There are certain things you never knew you wanted, right up until they’re thrust right in front of your face. For example, being mocked by a homicidal teddy bear while on trial for murder is not something I’d ever considered experiencing before. Turns out though, it’s a blast.
Despite having been out since October last year in Japan and Asia, the Danganronpa VR experience has only just made its way to North America and Europe. The game, which has the full title of Cyber Danganronpa VR: The Class Trial (which is, admittedly a bit of a mouthful) is a short, but sweet experience which features a segment from one of the game’s signature class trials. The experience is aimed at fans of the series, and drops you into the courtroom surrounded by the classmates of the first game and of course, Monokuma the teddy bear.
Danganronpa is a great fit in VR and seeing the text bubbles and anime art style pop up in 3D space is brilliant. By using the Dualshock 4’s motion controls to aim a cross hair, the goal is to shoot down false statements presented by the other characters. While the game play is the same as we’ve seen before, having it all play out around you really draws you into the world.
As a fan of the series (you can read my review here), it was a real treat to see the characters I had grown to love over the course of the first game standing in the room with me. One thing the VR version adds is the way the characters bat down each others statements. Each character jumps into the centre and shatters the worlds right before your eyes. This adds a new dynamic and a sense of physicality to the series which only bolsters the overall experience.
The demo ends with one of the series’ wonderfully over the top execution sequences. There’s a new twist here though in that you are the one being executed. I won’t spoil it here but will say that the game ends in true Danganronpa fashion.
Cyber Danganronpa VR: The Class Trial only lasts around 10 minutes but is a great proof of concept for what a VR component to Danganronpa could be. Hopefully it’s a sign that a VR add-on could be in the works, perhaps as DLC for the third game, which released in Japan this year.
In the meantime, this experience is free for those with a PSVR headset. If you’re a Danganronpa fan with a PSVR headset, you’ll definitely get a kick out of Cyber Danganronpa VR: The Class Trial.