Danganronpa has always been a series in my periphery. Between friends recommending it and all of the memes floating around on the internet, it was really just a matter of time before I forced myself to put aside time to dive in. Turns out the release of Danganronpa Decadence for the Nintendo Switch was the push I needed.
I’m rather fond of visual novels. Throw in a solid mystery for me to solve, and I am hooked. The students trapped inside Hope’s Peak Academy searching desperately for a way out instantly had my attention. Here are presumably innocent high schoolers. They have little to no prior connections. Deep down, you pray can free them from this prison with minimal casualties. They will irritate you, make rash decisions, and leave you speechless. Even when the world is turned upside down, there’s something wonderful about searching for clues and passively interrogating others in search of the truth. Inspector Annette is here check behind every clock and question even the thinnest of motives.
Putting Danganronpa out on the Switch was a very smart move. The platform is fantastic for visual novels. Like reading a book, you can take it anywhere with you and sneak in some reading. Is there a miserably rainy day outside? Grab your Switch and a mug of your favorite warm up drink. Get lost in the story while curled up in a cozy chair. I did this regularly for a week before noticing that my neck and upper back were starting to feel stiff and sore. That led to me making a switch of my own: docking the system and using a hi-definition TV. During the day, I played on the big screen, alleviating the strain on my body. At night, I’d bring it to bed with me and sneak in “just thirty more minutes” while praying I didn’t drop the Switch on my face.
The Switch version of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is pretty solid. For the most part, button layout feels right. The interactive areas are crisp and clean. I wasn’t a fan of doubling up shooting Truth Bullets with the Absorb Bullet function. (Since I haven’t played previous versions, I was unsure if that was always the norm.) Searchable objects too close to the edges of each room can be easily missed. Even when I swung the camera all the way over, I could overlook one. Thankfully that didn’t happen too often. The only other detail to note was a sporadic slight delay during text display. Nothing happened that broke the game or ruined my first impressions of the franchise.
After spending hours with Makoto, Kyoko and the other Ultimate students, Trigger Happy Havoc did its job. It worked well on the Switch. It left me itching to continue the series. The need to know everything about Monokuma and the events leading up to Makoto’s experience in the locked school gnawed at me while I slept. It is a universe that begs to be explored. Now that Danganronpa Decadence exists on the Switch there is zero excuse to put it off any longer. Bring on the Class Trials!
Danganronpa Decadence releases for the Nintendo Switch on December 3, 2021. It includes the Anniversary Editions of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony as well as a new game Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp.