My history with the Danganronpa series is fairly unique. All the way back in 2015, I wrote our review for Ultra Despair Girls, but I actually hadn’t played the original two games in the series until shortly after receiving our copy of the at-the-time Vita-exclusive spin-off for review. Unlike that title, however, Danganronpa V3 returns to the original game’s format, with some small changes. Investigations, class trials, and the like all return, alongside what certainly seems to be a very colorful cast of characters. Although I didn’t have enough time with the game to really remember each and every character’s names that well, the demo I did get to try behind closed doors shined a spotlight on a variety of quirky characters. A giant dude in a suit that talks about himself in the third person, a girl with a weird flower-like haircut that makes the weirdest faces and considers every male a “dirty degenerate,” and more.
Class trials have been updated with a variety of new features. There’s a new form of debate called the “Mass Panic Debate,” in which three individuals argue their points at the same time, filling the screen with noise and other bits of information; there’s the new ability to warp the truth and use “Lie Bullets” in order to try and deceive your classmates in an attempt to force your way to the truth; there’s a new outrun-inspired minigame players must complete during a specific section of the trial to deduct a critical piece of information; and there’s the new “Mind Mine” minigame that has players trying to puzzle out the easiest way to destroy specific colored blocks that cover an item that they intend to highlight as important to the argument at hand. (In the demo’s case, a kitchen knife)
While I didn’t get a chance to try out the investigation portion of the demo, I did manage to watch someone else play through that section later on at NISA’s booth. There doesn’t seem to be much different within this mode compared to the previous games, but the game seems to take the Danganronpa 1 approach to overworld design compared to Danganronpa 2‘s … at least according to the demo. Which, considering some of the character’s at play here, seems to deliberately separate itself from the rest of the actual game.
Although it’s really hard to get a feel for the game after just a short demo, I’m definitely feeling like the final game should be a proper successor to Danganronpa 1/2. The characters seem to have charm (though, whether that charm will last is still up in the air), the new additions to the gameplay help keep the trials interesting, and overall I walked out of my time with it feeling confident that it has the potential to be the best Danganronpa yet.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.