Psycho Pass: Mandatory Happiness Review Thread

cj_iwakura

Member

Also coming out for Vita and PC.

Metacritic
(70)



RPGFan
(80%)

I enjoyed my time with Mandatory Happiness, although I came away from it feeling a bit sullen. Licensed games rarely tend to add much to their individual franchises, but Psycho-Pass' creator, Urobuchi Gen, got his start writing visual novels for Nitro+, the studio that paired up with 5pb to develop critical darling Steins;Gate. Taking that into consideration, Psycho-Pass and 5pb seem like a match made in heaven, but the result of this pairing is ultimately, well, just another licensed game.

Though Mandatory Happiness is an above-average visual novel in its own right, it woefully underutilizes its setting and suffers from mediocre writing. A little more love could've made this one an essential visual novel, but as it stands, it's still a pretty good cyberpunk adventure.

Keengamer

(9.4/10)

Psycho-Pass Mandatory Happiness offers an amazing story, full of captivating moments, exciting plot twists, emotional cases, and a constant tempo that prevents it from ever feeling slow. The choices you'll make carry a great influence on the story, and you feel it every time you're asked how to proceed with a situation. Although reading subtitled texts will take up most of the time, the game presents the setting and characters in an intriguing way with the constant switching of them regardless of the conversation. The uniqueness found within every scene of talking, action, and investigating provids the depiction of a living world inside the story.

Twinfinite
(4/5)
For the most part, Mandatory Happiness is a Psycho-Pass game made specifically for Psycho-Pass fans. The story has no real bearing on the overall plot of the series, but it definitely adds a lot to the compelling universe, and even provides useful explanations for some lore points brought up in the TV show (hyper oats, anyone?). Mandatory Happiness is a great supplement to the already fantastic Psycho-Pass story.

Push Square
(7/10)
Even if you haven't seen the Psycho-Pass television series before, Mandatory Happiness does a good enough job of making it clear what's going on to be enjoyable. It tells an engaging and thought-provoking story that deals with some heavyweight and uncomfortable subjects, and one that poses plenty of ethical dilemmas along the way. If you can get past the borderline non-existent gameplay then the narrative will probably keep you entertained for a dozen hours or so, although it may leave you wondering if this story would have been better told over a few episodes of the anime instead.

Haven't seen any other major ones yet, I'll edit if anyone has any.
 

Saphirax

Member
Oh, reviews are out already? Nice.

That Push Square review is a little odd. Seems like the reviewer hasn't played a lot of VNs.
 

N° 2048

Member
Thinking of picking this up because, well, it's been pretty dry on my Vita lately.

Can someone spoiler tag how long the game is?
 

fvng

Member
Sadly, this is starting to become a trend for the site it seems. :(

I always hated when a publication's official review went with someone who either was unfamiliar with the genre or outright hated it. Who would be a better judge of FFXV? Someone who loves JRPGs or someone who plays call of duty all day?
 

Aters

Member
I really don't trust reviews on VNs, like, at all.

This thread reminds me I still need to watch second season some day.
 
Oh, reviews are out already? Nice.

That Push Square review is a little odd. Seems like the reviewer hasn't played a lot of VNs.

Ahh, not this Polygon/Doom bullshit again. They should've hired someone who's actually good at the genre to review the game.
 
Ahh, not this Polygon/Doom bullshit again. They should've hired someone who's actually good at the genre to review the game.

So someone literate? I don't think the review was that bad... :p

Seriously though - agreed. The Push Square review bemoans this visual novel lacking gameplay 'like Zero Escape and Danganronpa', clearly misunderstanding what a VN is and that those games are genre hybrids. You don't need a VN expert to review it, but please get someone who understands what the genre is and isn't.
 

Rektash

Member
I really don't trust reviews on VNs, like, at all.

This thread reminds me I still need to watch second season some day.

There is this general issue in gaming journalism that most reviewers have no clue about visual novels, resulting in most VNs scoring inconsistently and all over the place.

Why make a review if you don't have competent people who are up to the task?

VN reviews are mostly useless because of it. Right now I'd argue the popularity indicator on vndb is more useful than the average VN review (and the vndb popularity rating is a pretty terrible metric for quality as far as I am concerned).
 
So someone literate? I don't think the review was that bad... :p

Seriously though - agreed. The Push Square review bemoans this visual novel lacking gameplay 'like Zero Escape and Danganronpa', clearly misunderstanding what a VN is and that those games are genre hybrids. You don't need a VN expert to review it, but please get someone who understands what the genre is and isn't.

It was a joke. Cos, y'know, you can't really be good or bad at visual novels. You just read them.
 
I keep forgetting about this. I should buy it to support VN's on Vita, but I haven't gotten around to watching the anime yet and it's getting a bit late in the day, so I'll probably pick it up down the line. Looks very good though.
 

wrowa

Member
You can definitely play this even if you are new to Psycho Pass. I only watched a couple episodes way back when the anime was new in Japan and yet I never felt lost or confused in Mandatory Happiness.

I always hated when a publication's official review went with someone who either was unfamiliar with the genre or outright hated it. Who would be a better judge of FFXV? Someone who loves JRPGs or someone who plays call of duty all day?

Both perspectives can be interesting. Hearing what a CoD fan thinks of a new major JRPG would certainly be a more interesting take than getting 50 reviews by JRPG fans that all write pretty much the same stuff, at least.

Of course, in this day and age you'd have people crying because a reviewer drags the metacritic score down or whatever, but generally this kind of variety isn't a bad thing.
 
I always hated when a publication's official review went with someone who either was unfamiliar with the genre or outright hated it. Who would be a better judge of FFXV? Someone who loves JRPGs or someone who plays call of duty all day?

Well, that's not the case here. The review concludes by making a recommendation and knowing the site's audience.

Not everyone reading Push Square is going to be familiar with the genre, so there's absolutely nothing wrong with writing "if you can get over the lack of interactivity" in the conclusion, which is a point that's obviously true of the game and relevant to the people playing the game. I don't think it infers that the writer has no knowledge of the genre at all.

As for the emphasised text in my quote, why does it have to be a choice between two extremes? The best reviewers are the ones who either have knowledge of many genres and are able to gauge how well a game sets out to do what it sets out to do, while also giving more unconventional games within a genre a fair shake.
 

N° 2048

Member
You can definitely play this even if you are new to Psycho Pass. I only watched a couple episodes way back when the anime was new in Japan and yet I never felt lost or confused in Mandatory Happiness.

Good to know, I was interested in the game before even knowing there was a anime but I honestly have no time to watch it, so I won't and will just play the VN.
 

faridmon

Member
So where does this take place in the canon?

I am one of the handful people who did enjoy the second season.

No you don't.

The second season is awful. Genuinely awful.

Just skip it and watch the movie.

Its not that bad. It did felt stupid by the end, but the tension and the mystery was still there and the atmosphere remains to be great.
 

cj_iwakura

Member
So where does this take place in the canon?

I am one of the handful people who did enjoy the second season.

I believe it's during the first season.

I enjoyed S2 up until the final episode, since it was clear the writers weren't allowed to change the status quo at all.
 

Jawmuncher

Member
It's still hilarious that the Xbox One Japan exclusive game, finally comes to the west on all these consoles BUT Xbox One. Though I understand why, the anime fanbase is on PS4 in the west for the most part. Outside the real big stuff like DBZ, One Piece, Naruto, AoT, etc. The only anime game on PS4 that I could see doing fine on Xbox One are the Sword Art Online games.

Regardless, I think i'll end up picking it up at some point on vita.
 

AniHawk

Member
It's still hilarious that the Xbox One Japan exclusive game, finally comes to the west on all these consoles BUT Xbox One. Though I understand why, the anime fanbase is on PS4 in the west for the most part. Outside the real big stuff like DBZ, One Piece, Naruto, AoT, etc. The only anime game on PS4 that I could see doing fine on Xbox One are the Sword Art Online games.

Regardless, I think i'll end up picking it up at some point on vita.

sad thing is - the game could have come out for xb1 most likely, if it wasn't for microsoft's minimum order quantities. microsoft's as bad with moqs as nintendo is with manufacturing times and royalty rates.
 

Shizuka

Member
Reviewing visual novels will always be tricky, since you'll need to know how familiar to the genre the reviewer is. As someone who's familiar with the genre, as some of you may know, I felt the game was underwhelming and felt half-baked.

The credits just rolled in and I got the
true ending
. I know I was expecting a lot from the game, but I honestly felt let down. I'll write my review tomorrow (it's in another language, so I think it won't be of use to a lot of people here), but I think this post summarizes my feelings toward this game.
 

trikster40

Member
I'm trying to decide between the Vita and PS4 versions. I'll probably play through it quicker on my Vita, but was wondering if there are any differences? Anybody played either version yet?
 

Jawmuncher

Member
sad thing is - the game could have come out for xb1 most likely, if it wasn't for microsoft's minimum order quantities. microsoft's as bad with moqs as nintendo is with manufacturing times and royalty rates.

Forgot all about that. Wouldn't be surprised if that was the issue.
 

Saphirax

Member
Reviewing visual novels will always be tricky, since you'll need to know how familiar to the genre the reviewer is. As someone who's familiar with the genre, as some of you may know, I felt the game was underwhelming and felt half-baked.

The credits just rolled in and I got the
true ending
. I know I was expecting a lot from the game, but I honestly felt let down. I'll write my review tomorrow (it's in another language, so I think it won't be of use to a lot of people here), but I think this post summarizes my feelings toward this game.

Stop breaking my heart, Shizuka!
 

N° 2048

Member
Just started the anime...love it. Darker than I thought. The music is ace as well.

Will try to finish at least Season 1 before I play the game tomorrow.

 
The Madoka syndrome.
Huh? If anything, both the tv and PARTICULARLY the movie were about radically changing the status quo.


Also this page can't get enough PSA's Psycho Pass lives and dies by the quality of the world building and writing. The reason season two is so misaligned is that the original writer didn't touch it.
 

Mediking

Member
By the way, the game does spoil the first season of the anime, if you play it before watching it.

I tried watching PPass and it was pretty cool in the beginning but I suddenly lost interest for some reason... I can't remember why....
 
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