Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Game Poster Image
Violent adventure has great story, brain-bending puzzles.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Dark, macabre theme overpowers any positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dark character motivations, personal ambiguity make it difficult to point to any character as a positive role model.

Ease of Play

Challenging but accessible. Players have to use logic, memory, cerebral skills, which will easily frustrate younger or action-focused players.

Violence

Students on a deserted island are told only way off is to murder another student, get away with it. So students are brutally murdered (stabbed, impaled, hung), occasionally with blood splatter shown. Game tries to stylize violent scenes, with colorful words and comic book presentation. But it's clear that user decisions can cause these scenes.

Sex

Some implied sexual activity (one character supposedly "tried to have children" with a corpse, one character accused of sexual harassment. Female characters appear in tight-fitting outfits revealing cleavage; images focus on their body, show them in suggestive poses.

Language

"F--k," "s--t," other profanity frequently used.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHarrison C. September 22, 2017

Gory but Positive

This site's official review and rating for this game are entirely accurate. To say that both positive messages and role models "were not present"... Continue reading
Adult Written bygamer1104 November 19, 2015

It's fine for kids

This game has a dark theme but it's not all bad. The violence isn't gorey, and there is nothing that would scar children. There IS a lot of cursing fr... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 13, 2016

Not that Violent?

I don't understand why it's rated M. I mean, yeah, you have to murder somebody to escape, but there are rarely any blood tainted scenes. There isn... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous February 28, 2017

A wonderful game!

This shouldn't be an 18+, I think it's far from that. I'm 11 myself and I truly adore this game with all of my heart. There is murder, violence,... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the strong language in this game. Is there ever justification for using swear words?

  • Although the depictions of violence in this game are detached from reality, did you find it had an impact on you? Why, or why not?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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