It's Overrated and Should've Stopped at the First Game.

I copped Trigger Happy Havoc in 2018 because of a Steam sale, and I spent a week completing it, along with its sequels. I didn't know why I liked the series so much until last year but after replaying the games, I realized that Danganronpa had a concept too good for its execution (pun not intended), and I was only hanging onto the fact that my 50 is down the drain along with the rest of my merch change. It's sort of like mourning your dead child.

The Main Concept's Fine.

I really like the idea of two opposite worlds colliding. One consistent theme of DR throughout each game is "purposeless absurdity v. tact and tradition"... because that's literally Danganronpa's signature style. The executions for example. The executions have no issue showing this abstract side of the series, because sometimes they don't even make sense (Kaito driving through the Earth's core to the other side of the world, Mondo getting turned into butter, etc.) and it's perfectly fitting of reality clashing with the truths of a man in his own selfish world. That's about all that Danganronpa handles the best because the rest of the storytelling elements are shit.

I don't like to preempt my creations with "themes" that'll limit the quality of my story. I never enjoyed the Hope v. Despair theme, since it's essentially the "Good v. Evil" bullshit that's apparently not even deserving of a disguise. In other words, it's forced and puts the rest of DR in this cookiecutter serial. This isn't to say you should hate anything for having a couple tropes, but you certainly don't make it the blueprint of your game. It's a perfect example of Danganronpa's amazing character writing. On a separate issue, it tends to be pretty flimsy with what it chooses to criticize.

In THH, the theme is Hope v. Despair and the lesson is to root for hope over despair. Ok, cheesy but cool. Whatever.

In SDR2, the new theme is accepting the future. Hope and despair is introduced with different definitions, ultimately putting down the first game's message. Wait. Huh.

In V3, the game chews out its players for wanting to see kids die, sucks its own meta dick, and goes on a pretentious tangent about how lying is good because you can use it to find the truth. Huh? What the fuck???

They could've at least been consistent rather than backing out on itself so awkwardly. Oh well. An attempt is an attempt to making something that resembles a story.

The Characters are One-Dimensional.

A pattern I noticed is that most dead characters are either fanfavorites or meant to meet the 6-trial quota, while the living characters people dislike are thrown to the curb because "they didn't contribute to the class trials." I don't want the opinions of fans dictating what isn't the developers' fault, I'm far from giving a fuck. But the fact that it's even a factor to why someone simply likes a character says alot, and it says "I'm using character development to make this death sadder instead of telling a story that I want to tell."

You like Nagito Komaeda because of his unfortunate backstory and talent, which was created to place him in the anti-hero slate that every other mainline game has.

You like Kokichi, because he had to be selfish and bored enough to have incentive to fuck with the rest of the v3 cast, to fill that anti-hero slot each mainline game has.

They don't know how else to make the games interesting, so they need obligatory anti-heroes to rival with the protagonist in a battle of wits when in actuality, every single character had to be just stupid enough to make you look clever.

The rest of the characters have nothing else going on for them besides their ultimates. They have dislikes and likes in their student profiles but other than that, they only ever talk about things that relate to their talents or the aftermath of the class trial, things you would expect. You could say it lacks personal experience.

Conclusion: don't make a visual novel if the characters aren't even characters. It's more respectable if people actually made a game to tell a story rather than make a game just to make a game. Danganronpa's team took their notes on what cast guidelines to recycle for each game and what anime stereotypes to stuff into each character, but what passion comes from a checklist? Go play Ace Attorney or Zero Escape (also made by Spike Chunsoft.)

On another note, isn't it weird how Kaede died from asphyxiation but at the beginning of the execution she was yanked into the air with the same chain? Her neck would've snapped from the start.