Ultra Despair Girls: A hopeful yet despair inducing review

Ultra Despair Girls

A hopeful yet despair inducing review

If I had to describe what Danganronpa is, I would say its Battle Royale meets Phoenix Wright. In order tosurvive someone must get away with the perfect murder. The characters go through class trials to be the last one standing in a battle between hope and despair. Unlike the predecessors Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa: Goodbye Despair which play as visual novels, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls for the PlayStation Vita drifts away from the visual novel and plays as an action-adventure game. Class trials are eliminated and now you must blast your way through Towa city, destroying rogue Monokumas (evil black and white bears with a thirst for blood) in order to escape.
Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls follows Komaru Naegi who has been captured and imprisoned in an apartment for unknown reasons. When she finally escapes, Komaru discovers the world has fallen into despair and Towa City has been overcome by riots. Komaru is captured by a group of “Li’l Ultimates” (children from Hopes Peak elementary division), forced to wear a Battle Royale-esque wrist band, and play a twisted game where she must escape from homicidal children out to slaughter every adult in sight. Along with Toko Fukawa (the Ultimate Novelist who shares a split personality with a serial killer called Genocide Jack) Komaru uncovers the mystery behind the riots in Towa City, and how they are connected to “The biggest, most awful, most tragic event in human history” and Junko Enoshima. The timeline of the game takes place between the events of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa: Goodbye Despair.
The horrifying notion of children murdering adults is enough to send chills up anyones spine –it’s the perfect concept for a despair inducing scenario that Danganronpa is known for. However, I felt the story line was slightly too predictable.  Of course Toko and Komaru would become friends, and clearly Monoca is the mastermind. In previous games I like how I was jerked around unable to guess “who did it?” The mystery slowly revealing itself through the clues and dialogue is something I look forward to in a Danganronpa game. Ultra Despair Girls, on the other hand, is pretty straight forward:  “The only way to defeat the children is to fight them.  Don’t worry though, you have hope on your side.” Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of surprises, but I felt that many of them revealed themselves in obvious ways.
What I love most about Danganronpa is the 2D pop art, however, that has also been eliminated in Ultra Despair girls and almost everything is 3D. This works for the character design, but not so much for the background. While I understand that I’m maneuvering through a city ravaged by despair I felt that the levels were plain and repetitive.  I found myself going through the same hallway, the same factory setting, the same town setting, the same sewer setting over and over again. I often lost track of how far I’d actually gotten in each stage because there was no way to differentiate between the different areas –it all looked the same. There were some levels that do pop, but it is not consistent throughout the game.
Another steeple of a Danganronpa series is how violence is portrayed. Ultra Despair Girls maintains the same theme.  Pink blood splatter is still a prominent feature and in order to depict the magnitude of violence blue and pink bodies with minimal characteristics portray the adults –dead and alive– throughout the game.  The cruelty of children becomes even more shocking when they jovially dance over and toy with the dead bodies. Sometimes I found myself gasping by the amount of bodies in a location or by how they were positioned by the children —Danganronpa didn’t hold back.
Since Ultra Despair Girls is an action-adventure game you are given the opportunity to blast away hordes of Monokumas with a Hacking Gun loaded with Truth Bullets.  There are different types of Truth Bullets to help you combat different types of Monokumas so when faced with a mob of unending enemies you must strategically plan how to shoot them down.  If you run out of bullets or find yourself overwhelmed, you can switch to Genocide Jack to slice the bears to shreds but her power runs on a battery that will, eventually, run out.   You do not have unlimited ammo so you must plan your shots carefully.  The game also isn’t entirely shooting.  There are a lot puzzles that range from solving riddles to escape a room, or utilizing Truth Bullets to destroy groups Monokumas with a single explosion.
Being able to shoot Monokumas down is loads of fun, but it would have been better if the reticle was easier to control. I found it extremely difficult to aim.  When it looked like I was on the mark, it still took several shots to take down a Monokuma. Of course, you can upgrade your skills and bullets with Monocoins as you level up, but even so, the skill felt like it made no difference.  The reticle control became extremely troublesome when I couldn’t aim it high enough because of the level design.  Despite the reticle hurdle, I felt the game was too easy at times.  Ammo and health dropped continuously throughout boss battles so I never really ran out –I never stressed when my bullets ran low because I knew more would drop. My last qualm with the game is how overpowered Genocide Jack is.  While she is limited by her battery, she can slice through multiple Monokuma and take zero damage when hit. Like health and ammo, batteries are also dropped frequently so most of the time you could just shred through groups of Monokuma with Genocide Jack rather than Komaru.
While Ultra Despair Girls is meant to be action-adventure game I felt that it was too text heavy with far too many cut-scenes.  Every time you found an item Komaru and Toko would have a long conversation over it.  While the cut scenes help develop the friendship between Komaru and Toko, they were extremely long winded.  Although, some of them were fun, especially Toko’s frequent snide remarks and her crazy fantasies of Byakuya.
I might find myself picking up the game again.  Like the previous games, extra content can only be unlocked by purchasing it with Monocoins. Sadly, I used up all of my Monocoins in the game buffing up my Hacking Gun.  Although I have quite a few issues with the game play, I think Ultra Despair Girls fits nicely, story wise, between Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair.
Have you played a Danganronpa game before? Which one is your favorite? Let us know!

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PlayStation Store Update September 22, 2015

 

Pre-orders

  • Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition ($26.99)
  • DISGAEA 5: ALLIANCE OF VENGEANCE ($59.99)
  • EA SPORTS™ NBA LIVE 16 Standard Edition ($59.99)
  • Tony Hawk’s® Pro Skater™ 5 ($59.99)
  • TRANSFORMERS™: Devastation ($49.99)
  • NBA 2K16 ($59.99)
  • NBA 2K16 Michael Jordan Special Edition ($79.99)
  • WWE 2K16 (PS3 and PS4) ($59.99) Digital Deluxe Edition ($89.99)

PS4 Games

  • Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Trilogy ($44.99)
  • Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume 1 ($14.99)
  • Arcade Archives Mr.GOEMON ($7.99)
  • Battle Trivia Knockout ($6.99)
  • Blood Bowl 2 ($49.99)
  • DC UNIVERSE™ ONLINE Free-to-Play with Earth Power Set (Free)
  • EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 ($59.99)
  • EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 Deluxe ($69.99)
  • EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 Super Deluxe ($99.99)
  • Instant Indie Collection: Vol. 1 ($22.99)
  • Laserlife ($14.99)
  • Penarium ($9.99)
  • Pumped BMX+ ($9.99/PS+ $7.99)
  • Rally Copters ($12.99)
  • Soma ($29.99/PS+ 26.99)
  • Skylanders SuperChargers Portal Owner’s Pack ($49.99)
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 ($19.99)

PS3 Games

  • DC UNIVERSE™ ONLINE Free-to-Play with Earth Power Set (Free)
  • EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 ($59.99)
  • EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 Deluxe ($69.99)
  • EA SPORTS™ FIFA 16 Super Deluxe ($99.99)
  • Pumped BMX+ ($9.99/PS+ $7.99)
  • Puzzle: Star Sweep (PSOne Classic) ($5.99)
  • Skylanders SuperChargers Portal Owner’s Pack ($49.99)
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 ($19.99)

PS Vita Games

  • Racing (PSOne Classic)($5.99)
  • Heroes of Loot ($2.99/PS+ $2.39)
  • Mahjong Carnival ($5.99)
  • Pumped BMX+ ($9.99/PS+ $7.99)
  • Puzzle: Star Sweep (PSOne Classic) ($5.99)
  • Rally Copters ($12.99)

Bundles

Console Bundle Price
PS4 Afro Samurai 2: Revenge Of Kuma Trilogy $44.99
PS4 DC Universe Online Free-to-play With Earth Power Set $0.00
PS4 EA Sports FIFA 16 Deluxe $69.99
PS4 EA Sports FIFA 16 Super Deluxe $99.99
PS4 Instant Indie Collection: Vol. 1 $22.99
PS4 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 DLC Pack 2 $7.99
PS4 Rocksmith 2014 – Breaking Benjamin Song Pack $7.99
PS3 DC Universe Online Free-to-play With Earth Power Set $0.00
PS3 EA Sports FIFA 16 Super Deluxe $99.99
PS3 EA Sports FIFA 16 Deluxe $69.99
PS3 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 DLC Pack 2 $7.99
PS3 Rocksmith 2014 – Breaking Benjamin Song Pack $7.99
PS Vita One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 DLC Pack 2 $7.99

PS4 Add-ons

Awesomenauts Assemble!

  • Scrolls ($3.99)

Batman Arkham Knight

  • 2008 Tumbler Batmobile Pack ($1.99)
  • Original Arkham Batman Skin (FREE)

EA Sports FIFA 16

  • 100 FIFA Points ($0.99)
  • 250 FIFA Points ($2.49)
  • 500 FIFA Points ($4.99)
  • 750 FIFA Points ($7.49)
  • 1,050 FIFA Points ($9.99)
  • 1,600 FIFA Points ($14.99)
  • 2,200 FIFA Points ($19.99)
  • 4,600 FIFA Points ($39.99)
  • 12,000 FIFA Points ($99.99)

EA Sports NHL 16

  • Bronze Players Premium Pack ($0.49)
  • Bronze Premium Jumbo Pack ($0.49)
  • Bronze Rare Players Pack ($1.49)
  • Silver Players Premium Pack ($2.49)
  • Silver Premium Jumbo Pack ($1.49)
  • Silver Rare Players Pack ($5.99)
  • Gold Rare Pack ($4.99)
  • Jumbo Consumables Pack ($1.99)
  • Jumbo Gold Rare Pack ($9.99)
  • Jumbo Rare Consumables Pack ($2.99)
  • Rare Consumables Pack ($1.49)
  • Rare Mega Pack ($17.49)

Pure Pool

  • Snooker Pack ($4.49)

Rocksmith 2014 Edition

  • Breaking Benjamin – Blow Me Away (Ft. Valora) ($2.99)
  • Breaking Benjamin – Polyamorous ($2.99)
  • Breaking Benjamin – So Cold ($2.99)

PS3 Add-ons

Ace Combat Infinity

  • Stocked Fuel & Special Supply Ticket Set V ($8.99)
  • Stocked Fuel & Special Supply Ticket Set W ($26.99)
  • Stocked Fuel & Special Supply Ticket Set X ($44.99)
  • Extra Contract & Special Supply Ticket Set H ($8.99)

Rocksmith 2014 Edition

  • Breaking Benjamin – Blow Me Away (Ft. Valora) ($2.99)
  • Breaking Benjamin – Polyamorous ($2.99)
  • Breaking Benjamin – So Cold ($2.99)

PS Vita Add-ons

Samurai Warriors: Chronicles 3

  • Samurai News 13 (FREE)

Themes

Console Theme Price
PS4 A Dynamic Lake And Mountains In Spring Theme $2.99
PS4 A Girl In Shades Theme $2.99
PS4 A Howling Werewolf Dynamic Theme $3.49
PS4 A Murder In The Woods Dynamic Theme $3.49
PS4 A Paper Aquarium Dynamic Theme $3.49
PS4 A Wolfman Theme $2.99
PS4 American Eagle Flag Theme $2.99
PS4 Chaos And Order Dynamic Theme $3.49
PS4 Crime Scene Dynamic Theme $3.49
PS4 Legs Dynamic Theme $3.49
PS4 Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty Dynamic Theme $0.00
PS4 Sakura – Dynamic Theme $1.99
PS4 Splatter Girl Theme $2.99
PS4 Tales Of Zestiria Theme (pre-order Only) $0.00
PS3 Tales Of Zestiria Theme (pre-order Only) $0.00
PS Vita Persona 4: Dancing All Night Theme $2.99

Avatars

Console Avatar Price
PS3 A Drone Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Fighter $0.99
PS3 A Fighter 3 $0.99
PS3 A Hardcore Gamer Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Lazer Lion Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Leather Hunter Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Lizard Woman Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Mystic Penguin Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Secret Agent Silhouette Avatar (V2) $1.99
PS3 A Splatter Girl Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Tank Avatar $1.99
PS3 A Wolf Avatar $1.99
PS3 An Elf $0.99
PS3 Fat $0.99
PS3 Gamer $0.99
PS3 Magnificent Nebula $0.99
PS3 Ninja $0.99
PS3 Ocean And Moon $0.99
PS3 Planets $0.99
PS3 Skulls $0.99

From the Tokyo Game Show 2015

Sony’s press conference at Tokyo Game Show 2015 announced some of the hottest upcoming games. We can look forward to:

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters Expansion Pack
Gravity Rush remake coming to the PS4
Gravity Rush 2
For Honor
Yakuza: Kiwami along with the original Yakuza Remake
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper DLC
Dragon Quest Builders
Toukiden 2

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps
Monster Hunter: Spirits
Dark Souls 3
Just Cause 3
World of Final Fantasy
King of Fighters 14
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Danganronpa 3
Kingdom Hearts 2.8
which will include Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover, and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep 0.2 all coming to the PS4

Which games are you excited to play?

Terraria: Finally better with updates

Terraria: Finally better with updates
By Dark_Laharl

            Released in 2011, Terraria came out when Minecraft was at its height in popularity. As a Minecraft fan myself, I wanted something new and similar to the Minecraft style of gameplay. Terrariaseemed like the perfect fit, but honestly, I wasn’t completely impressed upon the initial release. Terraria offered a lot of different features such as boss battles but otherwise didn’t have much from the get go.

            Over the last 4 years Terraria received new updates and with each update improved gameplay. The 1.1 update released in December 2011 introduced a “Hard” mode and a biome of blood thirsty unicorns. With this update we also got new armors and weapons. Hard mode was updated once again in September 2013 making the game even more challenging by adding more biomes like the Crimson and a jungle-based boss Plantera. Finally, the latest 1.3 update in June 2015 added Lunar Events, which added what could be the end boss for the game –a whole 4 years after its original release. The final boss, the Moon Lord, has an epic design that looks like a horror straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft novel.

            In terms of graphics, Terraria is a 2D world. You can travel left, right, up and down but not towards the background or into the foreground. Even with the 2D platform, you get a classic, retro, 8-bit feel which is kind of nostalgic and doesn’t detract from the game itself. I also like the background music Terraria offers. A neat little feature is that the music changes in every biome you visit and for every event that occurs. You won’t find yourself terribly annoyed by the music; unless you spend massive amounts of time in a specific area but even then, the soundtrack is rather enjoyable. 

            I put a cumulative 2 weeks into Terrariawhere I mined for ores to craft better weapons and armors to fight the new epic bosses. I know it doesn’t sound exciting but it felt rewarding defeating an epic boss that originally gave me a ton of trouble. The exploration and hunting for accessories melts your free time, but in a good way.

After the updates, I have nothing but good things to say about Terraria. It is available for mobile devices, Xbox and Playstation. I have tried it on both Xbox and my phone but the controls felt awkward. If you’re going to get the game, I definitely recommend it for the PC.

 
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