PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness
Top Critic Average
This mild sense of disappointment at Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness' production values can't obscure the fact that its most important component, its writing, succeeds, and largely captures what made the anime feel special. It may not exceed or even meet its source material's heights, but it does it justice, which is, considering Psycho-Pass' world, more than can be said for most cases.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a great introduction for the players that are not used to the visual novel genre. Its story has some Minority Report elements and it is without a doubt the strongest aspect of the game.
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Whether you’ve been a fan of Psycho-Pass for years, or you hadn’t even heard of the series until you saw this review, Mandatory Happiness is well worth checking out. Though you can play it as a newcomer, it’s a far more rewarding experience if you’ve watched the anime.
While mostly appealing to fans of the original series, Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is able to present an immersive world and appealing narrative to newcomers - but come prepared to learn.
Established fans of Psycho-Pass can revel in spending another few hours with their favorite characters and might even be considered a mandatory assignment for those interested in the CID.
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.
It could be argued that Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is not, in a traditional sense, a game, but even so it’s unbelievably entertaining. Story gamers will be in heaven, and fans of the anime are sure to find it just as delightful. I’ve never even seen the anime and I definitely found my own happiness within the stories I experienced.
If you’re a fan of the show but still on the fence for this one because of its status as a visual novel, I highly recommend that you pick it up for its story. For the most part, Mandatory Happiness is a Psycho-Pass game made specifically for Psycho-Pass fans.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a visual novel that kept me interested through its characters, world, and story, while constantly engaged by the player choices impacting on the plot. There’s a bit of information overload at times if you haven’t seen the anime, but that shouldn’t be enough to put anyone off.
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness is a decent example of game from a niche genre. Just don't expect to be doing much more than advancing through dialogue screens and you'll enjoy yourself.