A very bizzare adventure game!

User Rating: 9 | Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls VITA
Danganronpa was a game series I always wanted to get into but never had the time to. Plus the fact that the previous games were interactive graphic novels and the 40 dollar price tag. Well this spin off felt like it would be a good place to start and it seemed more user friendly to someone like me. So after buying the game and getting as far as I have, I can honestly say it was worth it! Another Episode is a kind of adventure game that I have never played before. It mixes rpg presentation with survival horror and forces you to use tactics when approaching enemies and solving puzzles. The main girl, Komaru is equipped with a goofy looking gun specifically designed to kill Monokumas and you earn various types of ammo that add new strategic opportunities. Her sidekick, Toko is a crazy emotional wreck who immediately switches personalities upon pressing triangle, with a serial killer. This other personality has more of a hack and slash feel as she can slice and dice Monokumas with ease. Normally this would be a gameplay breaker but it is limited to a battery so you have to use it sparingly. You follow these two girls throughout the city of Towa as they search for......well that's complicated. Because Komaru wants to leave the city while Toko is just trying to rescue her master. The controls for Komaru are very smooth and well thought out as with Toko, so the game is actually pretty fun to play. Aiming Komaru's gun is very reminiscent of Resident Evil 4. The gun even has a laser pointer! You can upgrade it as you progress through the game or upgrade Toko's alter psycho ego with shops. This part ticked me off a bit because while these upgrades are handy, you can't buy items like ammo or health! A big WTF to that!! But that actually helps add more to the survival aspect to the game and it makes the difficulty just that much harder. You also need to use the gun's different ammo types to solve puzzles too and there are ALOT of puzzles here! I found them enjoyable for the most part but some did feel too frustrating to the point where I said fudge it and made Toko clear the room instead. With Toko, there's never a moment where you'll feel too helpless to continue without a strategy guide. Take that as you will. Komaru and Toko are generally fun to be around and it's always a joy to hear what they have to say about the situation. Toko loves to whine and is always nervous while Komaru is more the type to force herself to be brave. Her personality develops very well through the game and you'll even see her posture change as she gets more confident. Though Toko basically stays the same, she just learns to like Komaru more. In all, everyone you meet is interesting and you can talk to other characters in certain moments like most rpg's. The overall adventure is HUGE! We're talking 20 or so hours. If you were worried about it being a boring 5 hour poop, rest assured here! I know I was. Most spinoffs barely last that long and have less effort put into them. It's good to know SpikeChunSoft does everything with their full attention in mind. I got much more than what I was expecting and this delightful little spin off is well worth the time of any fan of adventure games or Danganronpa. It's fun, the graphics take full advantage of the PS VITA's power and are very artistic, the music is catchy and atmospheric and the story is well told and fascinating. As a Danganronpa newbie, I was able to enjoy this game as an individual title of its own and I highly recommend it to any fan of the genre, new or old.