Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happinessby Mikhail Jan 31, 2018 | 1 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews 8 rate Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a visual novel which features a story that runs parallel to the anime Psycho-Pass. You will take the role of either Inspector Nadeshiko Kutaguchi or Enforcer Takuma Tsurugi. Go through a thrilling adventure, make difficult choices, interact with the anime’s cast, and unravel Alpha, an AI’s mysteries. Play Now Similar Games Played
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Japanese visual novels may be a niche genre in the west, but they are generally sought after, especially by anime fans. Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is one of the many titles brought overseas. It is developed by Japanese game studio 5pb, and published and localized for western audiences by NIS America. As its name suggests, it happens in the universe of the Psycho-Pass anime with a story that runs parallel to its plot. So yes, you will only get zero to mild anime spoilers by playing its game.
The game is currently available as a free PlayStation Plus title for North American users, and can be played on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. With that said, is it worth a playthrough? If you like story-based games, it might be your cup of tea. But anyway, let’s check out what it has to offer:
As said earlier, the game’s backdrop is the Psycho-Pass universe in Japan, and if you’re familiar with it, you know how it sounds like both a utopia and a dystopia. Basically, people’s life choices and careers are now decided by an AI called Sybil. You can’t exactly chase a career if it determines that you’re not cut out for it. Moreover, the AI monitors one’s mental health, and if yours shows any deterioration, you’ll be in trouble.
In addition, the citizenry heavily rely on AI technology. There are self-driving cars, automatically-operated homes, and even holographic interior designs and clothes. Even the police force relies on Sybil. Instead of guns, they are issued “Dominators” a handgun like weapon which checks the “crime coefficient” and decides whether a target is a “latent criminal” or not. If one’s numbers are over a hundred they’ll be a subject for “enforcement”. Make it over 300, and the Dominator goes into lethal mode, making the enforcers and inspectors to execute the target.
With that aside, the game coincides the timeline of the anime’s first 12 episodes with a story that is set apart from the main plot. Without diving into spoilers, you’re not here to unravel Sybil’s mysteries as Akane Tsunemori. Instead, you will be choosing to play between two characters. These are the stone-faced and stoic Inspector Nadeshiko Kutaguchi who is missing some fragments of her memories and the hot-headed and impulsive Enforcer Takuma Tsurugi.
The main antagonist is Alpha, a naive adolescent-like character with an innocent goal: to make people happy. Unfortunately though, he’s not aware that he’s actually causing despair and trouble for the people around hi. Without diving deep into spoilers, his actions get him into conflict with the CID, or Criminal Investigation Department, the group our protagonists are working in.
Considering that it’s a visual novel, the game is 90% reading and 10% making difficult choices. If you’re the type of person who likes to read, this game is definitely for you. However, if you’re the type who hates it, you will find it boring. Apart from character interactions and dialogue, you will also be given files and reading materials which lets you explore and learn about Psycho-Pass’ world.
There is no real gameplay to speak of, aside from the choices you make. These involve tough decisions like “charging into a scene” without thinking or picking in-depth analysis instead of a haphazardly done one. In any case, the game lets you suffer the consequences of your choices. For example, if you respond to a scene late, the victim may be harmed in the process. In addition, the story may also end abruptly if you make a bad choice. In any case, you get to decide how it goes and with two playable characters, replayability is assured. After all, you’ll get two different perspectives due to their differing backgrounds and personalities.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is single-player game with no multiplayer capabilities. However, if you somehow end up liking the game, the anime has a dedicated subreddit and you would want to check it out.
The graphics and character textures are among the best we’ve seen in visual novels. Background designs stand out, and the dialogue boxes along with the text on them are easy to read. Plus, the characters are fully-voiced with their original anime voice actors, like the angelic Kana Hanazawa reprising her role as Akane Tsunemori. Only the Japanese dub is available though. Regardless if you’re playing in the PlayStation 4 or Vita, you’ll be treated to a great visual and auditory experience.
Overall, Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a great introductory visual novel for newbies. For veterans, it’s a must-play title to add to their collection. The story is enthralling, and you will feel tension you would just by reading. The localization is also perfect: NIS America did an outstanding job in this regard. Finally, the game’s theme revolves around what true happiness is. After you finish the game, you will get to think about what it truly means and if it’s worth chasing. It’ll make you contemplate, proving that it’s an outstanding visual novel.