NIS America Inc.’s Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair for Sony Corp.’s Playstation Vita is a solid sequel in the murder mystery series that unravels compelling characters, plot twists, and sharp humor in an island paradise.

In Danganronpa 2, Hajime Hinata is admitted to Hope’s Peak Academy. He and other new students are subsequently whisked to Jabberwock Island in which villain Monokuma proposes that the students kill another student in order to leave the island.

Danganronpa 2 Goodbye DespairEach chapter is divided into Daily Life, Murder, Investigation, The Trial, and The Punishment. In Daily Life, users can bond with fellow students and earn Hope Fragments with each in order to receive special bonus power to be used in The Trial.

New to The Trial is the Rebuttle Showdown to counter a person’s claim with Truth Blades in a conversation tug of war and Logic Dive to surf through forked tunnels in an effort to choose the correct answers to the case.

Trail segments like the Closing Argument have been improved for the better. Rather than placing obscure panels to outline the entire crime, each panel now carries a description to better aid the player.

However, the Hangman’s Gambit portion has been altered to capture and shoot slow floating letters which can be a bit cumbersome when users have an answer in mind.

Like the first entry, each murder is carefully constructed with minute details that the player must investigate from start to finish. Each case features enough twist and turns to throw players off and it’s difficult to pinpoint the culprit until the very end.

New characters like the aloof Nagito Komaeda, inappropriate chef Teruteru Hanamura, ace photographer Mahiru Koizumi, and enthusiastic team leader Nekomaru Nidai contribute to a new cast of colorful personalities, though a few don’t resonate as well as those in the first entry.

The best new addition to the cast is Monomi, a teddy bear enslaved by Monokuma to be his younger sister. The character provides a new dimension of comic relief to play off against the diabolical Monokuma and even stars in her own mini-game, Magical Girl Miracle Monomi, which is unlocked after a certain level of play.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is a solid murder mystery title that is self-referential, maniacal, and humorous ride. With brand new trial games, a strong cast, and witty writing, this new mystery is worth solving.

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