Steins;Gate
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Steins;Gate started off quite interesting, and had me hooked with its unique story, but by the end I was literally on the edge of my seat. Although it is quite a long game, there is literally never a dull moment. The use of a mobile phone to make choices, and branch the story is a stroke of genius, and with six different endings there is a lot of replay value. If you want to experience a visual novel with plenty of action, drama, suspense and outstanding characters, then don’t miss out on Steins;Gate.

Gameplay: Not only is the story excellent, but there is actually a surprising amount of choices for a visual novel.

Graphics: The artwork and character designs are beautiful.

Sound: The original Japanese voice acting is very good, and the music is equally great

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Steins;Gate

Developer: 5pb. / Nitroplus | Publisher: Jast USA |Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Visual Novel / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Format: JAST USA / Steam

Steins;Gate takes place during the summer of 2010, and is set in the Tokyo district of Akihabara. The protagonist, and narrator of the story, Okabe Rintaro, is a bit of an oddball that fancies himself to be a mad scientist. Okabe has constructed an elaborate backstory for himself, but for all his delusions of grandeur and penchant for conspiracies he is actually just an 18 year old student at Tokyo Denki University.

Together with his scatterbrained childhood friend, Shiina Mayuri, and fellow university student, Daru, Okabe spends most of his time hanging out at the “Future Gadget Laboratory.” The laboratory is actually just the space above a CRT shop that Okabe is renting for cheap, but the trio actually manages to invent a machine that can send messages to the past. This accidental discovery sets in motion a chain of events that is more incredible than any of the convoluted flights of imagination that Okabe is fond of indulging in.

Steins;Gate is a visual novel, so to say any more about the plot would be like spoiling a good book. I was fortunate enough to have never watched or read anything about the game, so I experienced everything it had to offer without any preconceived notions or expectations. The game was originally released in 2009, so it has taken quite a while for the official English translation, but it has been more than worth the wait. I have played some great visual novels in my time, but Steins;Gate is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best.

The game actually starts off a little slow, but the characters are so great that it is impossible not to get caught up in their story. Okabe is quite an eccentric character, but the way that he reverts to his mad scientist persona or bestows people with unwanted nicknames actually makes him quite memorable if not endearing. All of the characters are really fleshed out, and while some conform to the usual stereotypes, they really grow on you as the game unfolds. This is all thanks to the outstanding writing and great translation. The game promises over 30 hours of story and this is certainly no idle boast. To unlock all six different endings, and view all the branches that the story has, actually takes a lot longer. The amount of text that had to be translated is quite amazing, and I was impressed throughout by how well it was done.

Steins;Gate uses a very unique art style, where the hair and clothes of the characters has an almost grungy texture. The character designs are great, and while most of the game is set in and around Akhibara, there are still plenty of locations. Animation is mostly restricted to the facial expressions, but this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the artwork. The audio is very good, with quality voice acting that can be appreciated even if you don’t understand a word of Japanese. The game also has a nice selection of background music that fit the mood of each scene perfectly.

Unlike most visual novels, where you usually have to make a choice between two options in order to branch the storyline, Steins;Gate employs a different technique. Okabe carries his mobile phone with him at all times and constantly receives phone calls or emails. You can answer or ignore these calls, and reply to certain highlighted parts of the emails, which then influences the ending you get. It is a very unique and unobtrusive method of making choices, and there were times where I almost didn’t realize that I could change events by opening up the phone and making a call.

While the game starts off very light-hearted, it soon becomes mysterious before taking a very dark turn towards the end. Steins;Gate certainly knows how to make you care for characters before placing them in peril. I was impressed by the growth that the lead character shows throughout the game, and even some of the “minor” characters are very memorable. The game isn’t afraid to inject a lot of slang, otaku terminology, and even scientific principles into conversations, but come with a handy “hints” section that serves as a dictionary. Although there isn’t any outright sex or nudity, the game has enough blood, violence and language to ensure that it is suitable for mature audiences only.

Overall, there is very little that I can fault about Steins;Gate. If you are a fan of visual novels, then you really have no excuse to pick this one up. It offers many hours of engrossing and intriguing gameplay that will keep you hooked right to the end. Despite the length of the game, it also offers a lot of replay value with the six different endings to unlock and even a bunch of achievements. If you want a visual novel with a really in-depth storyline and memorable characters we simply cannot recommend Steins;Gate enough. It is quite obvious that a lot of effort went into bringing this title to English speaking audiences, and for that the publishers deserve a lot of respect.

System Requirements

  • Windows XP (32-bit only) / Vista (32-bit only) / 7 / 8
  • CPU: (Required) Pentium 4 / (Recommended) Pentium 4 3GHz, Core2Duo
  • Harddrive Space: 3.0GB
  • Monitor Resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Graphics: 64MB VRAM, DirectX 9.0c
  • Windows XP (32-bit only) / Vista (32-bit only) / 7 / 8
  • CPU: (Required) Pentium 4 / (Recommended) Pentium 4 3GHz, Core2Duo
  • Harddrive Space: 3.0GB
  • Monitor Resolution: 1024 x 768
  • Graphics: 64MB VRAM, DirectX 9.0c

Related posts

Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons

Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons

Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons is another game that retains all the addictive elements of Solitaire, but mixes in some other cool features as well. The fantasy setting is great as it allows for plenty of varied backgrounds, while the use of items and abilities during levels keeps things interesting. With 400 rounds to conquer this is a game that will keep players hooked for ages. Gameplay: The game is addictive and poses quite a challenge on the Hard difficulty setting. Graphics: The widescreen support is nice and the game features tons of backgrounds. Sound: The soundtrack is relaxing, if a little melancholic, and the voice acting is also quite good.

Need for Speed™ Rivals

Need for Speed™ Rivals

Need For Speed: Rivals fuses some of the best elements of Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted. The exotic cars and scenic open-world setting of Rivals make for exhilarating races and chases while the ability to play as either racers or cops adds some variety to the mix. The locked framerate can be overcome, but it's still a baffling inclusion and the heavy emphasis on online play will also be an annoyance to solo players. However, despite the flaws, this is still a great entry in the series and a lot of fun to play. Gameplay: Fast and frantic, but some players might find it a little too easy. Graphics: The Frostbite 3 engine is used to great effect in this game. Sound: Decent soundtrack, overly dramatic voice acting, and good sound effects.

Nurse Love Addiction

Nurse Love Addiction

Nurse Love Addiction might look like a typical yuri visual novel at first glance, but it actually has a lot more to offer. The story starts off very light, but depending on the choices you make and route you take it can become quite dark. It is also one of those games where it is better to experience the plot twists and turns for yourself instead of having them spoiled for you, so play the game and find out what all the fuss is about. Gameplay: Features a branching storyline with plenty of different endings to reach. Graphics: No animation and limited locations, but the art style is very good. Sound: Full voice acting and a great soundtrack.

Stonekeep

Stonekeep

It was a very long wait for gamers back when Stonekeep was first announced until it was released, but it was also worth it. The game is fun to play, although some role playing purists might bemoan the lack of character customization. Stonekeep features a long quest, with plenty of great characters, but is hampered somewhat by slightly tedious combat and endless corridors that look the same. If you don’t mind the slow pace and the fact that the visuals are definitely showing their age, then you will have a lot of fun with Stonekeep. Gameplay: A fun dungeon crawler with a better than average storyline. Graphics: Obviously dated now, but back in its time the enemies and special effects were brilliant. Sound: The voice acting is surprisingly good and the music is nice and atmospheric.

Tested on Humans: Escape Room

Tested on Humans: Escape Room

Tested on Humans follows in the same escape room footsteps of its predecessor, Palindrome Syndrome. However, instead of the science fiction environments of the first game, ToH is a more grounded experience. Players take control of Alex, a woman who finds herself confined to a cell in what appears to be a medical facility. To avoid the fate of her fellow test subjects, Alex must solve several different puzzles that will ultimately lead to her freedom. The puzzles are challenging without being too obscure and the overall presentation is very good for an indie title. If you are a puzzle fan who enjoys thinking out of the box, then Tested on Humans comes highly recommended. Gameplay: The puzzles are challenging and varied. Graphics: The setting is more down-to-earth compared to Palindrome Syndrome, but still good. Sound: The soundtrack is great and the voice acting is decent.

Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2 is an epic game that will keep you busy for ages as you unlock all its secrets. Everything about the original has been polished and improved so be sure to give this one a try. Gameplay: A stellar improvement over the original. Graphics: Very detailed. Sound: Really brings the game to life.

Leave a comment

one × 1 =