What if you find yourself trapped within a school with a few of your schoolmates, and then a bear tells you that you can only get out by killing your friends and getting away with it? Yes, Danganronpa is back in its third part of the Danganronpa series: Danganronpa V3 Killing Harmony.
If you are already a fan of Danganronpa, you can just stop reading this review right now and immediately get and play it blind. And of course, be sure to play the Demo first to get a feel of the game, even if you don't need anymore convincing, because the Demo does add a bit to the overall story.
But if you still want to read the review, don't worry I'll be writing this spoiler-free.
Unlike Danganronpa 2, Danganronpa V3's story can stand on its own. You don't need to have played the previous Danganronpas to enjoy Danganronpa V3, though I highly recommend you to go through 1 and 2 first since you'll be missing bits of references here and there.
You start off the game as Kaede, the ever-gentle Ultimate Pianist who only wants everyone to get along. Yep, she's a girl. Awesome, right? And just like before, you'll be stuck inside a school with other Ultimates and are forced into an intellectual battle royale with the hope that everybody survives.
If someone gets murdered, everybody is put into a courtroom and vote who is the murderer. If the majority vote is correct, the murderer gets executed by Monokuma and the 'game' continues until there's only 2 remaining. If the majority voted wrongly, everybody except the murderer gets executed and the murderer gets to leave.
The point of Danganronpa, on top of its problem solving mysteries, have always been about the storyline, plot and the twists, and Danganronpa V3 definitely doesn't disappoint. In fact, I'd go as far as saying V3 is the saddest and emotional out of all Danganronpas to date. Were you totally depressed when THAT happened in Danganronpa 2? Be prepared for lots of those moments in Danganronpa V3, and trust me they definitely ain't pulling any punches back.
Now, one of the most interesting feature of Danganronpa V3 is the ability to lie. Yes, this time, you get to lie inside the courtroom in order to protect someone from accusations or even to divert everybody to a different conclusion. This mechanic really spices up the courtroom discussions and make you more emotionally engaged when somebody you like gets accused. And of course, you're not going to get away scot free if your lie is bad!
In terms of the mysteries, I'd say the mysteries in V3 definitely beats or at least on par with Dangaronpa 2. And the good thing is: ALL of the cases are fair. You definitely can solve the cases on your own before you even step into courtroom. HOWEVER, the misdirections Danganronpa V3 would pretty much assure you have made a different conclusion, even if you already know about the misdirections.
Now, I'm pretty much geeking out right now, but the first chapter of Danganronpa V3 is pretty much the best piece out of the series, and even out of plenty of other Visual Novels. I was pretty much crying when I finally figured out the truth of the mystery.
And that's when Danganronpa V3 makes its stand clear: "Do you want to know the painful truth or is it better to live in ignorance instead?" Throughout the game, you will really feel the pain when unravelling the mysteries. You will feel horror at your findings all throughout the game, making you questions yourself, is this all worth it? Is the truth worth it?
So, if you like murder mystery: Definitely get this. And if you like very sad and well-thought out story? Book the whole weekend and play this in one sitting. I can't recommend Danganronpa V3 enough.