Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 55
  2. Negative: 1 out of 55
Buy On
  1. 100
    At its core, Danganronpa is a melting pot of various philosophical puzzles that pulls together in such a way that it connected with me on a very deep, very real level. Without giving the ending away, the ultimate fate of all the characters (including Monokuma) left me more than a little shaken, and any game that's able to connect with me at that kind of primal level must be worth the investment.
  2. Feb 11, 2014
    It's an unsettling journey, but it's probably one worth taking.
  3. 90
    Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is easily one of the PlayStation Vita's niche gems with rock solid presentation and a gripping story that doesn't let you go till the end.
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    A thrilling murder mystery from start to finish, Danganronpa is an essential purchase for those who enjoy games as interactive stories.
  5. Feb 10, 2014
    One of the best visual novels available in English, despite some hiccups.
  6. Feb 10, 2014
    The themes of Danganronpa aren’t going to be for everyone, but for those who want an exceptional story that gets its hooks in, then you cannot go wrong here.
  7. Feb 10, 2014
    Games of this ilk are rarely for everyone, but this is a unique experience that really stands out – even in the Vita’s burgeoning library.
  8. Jan 27, 2014
    Danganronpa’s heavy storyline segments and somber themes won’t be for everyone, but for Vita owners looking for something fresh, stylish, and enthralling to play on their handheld of choice, this is an utterly fascinating game that shouldn’t be missed.
  9. Jan 23, 2014
    Clocking in at around twenty hours, there is little reason to play through a second time but as is the case with a great book, once picked up it’ll be difficult to put down and when this abearrant tale has finished bearing it all, you’ll put it down with a smile on your face.
  10. Feb 17, 2014
    You can leave this high school either as a murderer or as a corpse. The line between friendship and rivalry is blurred. You look into the soul of the characters where hope gets replaced by despair in an instant. This is an excellent morbid surreal whodunit.
  11. Games Master UK
    Mar 10, 2014
    Not as intelligently conceived as Zero Escape, but every bit as riveting. [Apr 2014, p.79]
  12. Apr 15, 2014
    Danganronpa is not a proper game: is an interactive novel. Still, its captivating atmosphere won't let you go until you'll reach the end.
  13. Mar 12, 2014
    Hope and despair, friendship and betrayal, Danganropa plays with those concepts in a superb way, developing a mystery visual novel full of fantastic characters and an intense plot that will glue the Vita to your hands.
  14. Mar 7, 2014
    Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc may have the occasional flaw, but its utterly engrossing murder mystery plot, excellent characterisation, and clever use of age-old game mechanics make it a game that nobody should miss.
  15. Mar 3, 2014
    Playing like a mixture of Phoenix Wright, Virtue’s Last Reward and Persona, Danganronpa is a compelling and thrilling visual novel with great writing and characterisation. Anyone in the mood for a good murder mystery should get on it, quick sharp.
  16. Feb 21, 2014
    If a well rounded cast of characters and an ingenious plot is all you ask for when playing a videogame, then Danganronpa has you covered for at least 30 hours. Otherwise, it's a nice but wordy ride through the depths of human behaviour.
  17. Feb 20, 2014
    Its quirky humor – made all the better by excellent writing and interesting characters – is constantly unsettled by the seriousness of the plot, making for a unique adventure that Vita gamers owe it to themselves to experience.
  18. Feb 19, 2014
    Danganronpa is an exciting visual thriller filled to the brim with betrayal, murder, uneasy romance and an insane teddy bear. Great localization actually turn the characters into people, until they die in horrible manners or get sentenced. Danganronpa isn’t the most challenging game by Spike Chunsoft, but one you should take to bed to read instead of your usual crime or romance novel.
  19. Feb 11, 2014
    Easily one of the most intriguing games I've played in quite some time. It’s as if Persona and Phoenix Wright got together and had a little demon spawn that I didn't want to put down -- no matter how disturbing it can be at times.
  20. Feb 11, 2014
    It won't win over people who aren't already inclined to appreciate visual novels (because, you know, reading...) but for those who don't mind something a little more cerebral, it comes absolutely recommended.
  21. Feb 4, 2014
    Danganronpa proves why having an interactive experience can make stories more thrilling, even in the context of such a bleak scenario.
  22. Jan 7, 2014
    What makes Danganronpa immensely satisfying is how it consistently toys with your expectations. With excellent writing, well-developed characters, and a story that keeps you guessing, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a bloody good time.
  23. Feb 14, 2014
    Although initially boring and even with some loss of pace, Danganronpa manages to impress thanks to an excellent story.
  24. Feb 7, 2014
    If you want a break from action games and you're willing to give a visual novel a try, this is a good option, with interesting plot twists that will keep you playing till you finish it.
  25. Feb 27, 2014
    Assassinations, mystery and tension where never this fun. Spike Chunsoft has managed to create an adventure that won't let you get your hands off your Vita. If Agatha Christie were Japanese, she would be the creator of this game, without a doubt.
  26. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    May 23, 2014
    This is a very dark story, but it's told with colourful verve and a keen wit. [June 2014, p.85]
  27. Hyper Magazine
    Apr 9, 2014
    It has enough depth and twisted charisma to make it worth your time. [May 2014, p.70]
  28. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Mar 19, 2014
    The niche this mad gun’s aimed at should get this immediately. Everyone else: run. [April 2014, p81]
  29. Mar 6, 2014
    Great fun. That is if fun is the same as a dark story, horrible imagery, tricky murder riddles and dying teenagers. Great times at Hope's Peak Academy.
  30. Feb 28, 2014
    Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is another example that visual novel games don't have to rely on just static texts and images. Spike Chunsoft built some intense mechanics here that will glue you closer to the screen than some crime-dramas out there.
  31. Feb 25, 2014
    If you can’t get behind the Anime-like over-dramatisation and occasional bit of weirdness, chances are you’ll switch off within five minutes...For those who have the patience, however, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a visual novel as consistent on PlayStation Vita.
  32. Feb 24, 2014
    Danganronpa is, hands-down, one of the strangest games I've ever played — and yet also one of the most enjoyable and thought-provoking.
  33. Feb 20, 2014
    Finally PlayStation Vita has a new great visual novel in its catalogue, filled with over 20 hours of intriguing stories and an addictive gameplay. Congratulations to Spike Chunsoft and thanks to NIS America for bringing another less-knowed game genre to the West.
  34. Feb 20, 2014
    Visual novels do not have a widespread audience, although Danganronpa is one of the most enjoyable we had the chance to play thanks to some well designed minigames which make the experience much more interesting.
  35. Feb 20, 2014
    It’s Japanese, it’s crazy, it’s fantastic and there’s the best bear character you’ll ever see in a game ever (sorry P4G Teddy!) – just be sure to enjoy the time you spend locked into Hope’s Peak.
  36. Feb 20, 2014
    Even though the courtroom minigames can sometimes become a distraction, it is the strength of the writing – cleverly balancing drama, horror and humor – which immediately pulls you back into its intriguing web of mysteries and makes it difficult to put your Vita down.
  37. Feb 19, 2014
    Don’t let the name or presentation put you off: this is an impressive piece of interactive storytelling that gets more right than most other games with 10 times its budget.
  38. Feb 18, 2014
    Often funny, sometimes shocking, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is as convoluted as it is curious. A strange but gripping interactive crime novel, and a thoroughly unforgettable jaunt into lunacy.
  39. Feb 11, 2014
    DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a welcome addition to the ever-growing library of great visual novel games for us Westerners.
  40. Feb 11, 2014
    Danganronpa is an excellent adventure with a story that celebrates the human spirit, even during the darkest times, and that optimistic viewpoint made me smile even when everything seemed to be going wrong.
  41. Feb 11, 2014
    Gorgeous and unique graphical adventure game with that intriguing japanese touch. A new cult production from Spike Chunsoft.
  42. Feb 10, 2014
    Unfocused and repetitious at times, Danganronpa crackles with excitement and intrigue when it gets up to speed - making it a visual novel unlike any other.
  43. Feb 10, 2014
    DanganRonpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is one of the most distinctive murder mystery games on the market.
  44. Feb 10, 2014
    Featuring a colourful collection of memorable characters, some sweat-inducing gameplay, and a narrative that has more twists than a Hollyoaks omnibus, Spike Chunsoft's bloody tale of high school life will keep you engrossed from start to finish.
  45. Jan 20, 2014
    Danganronpa is absolutely worth buying, but only if you’re a gamer who doesn’t mind reading 30 hours worth of dialogue, because this is a visual novel at its most basic level.
  46. Jan 2, 2014
    With its twisted tale of murder and high school gone wrong, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc weaves a devilishly addictive tale you'll want to see through to the end.
  47. 75
    Trigger Happy Havoc could use some more polishing, but fans of mystery or oddball characters will want to snatch this up.
  48. Feb 5, 2014
    Solving a homicide can be a lot of fun when it’s alongside an idiot clairvoyant, Lolita gambler, and psychotic robo-teddy bear (“Puhuhuhuhuhuhuhu!”). Countering contradictions with metaphorical lead is an amusing attempt to giving a courtroom a more action-packed edge, and it’s a strong enough mechanic to survive some frivolously tacked-on gameplay extensions and hazy road bumps in the translation.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 211 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Feb 13, 2014
    I'll admit I wasn't as hyped for this when it got announced I just didn't get it or know what the hell the game was like. I watched the animeI'll admit I wasn't as hyped for this when it got announced I just didn't get it or know what the hell the game was like. I watched the anime which I found out was rushed and after finally playing this game for 4 hours straight I really wish I never watched the anime. This game is just that good and the anime kinda spoiled it. This game is unlike any game you've played before. It's similar to ace attorney and virtues las reward and even has some persona elements such as social links. The game is a mystery psychological horror with so many twists and turns and characters you will come to care about. The story is fantastic as well. The plot revolves around 15 kids all who get accepted into this strange school where the student has to "graduate" by killing someone without being caught. It's a wildly emotional and depressing and even downright sad ride at some points. The gameplay is unique and similar to ace attorney in a way. It's hard to describe and better if you are it for yourself. Now I want to cut this review short because I NEED to get back to the game continue the story just know that this game is well worth your time and is one of the best games for vita....period Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2014
    The mystery-solving aspect of this game is way overhyped. This is an interactive novel first, a carnival game second, and is just barely aThe mystery-solving aspect of this game is way overhyped. This is an interactive novel first, a carnival game second, and is just barely a logic puzzle game at all. I played on "Kind", or the middle difficulty, and found that the characters would more or less rub evidence in your face. I gave that a pass and continued to play, curious about the story and how it would play out, but two major problems stuck out for me.

    First, the titular "refutation bullets" that you use to refute false statements aren't used consistently. In some parts of the game, you are meant to use refutation bullets to support true statements. This could have been avoided with some simple rewording so that refutation bullets actually refute things. The way the system is currently designed turns the trials into word association games or "guess the best match" games instead of actually using logic to find contradictions as they relate to the case.

    Second, the timeline segments of trials is not fun and pointless. Basically, once the game has told you for the 1,000th time what happened because you are an idiot, it asks you to put these little pictures in the correct frames in a manga to show for the 1,0001st time what happened. Most of the time that wasn't so bad, but there was at least one timeline where two of the pictures had no discernible order. Like in the trial segment of the game, you are reduced to guessing.

    If you can't trust the system in a logical puzzle game, it's not a logical puzzle game.

    I'm sure people who have played the game are reading this and thinking "yeah well you should have play it on hard, casual1!!1" This only changes the amount of hints you get and increases the difficulty of the carnival minigames. It doesn't change the fact that refutation bullets are illogical (1/4 of the time you use them to support things, not refute things) or that putting clipart in order is lame after you have already reached the conclusion of the trial.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    This automatically became one of my top 3 Vita games after completion. It's very reminiscent of Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, releasedThis automatically became one of my top 3 Vita games after completion. It's very reminiscent of Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, released last year. This is a visual novel type game, like VLR, where you assume the role of Makoto Naegi, a very unassuming boy in a high school meant for the best children in the world. The story is the real draw here but it's highly backed by alot of things that just make it one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had in a long time.
    The game is split into three main parts: A school life portion where you build relationships with the people in the game, the investigation portion to find clues to the identity of the killer, and the trial portion where you take those things and use them to find the killer. The combination of all 3 really is wonderful, even if what you do during the school life portion of the game is not really represented very well elsewhere.
    The main draw of the game though are the other two parts, the investigation and trial parts. Taking alot of cues from Phoenix Wright, the trail portions are the best part of the game, where everything comes together. And, together with a wonderful soundtrack, you really get into what happens during the trials. Now not all trials are great. In fact, I'd definitely they all tend to fall on the easy side for anyone with any experience with these types of games in the past. But the final outcome is always satisfying to see, especially the well done cutscenes signalling the end of the trial. It's a shame some of these characters don't last very long as they all were memorable in their own way and the game does a very good job at giving them life and really making you care about them, especially when some of them end up murdered later on. You really feel like you need to find out who did it, especially when certain characters turn up dead.
    The exploration of the game's world feels a bit stiff and the controls for alot of the game can be frustrating, especially during the trials when you can use the back touchpad for a certain action later on in the game. For someone who rests their fingers on that back pad while holding the system, it can make things frustrating and take up precious time you need to make use of the mechanics the game gives you.
    My final conclusion though is that this is one of the best games for the Vita to date. You obviously have to like Visual Novels to like this game but everything else here is beyond stellar. The ending is also really good and the game did a very good job setting up for the finale. I personally didn't see the end coming till very late in the process, which is great for me. I don't like finding out the true object of the game too early, spoiling the fun later on. I would highly recommend this game to anyone with a Vita. Especially if you like the Zero Escape series, which this game takes a few queues from. Wonderful game and I can't say enough good things about it.
    Full Review »