My Strange Visual Novel Addiction

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They say the first step is admitting it …
I have a problem… I got addicted to Danganronpa.

It sounded more dramatic in my head, I swear.

In the past five months, I’ve been obsessed with a certain Visual Novel named Danganronpa and let me just tell you how deeply I got into this world of sci-fi hope vs despair battlefield. Visual novels, according to my logic were glorified dating simulation while I already know I am wrong, it didn’t stop me from solidifying this conclusion in my mind.

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“Hope’s Peak Academy is home to Japan’s best and brightest high school students — the beacons of hope for the future. But that hope suddenly dies when Makoto Naegi and his classmates find themselves imprisoned in the school, cut off from the outside world and subject to the whims of a strange, murderous little bear named Monokuma. He pits the students against each other, promising freedom to anyone who can murder a fellow classmate and get away with it. It’s up to you to find out who Monokuma really is, and why you’ve been taken from the world you once knew. But be careful what you wish for — sometimes there’s nothing more deadly than the truth…”

The first installment of the series is the introduction to the Danganronpa World and the cast “The Ultimates”. Now the characters are an interesting part of the game because their talent is considered an ultimate as if they excel in that field, Ultimate Swimmer, Ultimate Gambler and so on. Those talents give the characters a personality and insecurity as well.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a certain order you need to follow when getting into Danganronpa world, which anime to watch first and which game to start on, unfortunately, I watched the anime before playing the game so I knew the direction the game was going but to be honest it was more enjoyable for me to play the game than to watch it.

After a murder occurs, you get time to investigate the murder scene to chain the events in your mind before a class trial starts to reveal who’s the culprit. The trial format is almost the same as Phoenix Wright and I loved every minute of it, the music and the whole truth bullet shooting, it excited me. The punishments -when the trial ends and the culprit revealed- is basically an execution scene, are sometimes silly and more humorous. After it, parts of the school gets unlocked which gives you more area to explore and of course find new ways to kill someone.

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The game is heavily dependent on the story, so it has a lot of reading, it took me 41 hours to beat the first game and honestly I would recommend playing the game instead of watching the 12 episode anime.

Moving on to the second part Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.

 

 

 

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair takes place shortly after the events of Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. The game is from Hajime Hinata’s point of view as he starts his first year at Hope’s Peak Academy. As he walks into the school building, he is overcome with fatigue; when he recovers, he finds himself in front of a door. He has the strong urge to open it, and once he does, he finds himself in a classroom full of his new classmates. They suddenly find themselves locked in the classroom, and a pink bunny, Usami, appears before them, claiming herself to be the class’ teacher. The classroom around them soon falls away to reveal a paradise-like island. Usami tells them that they are on a school trip and that they are to befriend each other to gain Hope Fragments and make their hope grow. Just as they get used to the peaceful island life, Monokuma appears and takes control of the island, announcing that the students must participate in a life of mutual killing if they wish to escape.

Oh boy, this part was surprising to me because it was more brutal and dark compared to the first one. Even the punishments aren’t as silly as I mentioned in the first part, they are horrifying and I feel guilty that I was entertained. There was a lot of changes implemented in the gameplay and I actually needed a guide to go through the trials, not my favorite confession to make as a gamer. I mean it’s a visual novel, how hard it should be.

I wasn’t really satisfied with the ending because it was confusing but at the same time, my mind was blown how the story progressed throughout the games, spin-offs, and the anime. I think I enjoyed this part more than the previous one, probably because of my newly found sadistic trait that surfaced during the gameplay or because I’ve grown attached to Monokuma … He’s a cute bear.

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The lastest game of this series is Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

 

“Welcome to a new world of Danganronpa, and prepare yourself for the biggest, most exhilarating episode yet. Set in a “psycho-cool” environment, a new cast of 16 characters find themselves kidnapped and imprisoned in a school. Inside, some will kill, some will die, and some will be punished. Reimagine what you thought high-stakes, fast-paced investigation was as you investigate twisted murder cases and condemn your new friends to death. Forget what you thought you knew about Danganronpa and join a completely new cast of Ultimates for a brand-new beginning. In a world where everyone is trying to survive, nobody’s motivations are quite what they seem. Use your skills to solve each new murder or meet a gruesome end. The world is shaped by our perception of it. Fast-paced trial scenes will require lies, quick wits, and logic to guide your classmates to the right conclusions.”

I kept reading the synopsis that it’s new, the characters are new, the school is new but part of me was searching for connections to the previous games, surely there’s something the ties the epic battle between hope and despair which Monokuma keeps hinting. The gameplay has a massive overhaul in-class trials and thankfully it was easier than Danganronpa 2. The killings were creative and I was impressed at some of them, why don’t I feel bad saying this.

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Danganronpa triggered the inner killer and also the detective in me, I’ve enjoyed every minute of those games. Also, I have to say Monokuma is adorable, the best mascot ever (it’s the total truth, I’m not held at gunpoint)

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Let’s Talk About Ultimate Fishing Simulator

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I love fishing games. I mentioned a Wii game before called Fishing Resort to be one of my favorite games, I don’t know why I’m obsessed with those simulators. I’d like to think that I’m low-key interested in fishing but don’t have the patience to do it in reality. Recently I came across Ultimate Fishing Simulator on Steam and I saw it has mostly positive feedback so I decided to try it out.

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Considering it’s a simulator, there’s no end goal obviously. The challenge element of this game would be collecting enough money to unlock different areas or fishing gear from rods to baits. The environment of the fishing areas look absolutely beautiful, water looks very realistic and the day-and-night cycle makes the game very immersive and atmospheric.

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Now there are two modes to play this game, Normal which is more laid back and gives you a relaxing experience, and there’s a Realistic mode which like the name implies more realistic when it comes to fishing biting and reeling so it requires more patience if that’s your cup of tea.

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Playing on Normal Mode gives you the option to open an underwater view to see the fish biting, it honestly doesn’t have the best animation but it’s worth to check.

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When you catch the fish, you have the option to either sell it or release it which will give you extra EXP to level up faster. There’s also a multiplayer mode and a level editor in case you are feeling a little creative.

I found this game very entertaining and patience-testing, it’s a very well done simulator and pays attention to every small detail regarding the fishing gear and also how realistic the fish look like.

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Games to Revisit: Jazzpunk

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Jazzpunk is a comedy adventure set in an alternate reality Cold War World, plagued with corporate espionage, CyberCrime, and sentient martinis. Gameplay is inspired by spoof comedy films and cartoons of yesteryear, with a focus on weird gadgets, exotic locales, and open-world style exploration.

So originally I didn’t want to try this game because it wasn’t my cup of tea but the art style had me intrigued. When the game started … Let’s just say the intro is quite colorful.

Now that I’m very interested in this game, it starts in a first-person view and opens up a world to interact with apart from the main quest. The game is absolutely hilarious, I found myself tearing up from laughing. I honestly tried focusing on the main story-line but I couldn’t because I was interacting with NPCs and trying most of the mini games so I’m still not exactly sure what’s the end goal was, maybe I’ll focus this time revisiting this game.

I highly recommend trying this game, it’s relatively short and has simple controls so you can try it to pass time.

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Let’s Talk About OneShot

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was released recently and of course I was excited to get it, unfortunately my internet speed isn’t the fastest so I had to wait couple of days for it to finish downloading so I could actually play it. During that time, I bought a game I found on sale by that time called OneShot.

I decided to go ahead and try it while waiting for Assassin’s Creed since it wasn’t a large game and it finished downloading fast, and let me tell you I’m so glad I played this game because I honestly think this game is an underrated gem.

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OneShot is a surreal top down Puzzle/Adventure game with unique gameplay capabilities. You are to guide a child through a mysterious world on a mission to restore its long-dead sun. The world knows you exist.

The game starts by introducing the main character, a cat-like child named Niko. The game is created by RPG maker and pixel graphics are my weakness.

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The end goal of this game is to restore the sun to a decaying world that is mostly inhabited by robots, but here’s what caught me off guard … The game acknowledge your existence as the player and address you by the name (I think it uses your computer login name) and that’s when the game starts to bleed into reality, making you check files in your computer in order to proceed at some locations which I thought is pretty smart and creative.

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I think that what made me start forming an emotional connection with the game characters as if it was personally speaking to me at some parts of the game.

The game contain few puzzles but they aren’t too hard to solve, the music and the whole game atmosphere reminded me of Undertale for some reason. It gave me that feeling I had while playing Undertale, the emotional connection to the characters and tested my personal choices in the game but unlike Undertale, it doesn’t have any combat moments just story-rich content.

I personally enjoyed the game and I think it’s quite underrated seemingly because it’s indie and made in RPG maker. I highly recommend playing it, it’s also quite short because I finished it in 5 hours.

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Games I Played While Waiting For Labor

Waiting for labor can be nerve wrecking, you’ve reached the end of the line and you have to be patient for few more days while you already feel you’re just done with this whole pregnancy and miserable. I’ve been praying for every contraction I feel to be more stronger and painful so I could be done with this, I’ve read numerous articles on ways how to induce labor and obviously failing in every one of them. Nothing really worked for me and I was just fed up, I’ve given up and said “you know what, my daughter is going to be a stubborn if she’s that comfortable inside and doesn’t want to leave yet

To ease my mind off labor and just wait for it to naturally happen, I decided to game more whenever I feel a contraction is happening whether it’s false or real. So here’s the list of games I played religiously while waiting for labor.

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There’s something about those simulator games that triggers your brain into addiction, I’m sure of it … based on my science. House Flipper is a simulation game which lets you buy wrecked houses where you can repair and remodel then sell them for profit, and so on. The concept is pretty simple but I found myself addicted to this game, I enjoyed remodeling the houses, painting the walls, installing floor tiles and getting creative with the colors and decor of the rooms. It’s a great game to spend time on, I highly recommend it.

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Every article you’re going to read about this game is going to compare it to Stardew Valley and rightfully so, just add a graveyard to take care of and a massive checklist to do which makes the gameplay very long. I won’t say I love this game, I just like it. I have this weakness against pixel art games, and Graveyard Keeper is just gorgeous I won’t deny it. The music is what attracted me the most, it’s very soothing and calm that I had to complement the creativity infused in the tracks and ironically the composer thanked me and followed me on twitter. I know this game isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea and it has mixed reviews on Steam, but I would honestly recommend it maybe less than Moonlighter but it’s a good game.

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If you played World of Goo and Little Inferno, you might be familiar with this game. I’m all for games that challenges you with puzzles but sometimes they make me feel stupid even thought the answer is pretty obvious, that’s how Human Resource Machine made me feel. I studied Software Technologies so I’m accustomed to programming flow, and that’s what this game made me feel basically writing pseudo codes for a program that include numbers. It gets frustrating at times but it helped keeping my mind off of labor while I played it.

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Let’s Talk About Sally Face

It’s been awhile since I posted a video game related content else than my usual monthly series Games to Revisit. For some reason, games posts don’t do well on my blog like my usual content and it’s disheartening sometimes because I enjoy talking about games.

I came across Sally Face when the first episode was released and because I didn’t like episodic games, I overlooked it. I bought it eventually when episode two and three were released and I feel I should talk about it.

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Delve into a dark adventure following a boy with a prosthetic face and a mysterious past. In the first episode, Strange Neighbors, Sally Face and his father move into an apartment filled with odd tenants and an unfortunate crime scene. Little did they know what misfortune still awaits…

Sally Face is a horror point-and-click adventure game that follows a blue haired boy called Sal. Now I’ll admit I first thought Sal was a girl because of the hair style and also thinking Sally was his actual name not a given nickname as the game later on reveals. I had to google and research his condition while playing the game so I would understand the whole story of his condition, my interests grew about this game when it started infusing metal illness along with supernatural events because I believe there’s a fine line between those two and how your mind bleed such thoughts into your reality.

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Moving on with gameplay, it’s not exactly complicated since it’s a point-and-click type of game but it has some puzzles that made me feel stupid at times. The game wants you to understand the story by throwing you back and forth between the past when the events actually happened and the future where you ask yourself how did this happen. Like I said before I don’t like episodic games because I don’t like waiting for the next episode when it’s not scheduled and it takes a long time, it takes away the suspense you experienced in the previous episode but I can’t blame the developer for this.

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The game is definitely creepy and disturbing which I personally admire of how it’s portrayed through the drawing basically. I would compare it to Fran Bow when it comes to dealing with the main character mentality and the disturbing visions, so if you enjoyed that game you’ll love this one for sure.

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Product of The Month

This post might bring out the nerd in me, so I’m going to throw this warning from now before I start. I’ve been using MSI Ghost laptop for couple of years now, I’ve played plenty of games on it and of course with time it began to get old if you know what I mean. I think the fans gave in eventually and it somehow damaged the hard disk which resulted the laptop being really slow and I also want to blame Windows 10 updates … I HATE THEM.

Anyway, I’ve started my research in finding a new gaming laptop. I’ve been contacted by HP before through my blog about HP Omen which I briefly mentioned in a post about choosing a gaming laptop and I was honestly considering getting it. It had most of the specs I was aiming for and it was within my budget but before I press add to cart button, I saw Acer Predator Helios 300 and I fell in love.

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I instantly bought it. Luckily, Amazon allowed me to pay in installments for 5 months which was very convenient for me. I chose this laptop as my product of the month as I’ve been using it for almost a month now since I bought it and I haven’t faced any problem with it yet and I’ve been able to play pretty heavy games on it, it was also cheaper from MSI and HP Omen.

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I bought Seagate Firecuda Gaming 1TB SATA Hard Disk along with it since the laptop only include 256GB SSD, obviously I’ll need a larger capacity for my games and it was easy to plug into the laptop.

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I highly recommend this laptop if you’re looking for a gaming laptop with great specs and stays within budget, not insanely high priced.

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