The mystery genre is one that seem to be left out when it comes to triple A games. The only mystery games out there seem to be hidden object games which I adore, but it seems like I only share that with moms and the elderly. Sure, the Sherlock Holmes games exist and are great, but I only started playing them recently because Crimes and Punishment was free with Xbox Gold.
Though, there is still hope for the genre and it lies within the murder mystery, adventure, and visual novel game DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. The Japanese game was first released on PSN but recently was released on Steam with its sequel. The game has taken off in recent months and it’s for a good reason. The game is amazing journey that every fan of the mystery genre needs to play.
The game follows a group of teenagers who are locked in a high school with no memories. They are tormented by a black and white bear, named Monokuma, who tells them that in order to get out they must murder each other. The catch, however, is that there is a trial held after each murder. If the murderer is rightly accused then they will die. If the group guesses the wrong person as the murderer, they all die and the murderer is set free. You play as Makoto and must solve the murders of the people around you. The objective is to find out who is behind all this while trying to not be murdered.
The game sounds weird, trust me it is, but it is such a good kind of weird. The characters are so unique and fun. You’re going to be devastated when characters get killed off because there’s going to be a void. All the characters bring something to the story and whenever one gets killed off it’s just not the same without them. Though, the story is great throughout the whole game. Killing off characters do not hurt the story in any way. What’s also interesting, and another part of this game that is just weird and fun, is that each character has their own title. One character is known as the Ultimate Supermodel while another one is known as the Ultimate Shaman. These are little things that just add so much life and story to the characters of the game.
Another great thing about this game is that you don’t know what’s going to happen. Nothing is predictable. You’re going to walk into a crime scene and not know who did it until you collect all of the clues. There are some mystery games that are really bad at trying to hide who did the crime, but DanganRonpa is not one of them. There were several cases where I had no idea how it was done and who did it until I started the trial. Sometimes it’s hard to put all the pieces together until you have your other teammates help you put them together.
The trials are great, and words cannot describe how much I love them. Basically you have evidence bullets that you have collected throughout the investigation, and once people start saying information that you can disprove, you shoot the statement with you evidence bullets. Along the way there are mini games, that mostly take the form of rhythm games, that come about when someone disagrees with you or when someone is being stubborn. The trial ends when you put together a comic strip of how the murder went. Then you get to watch someone get executed. It really is a fun time.
The game isn’t bloody. It can be disturbing because you are seeing someone who you’ve grown very close to murdered, but the blood is now a bright pink substance. Still, there are some gross parts too it. One character in the beginning is impaled by a multitude of spikes while another pleted with several hundred baseballs at once. The game is really creative with it comes killing off people.
What’s most fun about this game is uncovering the mystery of what is really going on within the school. You still do have to find out who murdered who, and that is still fun, but there is something sinister going on with the school and the bear that is locking them up there. With each chapter you think you’re getting closer to the solution, but then you realize that there’s another puzzle piece missing. There are so many clues to find and piece together. When you finally piece everything together, you’re going to feel sorry for these kids. The end to this mystery is a heart wrenching one. It’s such a fun ride that sometimes you forget that Makoto’s friends are actually dead and never coming back.
FYI, at one point in the game the developers will advertise for one of their other games. That is completely normal, just roll with it.
If you like mysteries, then you should definitely try this game! It’s a fun game that will give you a ton of emotions and will stick with you. DanganRonpa is an experience you will never forget. For more on DanganRonpa and other cool mystery games, make sure you come back to the GAME ROOM!!!