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Spike Details High Speed Detective Action Game Dangan-ronpa

Requirement for graduating from school for elites is murder.


Spike shared details today on its new PSP detective action game that has the slightly odd name of "Dangan-ronpa."

Dangan-ronpa's full name is Dangan-ronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei. The "Dangan-ronpa" part of the name is, according to an English press release from Spike, meant to mean "winning an argument with a bullet." The rest of the name translates to "Academy of Hope and High School Students of Despair."

(Note: Just because Spike sent out an English press release does not mean that the game is confirmed for release outside of Japan yet.)

The game is set in a high school for the extreme elites. Past students from this school have advanced to the highest levels of their respective fields. In addition to elite students, the school accepts just one average student, chosen by raffle to have the "fate of the elite."

And so, 15 students arrive at the school's entrance ceremony. This includes main character Makoto Naegi, this year's lucky raffle winner.

Something strange happens to Makoto when he comes to the school, though. At the entrance, he suddenly faints. When he awakens, he finds himself in something that resembles a school, except the floors are dirty and windows are barred. It feels like a prison.

The other freshmen are there too. A bear-like person called Mono-Bear, claiming to be the principal, tells the students, "You will live here for the rest of your lives. If you want to graduate from the school, you will have to betray your friends. That is, you will have to kill someone."

It looks at first like no one wants to kill anyone else. However, someone does end up being killed. And now, you have to figure out who's the perpetrator.

The fifteen students, and Mono-Bear.

Dangan-ronpa's genre is "high speed detective action." The game promises to fuse the detective adventure genre with action elements.

In the investigation parts, you gather evidence to help understand the crime. This involves speaking with your fellow students and investigating suspicious locations. Evidence that you find is stored with you as "Kotodama," or "Word Bullets."

After your investigations are complete, you advance to the judgement section. As the students make their statements, you'll have to search for inconsistencies. Discover something, and you must select the appropriate Word Bullet to call the student out.

The judgement section is where the action elements come into play. The game has a variety of special modes for this area, including a "Machine Gun Talk Battle" mode where you and your opponent exchange quick comebacks, and a mode with shooting elements. Spike promises further details on this particular area of the game in a later update.

In the end, if you properly determine the killer, the killer ends up being killed as punishment. However, if you make a mistake and point out the wrong killer, the real killer ends up graduating from the school while everyone else, including yourself, gets killed.

Spike has some experienced talent from the detective genre working on Dangan-ronpa. The game scenario is being headed up by Kazutaka Kodaka, who previously worked on novels based off the Detective Saburo Jinguji (aka Jake Hunter) series and also oversaw the scenario and trick component for DS's Detective Conan & Kindaichi Shounen. The game's character designer is Rui Komatsuzaki.

The game uses a visual technique called "2.5D Motion Graphics." This technique blends 2D and 3D. The school itself is a 3D space, but characters and objects are 2D. You'll be able to explore the school in full 3D while interacting with the 2D character objects.

You can get a taste for the visual style in this promotion movie that Spike has shared:

Dangan-ronpa is due for release on November 25.

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