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Reviews Comments: Buyer Beware New Dangan Ronpa V 3 game review by Immortalbear

I feel somewhat disgusted by V3. To some people it can be seen as a form of genius, a meta-commentary on games, human desire, and the entertainment industry. To me, its a trashy game made by a creator that has forgotten what made the series special and has come to loathe the fanbase that supported his work.

As a game, Dangan Ronpa V3 does a serviceable job as an entry in the series. There are dynamic interactions between the characters, Monokuma has funny lines, the series has solid music to fit all the events that occur in the plot. However, the Monokubs aren\'t really very funny aside from Monokuma\'s threats to kill them, and seem to overwhelm the player with dialogue, especially at the beginning where the five of them and Monokuma, speak to the cast of 16 students. I never liked any of them. Relationships between students are nearly all dysfunctional which causes potential drama, but it wasn\'t until the second half that I grew to care about some of the characters.

The big divider for is the ending. From a positive perspective, it is not predictable, nor repetitive. It really changed the perspective of the game and the actions in it. It has a strong understanding of a central theme that it tries to convey to the audience.

However, the ending isn\'t predictable because there aren\'t any real hints to it. A lot of the foreshadowing is misinformation that makes much of the plot feel pointless. Then the twist ending renders the characters pointless. Finally, the ending seems to cross YouBastard with TakeThatAudience sucking the fun out of the gameplay. All which occurs during a heavy-handed 4 hour trial that feels twice as long. All the while connecting to previous entries in a way that cheapens them. The other trials can be enjoyable, but the final trial sours any enjoyment that can be gathered from the game. There are a ton of bonus features after the game but I never bothered with any of them because the final trial rendered me apathetic to the series. The entire series, including previous entries.

If you are looking for another mystery game, then V3 can satisfy your interests for the first five trials. However, it never surpasses its previous entries and the final trial can kill any interest you have in Dangan Ronpa just the way it did for me.

Between this and Zero Time Dilenma\'s \"complicated\" ending I\'ve grown tired of Chunsoft\'s nihilistic post modern streak. What\'s the use of creating sympathetic characters if the game\'s plot twists make the audience hate them anyway? I\'m not buying Zanki Zero when it comes out because even if it doesn\'t follow the same trend, its sequels eventually will.

Comments

  • TaylorHyuuga
  • 8th Oct 17
Okay, you, my friend, misunderstood the ending. Starting off, the ending was very much foreshadowed in the prologue. I've seen plenty of people figure out at least SOME of the ending from the prologue alone. There wasn't any "misinformation" in the foreshadowing that everything was a reality show. Second, the ending was not meant to be a Take That Audience. Kodaka has clarified that that was not the case, the audience did not represent the players, and has stated that SHUICHI is meant to represent them. Kodaka did not come to "loath the fanbase". The theme was that fiction could change people/reality (Shuichi says as much in the final trial) and the nature of truth and lies which is why the main rival of the game, Kokichi, is a liar, and why the possibility that Shirogane was lying was mentioned. As for Zero Time Dilemma..... I don't see the comparison. Like, at all. What about its plot twist would make the audience hate the characters? In fact, what about THIS GAME'S plot twist would make the audience hate the characters? And even if you were right with all of these points, what does Spike Chunsoft have to do with any of it? They're just the guys who develop the games. It's not like there was any Executive Meddling on their part to write the games the way they were written.
  • KarkatTheDalek
  • 9th Oct 17
I suppose this does raise the question, though - if Shuichi is meant to represent the player (which I can certainly buy - note how at multiple points in the final trial, you only advance the plot by refusing to do anything and letting the timer run out, like Shuichi is doing, and you still play through the final Argument Armament as Shuichi), then who or what does the in-game audience represent?
  • TaylorHyuuga
  • 9th Oct 17
I don\'t know who they represent, or if they represent anyone at all. It\'s entirely possible that they just DON\'T represent anyone.
  • KarkatTheDalek
  • 9th Oct 17
I'll agree that they don't have to represent a person, but I do think they represent something, even if it's just a concept. The idea of a Franchise Zombie, maybe? Mind you, I don't think that's a label that can be given to Danganronpa at this point, but I think they can still critique the concept, and I'll admit that the idea of a Franchise Zombie that actively hurts society is an interesting one. I also think that you could make an argument for it being about how the original message and intent of a work can be perverted after years of Executive Meddling, Running the Asylum and Fan Dumb. I think those are all very interesting ideas that work well with the "fiction changes people and reality" message, though I do wonder if a lot of the backlash from this comes from the feeling that - as I mentioned above - Danganronpa hasn't reached this point yet.

Anyway, I'll confess that I wasn't too hot on the ending at first, but I think I've grown to appreciate it after awhile, though this may be because I've sort of formed my own ideas of what the outside world is like, which is fortunately pretty easy to do with this game. I really only have three complaints. The first is that while I think Shuichi is a fine protagonist and the Chapter 1 twist was well-executed and fairly original to the series, the ending (and perhaps the rest of the game as well) would have worked better if he had been the Decoy Protagonist and Kaede had been the true protagonist - certainly, I think the audition tapes would have stung more if Shuichi had been the one to set up the murder plan and the All Loving Hero was told to her face that she had signed on because she didn't have any faith in humanity.

The second is mostly a few inconsistencies that crop up in regards to Shirogane's explanation that I would have at least liked to poke at (for example, why did she get Cospox when trying to cosplay as Kaede when, as she explains it, all of the players can be considered fictional characters?) I don't know if these are unintentional plot holes or intentional hints that she's not being entirely truthful (certainly, it's perfectly reasonable to take the view that she's been lying her ass off in regards to at least some of this - she's already been doing just that the entire game, and even Shuichi acknowledges this at the end). It might not have amounted to anything, and they probably wanted to leave some lingering questions, but if they end up not making a sequel, I'd be disappointed if we never got a proper answer with this.

The third is probably more my personal preference, but I think the game could have used more closure, perhaps even having the whole thing be in a virtual reality like 2 was. I mean, I can certainly understand the appeal of an open ending, and you can argue - and I would agree somewhat - that that's already been done before and it would cheapen things. Regardless, I feel like an ending like this requires some sort of healing process - certainly, I thought it was a lot more devastating than either of the previous games, and while that was probably the point, I do wonder if such an ending might have negative effects on people that not all of them will be able to overcome, which as some seem to have expressed, might affect their views of the series as a whole. So I think it might be nice if the game - either in a longer epilogue or in one of the bonus modes - depicted the aftermath of the Killing Game as a more grounded recovery process, which at the very least, hasn't really been done before in the series.

In any case, I've read fanfics and made headcanons to that effect, so I suppose that's good enough for me. If they end up making a sequel or spin-off that goes off in that direction, great. If they make a sequel and didn't go that route...well, that's fine too - I'll just split it into an alternate universe in my head.

Sorry, went on a bit of a tangent there. Anyway, to sum it up, the ending might not be perfect, but I think it's better than people say it was.

  • TaylorHyuuga
  • 9th Oct 17
Well, for the second one, there are a ton of discussions about it. I\'ve actually talked about it with people more times than you\'d expect. I believe it\'s supposed to be unclear, to invite discussion. But taking everything at entirely face value, then the explanation would be that Kaede is still a flesh and blood human, regardless of the fact that her personality and memories are faked. Honestly, I\'d be fine if they didn\'t make another sequel or, if they did, didn\'t answer a lot of the questions here, because this is the type of ending that sparks good discussions, which is why I really like it. It reminds me of Umineko.
  • VeryMelon
  • 9th Oct 17
Good, informative review Immortalbear.
  • Immortalbear
  • 9th Oct 17
I'm still not sold on the ending but I'm glad at least some acknowledge that the ending has its flaws. When I wrote the review I thought this was the finale of Dangan Ronpa. It had the characters literally tell the audience not to enjoy the game, and I obeyed. How can you enjoy a mystery when the characters blame the audience (a screen of real life photos) for watching, which is clearly symbolism for the player enjoying the game? The characters are clearly insulting escapism. I really struggle to see a sequel when you burn a bridge this thoroughly. The characters are clearly willing to commit group suicide just to protest the player enjoying the game.

Honestly, the protagonist switch didn't bother me. To me, they were interchangeable. Straight characters that made idealistic speeches to unite the cast and would generally let the more wild characters control the conversation and provide the comic relief. Not that any of this bothered me. In the game's favor, I was legitimately surprised when Kaede turned out to be the blackened (in spite of it being revealed to be faked in case 6). The game's dialogue fit the whole case well. I just had a problem with the rest of the game.

The sci-fake plot wastes a lot of the game's time. The first few chapers follow these fake plot points, even in intervals between chapters where only the player is watching, before suddenly thrusting real ones on the player in the late chapters. The game has no sense of pacing. In comparison to the real plot, the sci-fake plot with the space ship was lame too. It seemed really silly to have one crisis averted just to be crushed by another that happened to revolve around the same theme. It's like surviving Jaws, just to learn the rest of civilization was destroyed by a flood. If the writers really had to waste time with a red herring, they really should have tried to make it more believable, possibly providing hints of the real character's personalities while doing it, instead of leaving them complete blank slates.

My problem isn't that Dangan Ronpa is a game in this world. Digimon Tamers had a fictional Digimon franchise in its world and I loved that show. My problem is that Dangan Ronpa was used to justify murder in the real world in spite of the game's message. It felt like Junko had defeated Naegi in the end and completely voided any of the characters actions in the previous games. This also includes the anime, Dangan Ronpa 3, which I actually liked, up until V3's release anyway. Its like David Morell's reaction upon realizing that his Ranbo book ended up glamorizing war in its later movie sequels.

My anger toward Spike Chunsoft may be a bit skewed. Spike Chunsoft is responsible for the development of both Dangan Ronpa and Zero Escape, therefore there are workers that worked both games. However, ZTD and V3 didn't have the same writer, just similar themes of protagonists discovering their actions have a form of meaninglessness. In ZTD the protagonists abandon all their loved ones in their original universe and survive by condemning a group of duplicates to nuclear death. The idea of them saving anyone became laughable, why save human lives when you can just jump to a universe where those dangers don't exist? DR V3 gave me that same feeling of disgust. These people aren't real, they are just fictional archetypes that have gone rogue, with their original personalities being sociopaths. The best the characters can do is commit suicide with the hope it might change minds which creates the same feeling of apathy. I'm not saying the executives are twisting the writers' arms, I just thought the writers' run in the same circles, which may not be true.

I may not agree with you, Taylor Hyuuga and Karkatthe Dalek, but I do appreciate your discussions about the game. I still feel sour and bitter, but not the complete burning hatred I felt when I finished the game.

  • TaylorHyuuga
  • 9th Oct 17
Well, I don\'t believe it\'s a matter of agreeing. It\'s fine to dislike the ending, but your reasons for disliking it have been clarified by Kodaka as misunderstanding it. You did have complaints in there that weren\'t affected by whether or not you see the ending as an insult to fans, like the sci-fi plot for instance, and I can respect those even if I don\'t agree, but the ones that are affected by the ending being an insult to fans are misplaced, as that isn\'t the case at all. And, I mean, it WAS mentioned in the epilogue that Shirogane could have been lying. Is the cast fictional, or are they real? Were the videos real or fakes? These are unclear and, in fact, there is evidence, specifically the prologue, to suggest that the character\'s original personalities AREN\'T sociopaths like you say. But what is clear is that they can change the world, regardless of whether they\'re real or fictional, and that\'s the theme of the game. and they wouldn\'t have changed the game\'s outside world if all of this HADN\'T happened. So, is it really pointless just because they\'re \"fictional\"? Whether they\'re real or fictional, I never felt that it made them pointless. In the end, they\'re fictional characters in a game in real life, regardless of if they\'re fictional in the game\'s world. But I don\'t see it that way. I still see them as \"real\" people in the game\'s universe, regardless of if their initial personalities were fabricated. Maybe it\'s just me, but I don\'t see why their personalities being fabricated would make everything pointless.
  • KarkatTheDalek
  • 9th Oct 17
"In ZTD the protagonists abandon all their loved ones in their original universe and survive by condemning a group of duplicates to nuclear death."

I don't really think that "abandoning their loved ones" is fair, considering that those versions of their loved ones would have never seen them again either way (and that's Delta's fault, not theirs). I'd also point out that not SHIF Ting means that a religious fanatic will in all likelihood wipe out humanity.

"My problem isn't that Dangan Ronpa is a game in this world. Digimon Tamers had a fictional Digimon franchise in its world and I loved that show. My problem is that Dangan Ronpa was used to justify murder in the real world in spite of the game's message. It felt like Junko had defeated Naegi in the end and completely voided any of the characters actions in the previous games. This also includes the anime, Dangan Ronpa 3, which I actually liked, up until V3's release anyway. Its like David Morell's reaction upon realizing that his Ranbo book ended up glamorizing war in its later movie sequels."

Well, if Tsumugi was telling the truth and those events were indeed fictional in this game's setting, then this is not part of the Hope's Peak setting, ergo Makoto and the gang are fine, barring a return to that setting in the future. Of course, I think you're right that despair has effectively won in the world she describes, so I suppose it's a question of how much of what she said is true and what happens next. I have my own ideas for that, as I've mentioned before.

Anyway, if it helps, I imagine that Shuichi, Maki and Himiko will be very different people upon escaping than they were when they originally signed on, which fits well with the whole "fiction can change people" thing.

I'd also ask you this, Immortalbear - what do you want to happen to the characters after the game ends? Because as Shuichi points out in the epilogue, it's entirely possible that Tsumugi was lying her ass off - for all he knows, Hope's Peak and the Remnants of Despair might really have existed. So really, it's up to you what the reality is.
  • VeryMelon
  • 12th Oct 17
The characters having fake personalities doesn\'t make V3\'s events pointless. It just means these current personalities are the main agents within the story, that these are the people who\'s lives we care about instead of their old selves. More to the point, these personalities matter because they ended Dangan Ronpa for good, which is a net gain for decency.
  • KarkatTheDalek
  • 12th Oct 17
In fact, I'd go a step further and argue that the idea that nothing matters is Tsumugi's view of things - none of it's real, so why are you getting so upset? Whereas Shuichi's perspective, as I understand it, is that all of it matters, even fiction.

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