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 Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is an action/adventure game for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4. The game is a spinoff of the popular Danganronpa series. Set in a dystopian future, violence is a part of the game's environment as much as any set piece. Bloody corpses litter the street, children commit murder for fun, and robot bears are killing people around every corner. Most of the characters the player interacts with showcase some of the worst traits in people, ranging from insulting and bullying to cruel and violent. The game makes frequent sexual references and strong profanity is used occasionally throughout the script.
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What's it about?
DANGANRONPA ANOTHER EPISODE: ULTRA DESPAIR GIRLS is a spinoff tale set between the events of the first and second games in the main Danganronpa series. While most people are still reeling from the aftermath of " The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History", Komaru Naegi is dealing with problems of her own. For the past year and a half, she's been held prisoner by an unknown captor, oblivious to the events that have occurred around her. That is, until she's rescued by agents of the Future Foundation, tipped off to her location as bait for a trap. With her rescuers either captured or killed, Komaru stumbles across Toko Fukawa and her psychotic split personality, "Genocide Jack". Stranded in a city now run by cult of homicidal children and their armies of killer robotic bears, Komaru and Toko must team up to escape the deadly chaos that surrounds them and uncover the real mastermind behind it all.
Is it any good?
For every Oscar winning epic drama that hits the big screen, there's some cheesy B-movie flick that's just a blast to watch for no real discernable reason. Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is the gaming equivalent of that B-movie. Make no mistake about it, the graphics and animations aren't the sharpest or the most fluid, the dialogue and acting is corny at best, and the story is likely to leave most people scratching their heads. It's messy, confusing, twisted, strange, and so far out in left field that you almost need to send a search party to find any sense to it. On paper, nothing about Ultra Despair Girls should work. And yet somehow, despite all of this, it does.
Ultra Despair Girls is one of those games that knows not to take itself too seriously, but still stops just short of being the punchline of its own joke. It's an oddball offshoot of an already quirky series, but it feels like it belongs. It doesn't hurt that the game's controls are easy to pick up and play, or that the division of gameplay elements and story progression are balanced out surprisingly well. Even though the story is warped and often confusing, it's got enough substance to get you invested in the characters and their adventures, leaving you waiting to see what crazy direction the plot will take next. And before you start to forget that this is an actual video game, there's a new action sequence that puts you right in the thick of things and keep you feeling like you're an active part of the craziness. Ultra Despair Girls is like an insane ride through a carnival sideshow. It's weird, it's warped, and it's rough around the edges, but at the end of the ride you still leave entertained, even if you can't exactly explain why.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in gaming. How does the way violence is portrayed in games affect how kids perceive violence in the real world?
Talk about sex in entertainment. Does sex really sell? What are some of the ways that sexual references and content are used to keep an audience's attention?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: NIS America
- Release date: June 27, 2017
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.