Wednesday, November 2, 2016

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness Review (Playstation Vita)

Written by Allen Ray Francisco

Game Title: PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness
Genre: Visual Novel
Developer: 5pb
Publisher: NIS America
Also Available On: PS4, Steam (2017)

Having liked the anime a great deal I went into this Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness with high expectations and I'm happy to report that it met them effortlessly. It managed to capture the dark and gritty nature of the anime that hooked me with new characters and story-lines that feel right at home in the anime's universe.

The story takes place in the year 2113 where the Sibyl System determines your future job, records everything you do and can even send you to prison for being mentally ill.This system also reads the "hues" of all people, using that information to determine their Psycho-Pass. If you are marked as a latent criminal it basically means you're screwed and your only hope is to take therapy or go to jail without having done anything. This is the messed up disturbing future that Psycho-Pass presents to you.

In this game you can either start with one of two characters, the impulsive and emotional Takuma Tsurugi who was branded a latent criminal after his childhood friend went missing. He became an Enforcer to get out of prison and have some semblance of a normal life. Nadeshiko Kugatachi is the second new character and she is an Inspector who has amnesia. She works to uncover the mystery of her lost memories as she pieces them together when you navigate through the cases.

Both characters follow the same story But it never really felt all that repetitive due to all their inner thoughts and relationships mixed into it. Of course, there are also lots of choices that changes how the game plays out.

There's a lot of meaning choices in Psycho-Pass, presenting personal and tense situations to resolve. At some points it isn't that clear how these decisions impact the story in the long run, making subsequent playthroughs a tad frustrating and tedious.With that said there's plenty of replayability for those who want to see every arc in the story.

What really stood out to me was the primary antagonist of Pscho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness named Alpha. An android who seeks to rid society of Sibyl, to free people from the over reliance on technology and to be happy. His intentions are good, but his mind is twisted, warped and probably homicidal, having just the right amount of depth to his character to make me constantly question whether I didn't know to either be scared of or to feel sorry for him.

My favorite aspect of Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness was its unrelenting atmosphere. An awesome soundtrack, Anime style visuals and the original Japanese cast all blend together to create a cohesive experience.

Psycho-Pass is filled with great moments that play on your expectations, throwing you into scenarios with absolutely heart-pounding decisions to make, purposely asking me whether or not my actions are right or wrong.

Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is an enjoyable experience that fans of the series should surely pick up, with an interesting cast of characters and tough decisions to make it is definitely worth investing some time in.

Score: 8.5/10

  • Interesting World
  • Enjoyable characters
  • Awesome Antagonist
  • Great Voice Acting

  • Outcomes of decisions are somewhat unclear