Visual Novels

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Steins;Gate was originally developed by Nitroplus and 5pb as a Japanese visual novel before it was released on various platforms including the Xbox 360, PC, PS3, PSP and the Android. Fans of the time-travel anime series now have reason to rejoice as JAST USA have recently published the PC version in North America that are available digitally or as a physical limited edition (that includes the game disc, manual, fanbook and member pins with display box).  

The game follows Rintaro Okabe, the eccentric scientist known by his friends as “Okarin” and his adventures around his coveted Future Gadget Laboratory that is home to many of his unique inventions. He is involuntary caught between worlds as he is able to time travel and retain memories of events that have never or not yet occurred. The game progresses as you interact with your friends Miyuri, Daru, Kurisu “Christina” Makise, Faris, Ruka and many others in Akihabara in Summer 2010.

Multiple endings are prevalent in this game and are heavily dependent upon personal choices. Replying or ignoring text messages as well as phone calls may influence the path you are and the direct consequences of your actions. Achievements can also be found in the game and are awarded when the player fulfills certain criteria accordingly. These actions are not mutually exclusive as they will often occur in the middle of dialogues and conversations with others. It is recommended that players save often so they can unlock all achievements and alternate endings to achieve full completion of the game.

The setbacks in Steins;Gate would be the pacing as you will need to acquaint yourself with the Phone Trigger system proficiently. There are slangs, phrases and terms you will need to remember that are easily forgotten as the game is filled with text that may give players the feeling of “information overload”.  Moreover, the pacing tends to be quite slow in the first half of the game that may drag players down before it picks up considerably in the latter half.

Steins;Gate is not an easy game to play as many choices have to be made and the inability to make calculated decision could immediately result in bad endings and the death of your friends. Though challenging, the game is very accurate, consistent and true to the anime series that is sure to make series fans happy and to feel “right at home”. Time travel has never been more thought provoking or engaging in a visual novel in a while that makes Steins;Gate a mandatory purchase.

 

PROS – Great story, Engaging characters, Immersive Soundtrack

CONS – Pacing Issues, Steep Difficulty

 

SCORE – 87%

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