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Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Review

After a 3 year wait, the killing game returns! The first two Danganronpa games were my top 2 games of 2014, so I had every reason to be excited for the third installment!

The story of Danganronpa V3 starts off in familiar fashion- sixteen students are held captive inside Hope’s Peak Academy, and are forced to participate in a killing game, in which the students are motivated into murdering each other to ultimately win the game to escape captivity.

Danganronpa V3
You play as Kaede Akamatsu- the Ultimate Pianist.

Every time a murder occurs you conduct an investigation by examining the crime scene, talk to the other students to hear their side of the story, and find clues that help you solve the mystery. Eventually a class trial is held to determine the killer.

The usual process for the class trials remain the same as previous Danganronpa games. You’ll be contradicting (or concurring) classmate’s statements with clues you’ve found, and playing mini-games that represent the main character’s thought process.

The mini-games in the Danganronpa series have always been its main weakness, but I don’t think enough to drag the whole experience down. Some of them can be fun, but it is always a bit of a relief when they’re over with.

After spending hours into the class trial, you’ll eventually discover who the killer is, and as always you’ll usually be shocked. Every class trial is as thrilling as ever, with more unique twists that still manage to surprise me.

The class trials are the highlight of these games, and they almost never fail to disappoint. Once the trial is almost over, you’ll piece together all the events that happened to understand fully how the crime went down, and you’ll witness the guilty being punished in the usual gruesome ways.

Danganronpa V3
In class trials, everyone is trying to prove their innocence.

Danganronpa V3’s very first chapter starts things off with a very big bang, and I still think about how much the outcome of the first class trial shocked me! Each chapter has distinct and separate story-lines from the other chapters, but there is an overall story arc to keep players intrigued throughout the whole game.

The story arc ultimately was absolutely huge in context of the entire series, and while I loved it, I can see it being very divisive for many fans.

My main criticism though for this game is that each chapter felt just a little too formulaic, whereas the story-telling in the first 2 games felt like a proper story being told and just flowed better. This made for less memorable moments, though this game still had scenes I won’t forget!

But apart from the first chapter that really blew me away, the game did kind of drift along until about halfway through and started to pick up again after that.

Danganronpa V3
You team up with Shuichi to help with investigations.

I really loved the new cast of characters of Danganronpa V3, and are possibly my favourite cast in the series. But the more you get attached to the characters, the more you dread who the next victim is, as it could be one of your favourites!

The game still has the ‘Free Time’ segments that allow you to hang out with any of the classmates (assuming they’re available) in order to get to know them better and learn their backstory. This game also has this ability to make you hate certain characters, then somehow make you love them later on.

It’s happened to me in every Danganronpa game so far and this one is no exception.

Danganronpa V3
Just some of the many personalities in this game.

There are new villains too in the form of Monokubs, who are smaller, more coloured versions of the main villain Monokuma. I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of them, as they distracted from Monokuma himself, who is such a stand-out character.

Usually the Monokubs just ramble on about nothing, and I don’t feel like they added much to the story. Fans of Monokuma will be disappointed with Monokuma not appearing as much as previous games, but when he does make an appearance, it’s usually worthwhile.

Danganronpa V3
Monokuma and his Monokubs.

There is a whole host of post-game activities to take part in once you’ve completed the main story. But my review is just focusing on the main story as I didn’t really look into any of the post-game unlocks. I’m sure they’re great though for anyone who wants to dabble into something else as opposed to just the visual novel side of the game.

I don’t know if there’ll be another Danganronpa, but this series has been such a unique gaming experience for me. I definitely recommend Danganronpa V3 to anyone who wants to try something bizarre and crazy, but unique and memorable too.

Score: 8.7/10


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