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An Excellent Continuation of the Story

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    Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    An Excellent Continuation of the Story

    Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is the third main entry in the Danganronpa series. Veterans of the series should know to expect at this point, but for those who have never played one of these twisted part high school drama, part murder mystery games, the general idea is as follows: a group of 16 students each with ¡°Ultimate¡± abilities are trapped in a school building and are tasked with killing another student without getting caught. In the event they can pull off an unsolvable murder, they can escape the school ¨C if they are unsuccessful and the remaining students can determine who the ¡°blackened¡± is correctly, then the murderer is brutally executed instead.

    Below are my thoughts on the game broken down by topic:

    ART & GRAPHICS

    Similar to the aesthetic of previous titles, the game is played in a basic 3-dimensional world with 2-D representations of the characters. These anime-esque characters are the best looking that they have been since the beginning of the game ¨C the character models are crisp and clear, the environments are colorful and varied, and the school itself the characters are trapped feels the best to be in. This is certainly the most polished and pleasing Danganronpa game to look at.

    SOUND & MUSIC

    All of the classic DR tracks are back in this entry, with a combination of both catchy and haunting tunes to play during dramatic sequences. I was disappointed that there were not many new tracks to the game, as I feel the game leaned too much into its predecessors. The sound effects are still quite satisfying, and much of it has been streamlined to be as complimentary as possible. Lastly, as you will be hearing it frequently in this dialogue-heavy game, the voice acting; there is a great deal to love here as the voice acting has each character distinctively unique and interesting. Without any spoilers, I was satisfied overall, but wish there was better consistency among all the voices.

    STORY

    In a game like this, story is the most important. As other reviews have probably mentioned, this DR game has an ending that will be quite divisive. In my opinion, I found the ending to be excellent, as I found the story of previous games to err on the side of cheese too often without a semblance of reality throughout (which is fine, as this is supposed to be consumed as a quirky murder game rather than a serious affair). By the end, it may initially come off as anticlimactic, but from my perspective, I think that it opens up the series in a much more interesting way, and I am very excited for future installments.

    As far as the murder mysteries go, I found the various murders to be, on average, good. There are cases that can drag on for a while, as in you know from the investigation phase who the murderer is and the trial keeps treading clues that are blatantly obvious, but there were some cases that had interesting motives and genuinely good and mysterious appeal. On a case level, I think this game was about par. However the main distinction from this entry to other DR games would be the characters.

    From the simpleton savage who wants to be a gentleman to the artistic cult leader, I found the characters were much better written in this game. In other entries (especially DR 1), many of the characters felt one-note, one-dimensional, and at worst, vexing. I will say that almost every character in DR3 has some semblance of an arc, and even those that seem annoying at first and you plead the game to kill them next seem to feel missed after their passing.

    GAMEPLAY

    This game plays and feels much the same as previous iterations. The mini-games are probably the best in the series and are explained much better (as opposed to previous games that felt too vague at times to understand exactly what was going on). Additionally, many quality of life improvements make the navigation and experience of the game to be much more streamlined, which was noticeable right from the start. Furthermore, as is customer with DR at this point, there are some post-game content to be consumed. Much of it feels grindy and not particularly fun or interesting, but it is there if you want to consume more from these fun characters.

    OVERALL

    As you have probably noticed, this game cannot be talked about without being compared to its predecessors. This is not necessarily a negative point, as it builds off of a formula that is unique and pleasurable, but it will alienate new players who have not experienced DR1 or DR2 (I strongly suggest playing those two games first if you would like to play DR3). All in all, if you are a fan of DR1 or DR2, I think this game is worth the money. If you are new to the series and this seems interesting, then purchase DR1 first before buying this game.

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