I spent a lot of last week watching anime in an attempt to find the five anime you should be watching this summer. One of these is based on the popular Japanese PSP title, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. And as it felt like the anime was just spoiling the game, I decided I had to go out and play it instead.
[*Note: Video contains moderate spoilers for the game's first case (namely who was murdered).]
Danganronpa is a game structured much like Ace Attorney. You start with everything rather peaceful, but soon there is a murder so you must gather evidence before heading into a trial. I was expecting the trial portions to play exactly like the Ace Attorney trials. I was wrong. They are much more exciting and complex.
To start with, all the trial portions have a time limit. Take too long and it's an instant game over. So you must not only find the correct answers but also do it under the gun, so to speak. As there are no lawyers, discussions and testimony take place in a free-for-all fashion. And as you listen, you must “shoot” an “evidence bullet” at the correct weak point, in the conversation to show the contradiction.
As the game goes on, it gets more and more complex, giving you more possible evidence bullets to choose from and allowing you to create additional bullets out of someone's own testimony on the fly.
Other courtroom mini-games include epiphany moments, where you must shoot the correct letters to spell a key word in the case, and the machine gun battle, where you must keep the ever increasing rhythm as you shoot down argument after argument. Finally, each case ends with a mini-game where you reconstruct the entire crime as a manga.
To see how this all looks in action, check out the video above.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc was released on November 25, 2010, for the PlayStation Portable in Japan. While the PSP version won't be getting a Western release, the upcoming Vita remake is scheduled for a Western release in 2014.