Monday, March 20, 2017

Cyber Danganronpa VR - "Review"

Danganronpa! A few years ago this was a little known name in the west, but now here we are two full games, one spin off, an anime series, and multiple novels later and it's something of a hit. Sure it's not a massive AAA title, but it has it's fanbase, and with releases on Steam, an upcoming collection on PS4, and a 3rd mainline entry just around the corner -- this series has grown quite a lot. So, what do you do with a popular (yet niche) series? Make a PSVR tech demo! That's what!

Cyber Danganronpa VR is a PSVR exclusive tech demo based on the series. It takes characters from the first game, throws you into a "class trial" after one character was apparently murdered by another, and it asks you to figure out who did it. Right from the get go the strange bear Monokuma starts explaining how to use "truth bullets" to shoot down the lies of your fellow classmates, and he also explains how pointing your "scanner" (which is your PS4 controller) will help show how likely it is someone is lying. And, that's exactly what you do -- the entire short time. Characters will speak, the words will take physical form in front of your face, and you'll physically point your PS4 controller at them to see which is a lie and which is the truth. It's a somewhat similar version of what you do in the main games (minus the scanning), and once you shoot a "truth bullet" at the lie, that character's argument will be countered and the trial will progress. Sadly after exposing a few lies, the game ends. Monokuma forces the trial to stop due to it being a demo, and you are treated to a scene that will strike horror into many who see it.

The thing about the Danganronpa demo is, it's not much of a demo or experience as others out there. There is even less content in this demo than there is in the Call of Duty VR demo, and it's really only something fans would enjoy. Sure, maybe the ending scene would be great to show off to others, but the real focus of this demo is to put fans into one of their favorite games. Standing in the class trial and being able to see your favorite characters "in person" is a great experience, and the creepy atmosphere really helps sell just how terrifying the events of Danganronpa were. Playing this game as a visual novel behind a screen is one thing, but actually standing there in their shoes is another. The demo does a great job to convey this, but it is still far too short. Thankfully the download size is quite small, but it's something you most likely won't be going back to after you run through it a time or two. Let's just hope that one day this becomes more than just a demo, and that we get to see a full VR game.