As the Danganronpa gaming franchise comes to an end, the fans receive a huge gift that they have been waiting for since the year of 2015: a new and improved murder mystery game, Danganronpa v3: Killing Harmony. After finishing the second game, Goodbye Despair, I waited anxiously for the newer game to be released on September 26th…but instead of buying it like I said I would, I only watched the gameplays on YouTube. I need to save money at the moment, which is why watching the game would have been easier and cheaper. Though, the big question is: Did I enjoy it at all? More than the other games from the franchise? Yes, I did enjoy this game very, very much…but this can be almost tied with the second game, which was my favorite. There were more problems, it seemed, with this new game than with the other ones, which I will explain without spoiling the entire game.
In this new killing game, sixteen new students are taken to this academy called The Gifted Inmates Academy. Instead of a male being the protagonist, we have a female as the leader of the investigation, Kaede Akamatsu, the Ultimate Pianist, and her sidekick Shuichi Saihara, the Ultimate Detective. As these two characters lead the rest of the students to finding the culprits of the killing game, they get to know their peers more, explore the Gifted Inmates Academy, and much more!
The plot is pretty much the same as the same as the other killing games for the franchise, but there is a different theme to this game than the others. Instead of hope and despair, the viewers get more of a glimpse of truth versus lies because there are many characters who lie to the others during investigations and trials in order to try and find out the truth of the culprits and the mastermind. Even though that a new theme is relevant to this game, the despairful yet playful tone has not changed in the slightest. But what has changed is the how the characters are developed throughout each chapter.
Each one of these sixteen characters has their own spotlight, whether it be from certain free time events, or even just a smaller portion of one of the six trials. There were a couple of characters that I really did not seem to care for all that much…or a couple simply downgraded from their actions after the second chapter. There are also new Monokubs, Monokuma’s children, hat are introduced in this game. They have their funny moments, but sadly, I did not really like them as much as I though I would. I felt that they got in the way of the game some of the time and would pop up at the wrong times. Sure, some of their information can be useful in the game, but I did not pay much attention to them at all.
Favorite Male Characters:
Favorite Female Characters:
As most of you, Danganronpa fans, already know, the trials in these games are long and the murders are hard to figure out! Were they such a mystery to me? I would like to say yes, but…I did not get that huge shock that I got from the first two games, except with the first trial and the middle of the sixth trial! All of the victims and culprits are pretty much easy to figure out if you have paid attention to the order of the killings throughout the three games. In addition, the characters who die in each chapter tend to have a lot of development before their deaths, including the culprits. A lot, and I mean a lot, of my favorite characters died and I knew about their deaths because of learning how to read character development in the AP English classes I have taken in high school. Since I would figure out most of the murders in my head while watching the investigations—probably a bad idea—the trials that were about three hours long tended to be a bit tedious and I would doze off until the second half of the trial, when all of the juicy information about the murder scene would be thrown out for the characters, viewers, and the players.
The video game style art for Danganronpa v3 stays the same as the first two games, but it look more modern and clean, more specifically, the character designs. A couple of tiny things that threw me off with the character designs are the way the lips are drawn on a few of the characters: Maki, Kaito (with some sprites), Ryoma, and Himiko. They have this curve to their lips, and I found it odd seeing the same designs on the lips of these characters. On top of that, the red and purple colors were overused with the characters outfits, hair, and eyes. Three characters had at least a bit of purple on them, and three characters and some bits of red on them, whether it be with the eyes or the clothing. Seeing these designs and colors on more than one character can lose the uniqueness of the designs, altogether. Aside from the designs of the sixteen characters, the unique scenes where a picture is shown on the screen, I was absolutely drawn to those. There are more of those in this game than the last two, and they keep getting better and better throughout each chapter.
The execution scenes in this game are a lot more brutal and unique than the first two games combined! None of these executions are not unnecessary to the game, unlike Goodbye Despair. These executions represent the talents of the culprits and have certain symbolisms for their pasts and special talents. I will give more detailed descriptions of the executions in my character review for the game, which will be coming up soon.
Just like the other two games, the soundtrack in Danganronpa v3, composed by Masafumi Takada, is truly excellent! There are some pieces used from the previous games, but the newer pieces such as The Scrum Debate music are so catchy and mesmerizing! In addition, there is classical pieces added into the last chapter: Clair De Lune. It plays throughout some of the sixth trial and I loved listening to it when watching that trial. This classic song fits in with the despair involved in that chapter, and it made the chapter even more emotional than it was without the heartfelt music playing in the background.
Now, I could have watched this whole game before it was released back in September, but I wanted to wait until the English Dub was available on YouTube. I am so glad I waited for the English audio to be released because it is worth listening to! I did not have any problems with the voices at all, and the dialogue sounds so smooth in the trial and a few certain scenes. All if the voice actors who had helped with the first two games make their comeback and help voice the characters in the games, such as: Todd Haberkorn (Teruteru Hamamura Korekiyo Shinguji); Grant George (Leon Kuwata and Shuichi Saihara); Johnny Young Bosh (Hajime Hinata, Izuru Kamakura, and Rantaro Amami); Kira Buckland (Hiyiko Saionji and Kirumi Tojo); Wendee Lee (Akane Owari and Miu Iruma); Derek Stephen Prince (Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu and Kokichi Ouma); and many more wonderful voice actors and actresses who came back to help with the game. All of them executed (ha, get it??) their roles well and there wasn’t one point in the game where I was disappointed with the acting at all! So, props to the English voice actors who made this game even more entertaining and hilarious!
Overall, Danganronpa v3: Killing Harmony brings more of a modern look to the Danganronpa franchise, and a more emotional conclusion to the games, which is why I am giving this game a four and a half out of five stars. If it weren’t for me guessing the victims and culprits during or even before the trials, I would have absolutely given this game a perfect score! This game will definitely will not disappoint the fans of this murder mystery gaming franchise, and give them more surprises than the other games.
GG 🙂 ❤