Like many others, I was enthralled by Dangan Ronpa
. The game did an excellent job of having a quirky cast of characters, yet managing to balance it with serious subject matter and believable characterization. So, of course I was excited to see what the sequel had to offer.
It is terrible. The sequel's plot is a shameless retread of the first, continuing the already-shaky elements introduced in the first game's ending and trying to expand them. The result is an over-the-top mess that is impossible to take seriously. However, I would be willing to forgive this — as I did in the first game — if the characters and execution were good enough that the overall experience was still good. This is not so. They, too, are shameless retreads, with even their appearances being incredibly similar. However, unlike in the first game, the quirkiness and ridiculousness is turned Up To Eleven
, turning almost everyone into one-trick ponies with no depth to them whatsoever, and who vastly overstay their welcome before the game is even halfway over.
In the first game, I was always on pins and needles, horrified over who would wind up dead next, and every death was emotionally affecting — even that of the culprit designed to be the least sympathetic. That was not the case here. No, by contrast, I was hoping
for certain characters to die because they were just so grating. There were perhaps two or three deaths that surprised me and made me feel sad for the characters — but other than that, my only reactions were either, "Well, that was inevitable," "Whatever," or "Thank God
." I simply could not bring myself to care about these cardboard cutouts who were so far into comic relief territory so as to completely alienate them from anything resembling realistic behavior.
Oh, and there's the tasteless vulgar humor, too. Everywhere. Constantly. I applauded the original Dangan Ronpa
for mostly avoiding Fanservice
and having a tasteful attitude in general, but that's been completely thrown out the window here.
Seriously, what happened here? The developers have clearly shown themselves capable of creating a substantial, emotionally moving narrative and a great cast of characters. Why did they choose to appeal to low-brow humor and Flanderize
their characters to the point that it looks like self-parody? It's just...disappointing, honestly.