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Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園

Developer / Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
26 July 2012
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair [スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園] - cover art
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3.91 / 5.0
0.5
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1,246 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#266 All-time
#7 for 2012
Hajime Hinata and fifteen other students find themselves in a tropical paradise and is encouraged to live a peaceful daily life by a magical stuffed bunny named Usami. However, their vacation is cut short when Monokuma returns by stripping Usami of her powers, then forcing the students to participate in another killing game where the killer who successfully murders another student without being found out wins their freedom from the island at the expense of other students.
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an improvement from dr1 in basically every way. amazing cast, amazing setup, amazing story, amazing murders (the exception being case 3 xd) and all of the good stuff a visual novel should have.

but the thing that sells this as perfect for me is how everything here has a reason, it's all wrapped up and known by the player since the start. i personally find that to be one of the best ways to tell a story and it works wonders here.

the game has a few issues but they won't hinder very much your enjoyment.

go play it.
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amauralho 2024-02-08T20:55:09Z
2024-02-08T20:55:09Z
5.0
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a less oppressive, crazier danganronpa than its predecessor
Trades away some of the gloominess (despair?) and claustrophobia of Trigger Happy Havoc to make a story thats several shades zanier and more colorful than its predecessor. Though walking around the labyrinthine, liminal space-esque halls of Hope's Peak established a tone that was truly all Danganronpa's own in THH, I found the strength of Goodbye Despair was in its weird characters and even weirder plot beats. With the oppressive atmosphere dramatically lessened when compared to THH, solving each mystery in Goodbye despair becomes more and more ludicrous and fun - this ends up making for some of the most fascinating cases in the series (2-5 chief among them in my mind ).
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Huh, That might as well happen.
A lot of weird stuff happens that by the end you can't help but feel simply numb to the random stuff that happens.
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leonidastrashspartan 2023-01-18T04:38:53Z
2023-01-18T04:38:53Z
2.5
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I know it's the general consensus that this is an improvement on the first game, but I'm afraid I can't agree. I mean, I definitely get why this is the more acclaimed of the two games: everything that happens in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a build-up to the final trial, the entire game acting as build-up to an enthralling climax that is surely the best trial in the entire trilogy, and you would be well within your rights to argue that all of the weaknesses before that are justified by the pay-off they service. But I just don't know whether I can really bring myself to believe that an utterly phenomenal final forty-five minutes is enough to elevate the previous twenty or so hours above a game that was pretty much perfect.

The problem is that several of the changes it makes diminish the game rather than enhance it, and before you learn where it's going with all of them, it carries the slight whiff of a sequel that's trying a bit too hard to be different to its predecessor. The tropical island setting isn't as coherent or compelling as Hope's Peak Academy was, and it feels pretty contrived at times. The visual design of the characters is certainly more immediately striking, but a number of the actual characters underneath those designs are worse than their counterparts in the first game, and a couple are actively irritating. The new mechanics introduced into the trials vary wildly; the Logic Dive is a fun enough bit of variation to the gameplay, but the new Hangman's Gambit is a chore. The Tamagotchi in your student handbook is just....there, adding repetitive admin without adding any real gameplay. Monomi gets old fast. And the trials themselves have moved away from focusing on logic and deduction, and instead are now focusing on providing as much whiplash as possible on the plot twists. That sounds like it could be an improvement, and sometimes it is, but it does test the player's ability to suspend their disbelief to its absolute limit, and there are points that feel a bit gimmicky and forced in a way that the first game rarely did.. Again, a lot of this - the island, the actions of the most annoying of those irritating characters, some of the minor plot strands that felt like throwaways and loose ends - is explained away in the final trial, which goes a long way to softening the blow, but if we're comparing this to a game that didn't need to compromise the bulk of its story and worldbuilding in service of its ending, there's only one winner, surely?

Still, everything else is the same, and how much can you really complain when that's the case? I feel like this game had to be wildly ambitious, because there is nothing else a writer or developer could reasonably have done with the task of creating a follow-up to Danganronpa - it had to be bigger, bolder, sillier, funnier, and more convoluted, because if it's not, why even bother? And yes, it may stumble upon the way, but by and large it respects the most important part of that balancing act - keeping the core of the game exactly the same. The sickness and glee, the suspense, the comedy, the drama, the betrayal, the intrigue, it's all here. Being the weakest part of a trilogy is no great shame when the other two entries in the trilogy is as brilliant as they are, and the foundations underpinning them are so solid.
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Iai 2022-09-09T21:14:17Z
2022-09-09T21:14:17Z
4.3
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My 25 Favorite Games I Played Before Turning 25, #16
Review major rewrite - May 6 2022

This review contains major spoilers for all three main Danganronpa games AND the DR3 anime. No spoiler tags will be used in this review!

I love all three of the main Danganronpa games almost equally. Despite having a similar premise and structure, the main three Danganronpa games have their own unique aesthetic and approach to the killing game situation. Generally, these games don’t even feel connected to each other until you get to the very end of each story. But regardless, It’s still not a good idea to play this series out of order, so make some time in your schedule before tackling this beast of a visual novel.

The first game is claustrophobic. Every student is trapped within the same school, decorated with bolted windows and stairways locked behind bars. Each new development only further cements the group's hopeless situation. Danganronpa V3 places more emphasis on the complete isolation of the cast. They are confined within the area of another school, though this one has long since been abandoned. The cast are left helpless and alone, far distanced from the rest of humanity. Danganronpa 2, on the flipside, takes place on a sunny island paradise! Even within the Danganronpa series, DR2’s setting comes completely out of left field. The cast is abandoned and helpless all the same, though with this uniquely vibrant setting, a burning thought will pop into the player’s mind that doesn’t come with the other two games: "I could live here!"

Even with the threat of violence, the player might want to join the cast at first, because it seems kind of nice, doesn’t it? Each character gets a cozy little shack and access to all the survival resources they could ever need, but any possible enjoyment is sapped when the killing game constantly burdens the students with the thought of rapidly approaching death. This game is all about irony. DR2 has none of the same grit or moodiness as the other DR games, either. Instead, the atmosphere is a colorful mix of absurdism, but cranked up even further than the previous game. That might seem impossible when considering the plot of Danganronpa 1, but DR2 pulls no punches. It has its own unique twists and turns, trying its hardest to one-up the insanity of DR1 the further the story progresses.

This sense of amplification is apparent right away when looking at DR2's character designs. Although DR1 had no shortage of strange designs, DR2's characters stick out against each other like broken glass. More so than the other two Danganronpa games, it's far easier to guess each character's personality just by looking at them. Ibuki is a scenester pop punk girl. Nagito looks like some raggedy creep. Sonia looks prim and proper. Gundam looks like an edgelord, etc. The only real surprise here might be Hiyoko, who appears to be filling in some sort of 'cute young girl' role, only to end up being a complete brat.

I've read remarks about this cast being 'one-dimensional', which to be fair, their personalities are somewhat straightforward. Though, intentionally so. In the case where the story needs to have many characters to function, this simplicity works for the better, leaving the writers more room to focus on the development of the plot. Because of this, only a handful of characters are explored in depth, leaving many tragic backstories and eccentric backgrounds to the reader’s imagination.

In more cases than not, a reader's imagination is far more powerful than the game's actual story, and the Danganronpa games take full advantage of this. For example, someone who had finished DR1 will notice that Byakuya has somehow returned to the cast of DR2. Not only that, but his appearance has changed dramatically! In this completely new setting, Byakuya ends up being the player’s only reliable link from Jabberwock Island to Danganronpa 1. Then, before the player has a chance to delve into this connection, Byakuya ends up getting killed off right away, and you’re left in the dark once more. This writing decision is equally as smart as the first chapters of both DR1 and DRV3, though its purpose and execution is far more subtle, here. DR2 further pokes at the reader’s curiosity by introducing a building resembling Hope’s Peak Academy on the center island.

In the usual Danganronpa fashion, many of its questions will be answered by the end of the story, though the ending of DR2 will leave the player with further questions. Needless to say, this game’s writing is fueled by its sense of mystery, making spoilers especially destructive to the intended playthrough experience. Even if you’ve already played through the game a first time, however, replays are rewarded with subtle hints towards the truth of the story that appear early on. Because of this, spoilers don’t completely ruin the experience, but it’s best to go in blind. So, if you still have some interest in playing these games for the first time and you’re still reading this, you should step away from the review now.

After its ending, Danganronpa 1 leaves two important questions behind for players to think about. The first pertains to the future. What happened with the surviving DR1 cast? The second applies to the past. How did Junko take over the world? In a dramatic twist, it turns out that the DR2 cast was the missing link between these two questions the entire time. The entire island turns out to be a simulation created by the Future Foundation, an organization founded by the surviving students of DR1. Its purpose is to rid the DR2 cast of their despair-induced brainwashing, because as it turns out, these students were used as Junko’s tools to take over the world! Yet, even after uncovering this knowledge, Junko’s methods are unclear. The player is left to piece together the missing links once more, with even more vague questions further weighing down the reader’s curiosity. What happens to the cast of DR2 after this story ends? What happened to the rest of the world? These questions are left unanswered.

You may be wondering whether these vague ideas are better or worse than a detailed explanation, though in this case, we actually have an answer to this hypothetical. Enter Danganronpa 3, the anime, not to be confused with the last major game in the series, Danganronpa V3. The intention of the DR3 anime was to explain these remaining questions left behind by the first two games. You will learn exactly how the DR2 cast became brainwashed and how exactly Junko took over the world with them. The results, as you might expect, are questionable. More importantly, the answers provided by the anime are probably not as interesting as the theoretical answers that popped into your head after you finished playing Danganronpa 2. It doesn’t help that the Danganronpa 3 anime is a massive trainwreck, either. When an established character dies in Danganronpa 3, it often carries little impact, because death and violence are the anime's foundation. Various characters are introduced just for the sole purpose of being killed immediately.

All three Danganronpa games avoid DR3’s pitfalls by steadily pacing out each death in the story. While the motive-murder-trial outline does come off as formulaic, it serves as a reliable skeleton for each game's story telling. Because of this, the player can further participate in the game's mystery, using the story’s current trajectory to guess who is going to die next.

Normally, I wouldn't need to bring up 'gameplay' in a visual novel review, but the Danganronpa games are one of the exceptions. Most of the experience is linear storytelling, though the player has loads of opportunities to interact with the environment, investigations and trials. Similar to DR1, the player can click all over each 2D room to inspect various items. There are also 5 hidden Monokumas to find in each chapter, though I recommend ignoring these on your first playthrough. Our main character Hajime can also walk to each destination through a scrolling 2D path of the island, or if the player feels no need to take their time, they can teleport him around the island instead. The player is given some kind of tamagotchi pet as an incentive to stick with walking, though I'd recommend you ignore that, as well. As much as I would have loved to see a big explorable 3D island, this game’s scope was simply too big. It has 6 whole islands to explore, which is a bit too much to build into 3D space without it looking comparatively cheap.

Once the Investigation segment of a chapter starts, you get to take full advantage of that screen clicking function. Just like in DR1, you need to click on every piece of evidence and every student to gather up all the ‘truth bullets’ for the trial. Once you get to the trial, you’ll find that the developers have attempted to try and fix certain ideas from DR1. Some of them are still annoying, like the ‘improved’ Hangman’s Gambit, which is needlessly slow. Panic Talk Action functions as a rhythm game, which is also annoying. As any VSRG enjoyer might know, rhythm mechanics in non-rhythm games have huge issues with syncing and proper tempo-mapping. Danganronpa 2 tries its best, but the music is better left in the background. At the same time, I can’t complain about having a handful of new Takada music tracks to listen to. On the flipside, Logic Dive puts Hajime on a surfboard while he traverses through a ‘logic’ obstacle course. It gives me the vibes of one of those old edutainment action PC games where you need to pick the right answer to progress.

And since I brought up Takada’s music, I need to note that the soundtrack of Danganronpa is an integral part of the experience. Every chunk of each chapter is filled with dozens of unique, memorable tracks; One for every moment and every minigame. The UI itself supports this, as a stylish ‘currently playing’ music indicator sitting in the top corner of the screen. This is complete with bumping audio spectrum bars, matching the style and energy of the game’s colorful interface.

Everyone’s got their own issues with the Danganronpa stories, however, and I have my own minor complaints. DR2's murder motives have some weak spots, starting with Chapter 2, where Peko ends up killing Mahiru. In the context of the game, Monokuma creates an arcade machine that describes a murder that has happened prior to the events of the island. Within it, Mahiru kills Fuyuhiko’s sister, which is canonically believed to be true. However, at the same time, Fuyuhiko is completely separated from reality and his previous memories. I don’t understand why he’d believe anything Monokuma is showing him in the first place. Considering that it wouldn’t be impossible for Fuyuhiko to get in an altercation with another student on his own, I feel as if the contrived parts of his motivation are unnecessary. Even worse, since Peko is the one who commits the murder, she ends up putting the two in a situation where either she or Fuyuhiko has to die as a result of the trial. This is understandable, considering the murder happened in the heat of the moment, but the trial itself becomes futile in retrospect knowing that Peko’s purpose is to keep Fuyuhiko alive. If she escapes, Fuyuhiko dies, defeating her main reason for wanting to escape in the first place.

Enter Chapter Three. For the first time in the series, the outcome of this murder feels completely unavoidable. A handful of students contract a 'despair disease', causing Ibuki, Akane, and Nagito to gain bizarre traits with no apparent cure. Because Jabberwock only has one Ultimate Nurse, Mikan is left to keep an eye on them. Of course, this means that she also contracts the disease. Because of this, the scenario doesn’t seem fair, since the victims of the motive effectively have their personalities flipped on them against their will. Akane turns into a crybaby, Ibuki obeys any orders she receives, and Nagito always lies. But then comes Mikan who, due to the effects of the despair disease, turns into a serial killer. Because of this, the situation is completely skewed against Mikan, who is fated to end up killing somebody no matter what. Even so, I have to give the writers of the scenario some credit for not taking the easy way out with the given circumstances. In other words, Mikan doesn’t just kill the easily killable Ibuki. She kills two people.

I could expand further on my character gripes, but I should move on to something more important: Izuru Kamukura sucks! His character design and personality is unapologetically lame. The reasoning behind this design makes sense in context, at least. If Hajime wants to come back to the real world, he has to confront this disgusting new embodiment of himself. Though, considering all the obscurity tied to the ending of the game, I could only wish that the writers had gone with a different reveal to settle on for the ending instead of the goofy Ultimate Talent idea. Chapter 6 has enough spectacle as it is.

As it turns out, Hajime is the perfect main character for such a jarring story. Compared to all the colorful personalities of Jabberwock Island, Hajime is surprisingly reasonable, making his reactions feel genuine. While the barrage of cartoon nonsense tortures the cast throughout the entire story, it isn’t until the last chapter that the world truly starts breaking down. The same can be said of all three of the main Danganronpa games. The first one reveals that the world outside the school has been completely deprived of its humanity. V3 goes further than that, hinting that the entire world has been eradicated completely, before erasing the entire existence of the in-game universe itself. Danganronpa 2 falls in between both stories, with the in-game universe of Jabberwock Island being revealed as a simulation, which the player experiences first-hand. In a clever implementation, the player traverses through the original 3D Hope’s Peak school from Danganronpa 1, as the setting glitches and falls apart. Members from the cast try to reach Hajime as he fights through the code itself.

And in case the main story didn't give you enough content to hammer all of these characters into your brain, DR2 also features more character exploration via 'free time' events and a post-game Island Mode. Free Time Events were a feature of the original DR1 release, while the Island Mode concept first appeared in the Vita re-release of DR1 alongside DR2. During the game's story, free time events allow the player to choose between every available character, letting Hajime talk to them and learn a bit more about who they are. During the playthrough of the game, the player will feel the need to start strategizing which characters they should prioritize. Should you aim for your favorites right away, or try talking to people who you think are going to die first? Any DR1 players who decided to 'save Chihiro for later' (i.e. me) might have learned from their mistakes, prompting them to slingshot into vulnerable characters like Mikan or Chiaki first. At the same time, those who decide to knock out Sonia's free time events early will be faced with regret upon hitting the Fun House chapter, where they are forced to do her free time events over and over again.

Thankfully, the player has a second chance to revisit any missed free time events. As a reward for completing mind-numbing micromanaging resource mining tasks in the new Island Mode, you are allowed to revisit every character from the game. Island Mode also lets you 'date' every character, opening up a large possibility of funny, short scenarios. You are presented with 3 possible dialogue options, with only 1 or 2 of them resulting in a passable outcome. This leads to tons of silly interactions, especially when you intentionally pick stupid options. Once you get a character's affection level to the maximum, you unlock their 'ending', where Hajime gains one last meaningful connection with them. Fully completing Island Mode is a horrible experience, though it’s fun to mess around with for a little while.

Ultimately, the player’s imagination has just as important of a role in DR2’s story as Hajime does. The reason why the player is given so many opportunities to interact with the game's environment and characters is to further fuel their own imagination. You're given so much information to mend together, and so many vague possibilities to wonder about. Thinking about the possibilities of Danganronpa 2 end up becoming a game in itself. And after experiencing this massive BRAIN STIMULATION of a visual novel series, it’d only make sense that I’d end up forming some connections with it. What I’ve come to learn is that these connections are just another part of the game. It’s a long lasting experience, and it’s an experience I’ve come to enjoy.
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capeseverywhere 2021-05-08T06:27:49Z
2021-05-08T06:27:49Z
10
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Title
An Improved Sequel
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair takes aspects from the first entry, and improves it exponentially. The story isn't as good as the first one (In my opinion) but it has a lot better characters, trial mechanics, things to do, and gameplay.

In this one, you play as Hajime Hinata. A student who mysteriously can't remember his ultimate talent. He walks into class for his first day and meets the other students. They then meet Usami. A robotic bunny. She brings you to a tropical island known as Jabberwock Island. Her goal is to have students get to know each other. But Monokuma shows up and initiates the killing game.

Traveling the island is only 3D in some sections. It's 2D for most of it which the first game did not have.

This has the best music in my opinion and the best characters. It takes everything from the first game and improves it.
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Catalog

onnebakker1 スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-04-11T20:01:53Z
2024-04-11T20:01:53Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ROughLEE109 Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair 2024-04-08T16:59:16Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-04-08T16:59:16Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ques3ras3ra スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-04-07T16:30:09Z
2024-04-07T16:30:09Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
guadalupedeath スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-04-07T10:25:39Z
2024-04-07T10:25:39Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SergLeDerg スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-04-04T03:22:54Z
2024-04-04T03:22:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Psychochimecho スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-04-02T17:22:48Z
2024-04-02T17:22:48Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
griffinlorde スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-03-31T21:55:11Z
2024-03-31T21:55:11Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
adg3 Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair 2024-03-31T20:09:51Z
Switch
2024-03-31T20:09:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-03-29T18:07:13Z
2024-03-29T18:07:13Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cnyTevho スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-03-29T07:05:32Z
2024-03-29T07:05:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
2018 Steam
Danilo_charliebrownjunio スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-03-29T02:56:11Z
2024-03-29T02:56:11Z
A
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Polariel スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園 2024-03-27T14:32:00Z
2024-03-27T14:32:00Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: C
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Disc
Franchises
Also known as
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
  • Sūpā Danganronpa Tsū: Sayonara Zetsubō Gakuen
  • Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Academy
  • View all [3] Hide

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  • Previous comments (35) Loading...
  • hopeascendchaos 2023-05-14 04:24:02.891477+00
    Suprised no one talks about how theres no other feeling that matches when New World Order plays.
    reply
    • batubalci 2023-06-13 20:46:50.397972+00
      i live for that shit
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • betaaaaaa 2023-07-30 10:57:56.571017+00
    secret kill the past game
    reply
    • hopeascendchaos 2023-09-19 15:26:58.671423+00
      hahahaha
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • LuraEternal 2023-09-03 05:00:38.605778+00
    Clearly the worst in the series
    reply
    • arcticbreakout 2023-10-08 21:00:14.040957+00
      *best
    • Xaman_ 2024-03-04 06:03:38.375134+00
      agree it's the worst of the main trilogy but it still has enough worthwhile moments to make it worth playing through in spite of its all-over-the-place quality regarding its chapters
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • RarityBelle 2024-01-18 08:35:34.902521+00
    best cast honestly i love almost every character
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • hugo6849 2024-02-11 01:37:11.810441+00
    best one, soundtrack also fucks
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
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