A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a stylized, "visual novel game," where the goal is to solve a series of puzzles to advance the complex and disturbing story. The plot revolves around what appears to be a school-sanctioned game of kill-or-be-killed among a group of young, intelligent students. As their fellow students are taken out one by one, players view depictions of hangings, shootings, and stabbings, with occasional images of blood, although the violence is presented in a very stylized format (as in a digital comic book). There's implied sexual activity, suggestive dialogue, and female characters in provocative attire throughout the game. Characters also frequently utter swear words, including "f--k" and "s--t." This isn't an action-packed game; it requires logic, memory, and puzzle-solving skills to successfully complete the title.
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What's it about?
DANGANRONPA 2: GOODBYE DESPAIR starts with players taking the role of a bright and promising young student sent to a special program for other gifted teens. As part of this program, characters are sent to a deserted island with a handful of fellow classmates. It's only after players arrive that they're given the fine print: The only way to escape is to murder another student without being caught. To explain more would give away some of the twists and turns of the story, but these are introduced in very creative ways.
Is it any good?
It's easy to go into Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair with preconceived notions about what to expect from the story or what the various puzzles and mini-games will entail. But playing through this game is so unique, and the story so artfully crafted, that it's difficult to walk away without genuinely becoming enraptured. The story unfolds as sort of a mix between a digital comic book and a traditional animated movie. Along the way, players will become a central part of the story and must complete various tasks to continue unfolding the plot. That usually involves some kind of logic puzzle, such as questioning fellow classmates and determining which one is lying.
The puzzle sections can be frustrating for some players, because you need to pay attention to what's been said by students, along with accurately completing the mini-games, to successfully determine the truth behind the story. If you can look past that, Danganronpa 2 is uniquely and ultimately satisfying, and anyone looking for a very interesting story should give it a try.
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