Danganronpa V3:Killing Harmony is a mystery visual novel developed by Spike Chunsoft and published/
localized by NIS America Inc., it sees 16 students each with ultimate talents that makes them unique participating in a killing game where the killer must get away with the crime in a class trial or suffer a brutal punishment.
Danganronpa V3:Killing Harmony is available for purchase on the Playstation Store for $59.99
Danganronpa V3:Killing Harmony follows 16 high school students with talents called ultimates; In the Danganronpa series ultimates are people with talents that far succeed any average person and are the best at what they do; examples being the 'Ultimate Maid' or 'Ultimate Magician' makes what they're know for. The games' main protagonist is Kaedae Akamatsu, a bright,cheery, hopeful girl with the title of ultimate musician that gets forced into a killing game in an abandoned academy with 15 other ultimate students from around the world by a robotic black and white masochistic bear named Monokuma and his minions the Monokubs.
To get out of the killing game the students must kill one another and then participate in a class trial in which they must each work together to find out who is the 'Blackened' and live to fight another day; if they don't find out who the blackened is then only the blackened is the one who graduates and leaves the academy while the rest of the class gets executed. As the class trials go on the students try to find a way to find the mastermind and get out of the academy alive and find out the truth of the world.
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony tells a story that is similar to past games in the franchise, but as the plot progresses near the end of the game it tells a more meticulous and metaphysical story that has never been seen before in the series that makes it stand on its own two feet and shows that the writers definitely wanted to tell a story that people will be talking about for years. Newcomers to the series shouldn't shy away from this game as its story has little to nothing to do with the other games or anime series and is more of a standalone game than continuation. If you are a longtime fan of the series they're little nods and references to the past games and will be a welcome treat to those individuals. To talk more about the plot itself would be spoiling the game itself past chapter 1 which is where the game really starts.
While the dialogue for the most part is great they're times where I felt the writers were making it seem like they were trying to achieve a more "Mature" dialogue. One of the characters Miu Iruma is a constant dirty jokes, foul-mouthed girl whos' dialogue is more than uncomfortable the more she talks which leads to some awkward dialogue scenes with the characters of the game; its an arbitrary task trying to talk to her and really makes her seem like a unlikable character the more you speak to her. Derogatory terms and slurs are used in the game as well which also made me uncomfortable. Miu aside, the cast this time is excellent and all contribute to the plot in some way. While the cast is great I felt that some characters were underused or died off too early for them being important characters which had pondered through my head throughout the duration of the game. Monokuma and the Monokubs are the comedic relief of the game making me laugh more times than I thought I would; that being said I feel like this game will be outdated in the future with its constant pop references and current events of the world dealing with 'Fake News' and 'Alternative Facts' to having references to popular anime as well, while it's funny right now it will be
outdated later on giving it a disadvantage.
Just like past Danganronpa games in the series the game is split up into three parts: Daily Life, Deadly Life, and Class Trials. In daily life you are just simply progressing through the plot, getting a new motive to murder somebody from Monokuma and the Monokubs, unlocking more of the academy, and strengthen the bonds of your fellow classmates to increase your level and get more skills from them. I was always amused by the daily life at the beginning of every chapter giving me the time to bond with my classmates and getting to know more about them before they were in the killing game, walking around the academy and finding secret events during this segment were a joy to discover and made it all the harder when class trials come around and the person you just bonded with either got killed or was the killer; it's a pseudo system that is giving and also taking. Two of my favorite classmates were killed very early on in the game and I was heartbroken when it happened, which is typical of Danganronpa games.
The deadly life part of the game starts getting into the chapter as a whole. In deadly life you are investigating with your classmates the person who just got murdered in the chapter finding clues and information about the victim and possible suspects in the case. While it is necessary to have to build up information and being prepared for the next class trial, deadly life just feels like an in between segment that is mostly boring and gets to be archaic near the end of the game that the game needs sure but just like the other games in the series I could do without these segments. I feel like they could've added in a couple of mini-games during this part to make it more interesting instead of just finding clues.
The core gameplay of the game itself is the class trials. This is where you will spend most of your time trying to figure out who did it and vote for the culprit. Class trials is where the game knows if you have been paying attention to the investigation and dialogue. Class trials are broken up into several mini-games which are all wonderful to play through and helps in breaking up the dialogue of the trial. The first of these mini-games being non-stop debates where everybody is talking at once;you have to load a 'Truth Bullet' a thought manifestation of a clue into a cylinder of a gun and shoot the correct truth bullet at the right statement of words that are coming on the screen to give them a counter or agreement to progress with the trial. New to Danganronpa V3 is the ability to lie called perjury in a non-stop debate to further find the truth that you couldn't have found without. It's a really intuitive mini-game which furthers the plot of the classroom trials with you being involved.
Other mini-games include Psyche Taxi in which you control a taxi in a Las Vegas type setting where you drive over letter cubes on the road to form a question and once the question as been formed you pick up a women that has the correct answer making it a funny and enduring mini-game. Another mini-game is the Mind Mine where you basically play Danganronpas' version of Minesweeper to find the clue you need to present and proceed with the trial. Also new to Danganronpa V3 is Debate Scrum;Debate Scrum is the best mini-game in the game and occurs when your classmates are conflicted on a topic. Your podiums starts to rise and two sides are formed where you have to shoot down the other team's topic with a keyword they've said in their statement. I always had a blast with these mini-games Debate Scrum being my favorite and I always looked forward to them.
At the end of the class trial when you find out who the culprit is you are given a choice to vote for the culprit and if your voting results are correct the culprit is subjected to a "Punishment" where they are executed brutally and without delay which leads to some gruesome scenes. Overall, the whole gameplay experience of Danganronpa V3 are mostly repetitive and never really change, once you do one chapter you do the same subjective thing in the next chapter and the chapter after that with the difference being the victim and the culprit, it doesn't help that after chapter 1 things don't get interesting again plot wise until chapter 4 where the game picks up the slack and starts running full force. It's really bothering especially when you have to play through 5 to 9 hours for some chapters making this the longest Danganronpa game to date. By the end I was just along for the ride waiting to see how it ends with my total playtime being 50 hours.
Graphics and Sound
The art style is fantastic brimming with bright, stylistic colors. Environments look excellent and shows that they really knew what they wanted to do in their 'Psycho Cool' environment. Character designs are the best I've seen from this series with each character having their own distinct personality from the clothes they wear to their hairstyles. Animations are also excellent with looking at an item or engaging in a talk with someone that brings up this comic like panel with fluid animations, with this game being their first time making a Danganronpa game for the PS4 you can tell that they put a lot of time and effort into making this the best looking Danganronpa game yet.
The soundtrack is amazing! Fitting in with the 'Psycho Cool' environment is the electronic,dubstep,cool jazz soundtrack that fits with each scene it's playing. With Debate Scrum fitting in with the same name min-game to Beautiful Lie that plays when your exploring the academy it's a harmonious sound that combines together and makes a elaborate soundtrack. My favorite tracks being Beautiful Lie, New Classmates of the Dead, Debate Scrum, Climax Reasoning V3, and Despair Searching. This soundtrack is the best one in the series.
Overall, Danganronpa V3:Killing Harmony is an excellent visual novel with plenty of twists especially at the very end of the game which people will talk about for years to come. Pacing is very off after the first chapter and picks back up around the fourth chapter but playing through 20 hrs just to get to that point might not be worth it for people trying out the series for the first time. Characters are great and get great development over time but I felt that the cast of the second game were better and fleshed out than the new ones. With a rocking soundtrack and high paced hyper class trials if your a fan of visual novels and have yet to pick up a Danganronpa game, then Danganronpa V3 is the one for you considering if you can get through the pacing.
|+ Intriguing Plot||-Repetitive Gameplay|
|+ Character Development||– Miu's Dialogue|
|+ Awesome Soundtrack||– Pacing|