happens in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc offers a fascinating look at the human condition, expertly delving into the machinations that would cause some to travel down an immoral path. Sure, killing my friends has never entered my mind, but everyone has a breaking point.
From Spike Chunsoft, at first the game has a similar vibe to the Zero Escape series, where we had to escape the facility and somehow deal with the Prisoner’s Dilemma, but that isn’t entirely true. In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc you have to solve cases in order to save your friends and yourself once the killing has begun. To solve the cases you and your friends, including the suspect, will enter a trial class where you need to make an argument about the case. You will find evidence, dubbed as a truth bullet, while investigating areas within the school. While in argument, you will sometimes need to fire your truth bullet, hence the name Trigger Happy, toward statements that may contradict with your investigation. There is some indication ala “Objection” in the Phoenix Wright series if you got it right. If you fail to fire them within the time limit, the game lets you retry the section where you failed. Sometimes during the arguments new elements will be added, such as making the statements harder to be targeted because of white noise.
After the case is nearly done, you get a chance to recreate the crime through comic book panels where you have to match the description in the panel to suitable pictures. Like Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, the game is divided into two sections: the graphic novel and the investigation. Also while waiting for the next murder to happen, you can befriend the occupants in the school and gain abilities along the way to help you with winning the case. You also can give presents to them in order to get some information on them through their Report Card. Along the way when you make conversations with your friends, sometime there is a purple word, a feature called reaction which does allow you to ask that person to elaborate on the statements more which may lead you to solve the cases.
There is a lot of story to tell in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc where each student excels at something but even with that they can’t contains the urge to escape the school to enjoy life like everyone would. For instance, like any normal crime story, after the murderer has been exposed, he/she would explain their backstory prior coming to school and most of the time, we as human beings would feel sympathy toward the characters who been accused. Because of how the plot is presented, there is never a guess as to who is the murderer is until you’ve collected some evidence. In this game, sometimes you may think that your closest friends won’t set you up and can’t be murderers, but that is never the case in Hope Academy. Not while you are driven to leaving the school and the fact that there are extra incentives that can make you murder your own friends.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a great adventure game to be in your Vita library. The game is a re-released version from the PSP, so the graphics might let you down. Instead of 3D models, the game instead uses an upgraded 2D to the environments and in-game characters. Ironically there is a student who loves the 2D rather than the 3D model, so maybe that’s why the game uses such a model for their characters. For those who are interested for the story but not the gameplay itself, there is an anime version of it.