- System : Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, PC
- Release Date : August 25, 2015 (NA for PSV and PS3)
- Developer/Publisher : 5pb., Nitroplus/ PQube
- Main Series : Steins;Gate
Steins;Gate is a Japanese science-fiction visual novel developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus. The story follows a group of students as they discover and develop technology that gives them the means to change the past. Like other visual novel, this game has many branch story with other female characters and also an unique systems for making choices.
You can watch the trailer below
Okabe Rintaro — aka Okarin — is an eccentric college student who dreams of conspiracy and chaos. Adopting the persona of a mad scientist, he spends his time developing oddball gadgets with his friends in their makeshift laboratory. One day, they accidentally discover that one of their inventions can send emails into the past. In other words, they have created a time machine. SERN, John Titor, the IBN 5100, the Butterfly Effect, and the 11 theories of time travel — when chance brings these elements together in Akihabara, Japan, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
The story of Steins;Gate were interesting and funny. The story starts with heavy theory about time travel but with light mood with otaku easter eggs, made me enjoyed this game. Until in the middle of the story the story was getting darker and darker. The worst part was the branch point to true ending forced me to watch the goriest part twice, but thanks for skip feature I could skip it.
The story’s protagonist. A freshman at Tokyo Denki University. More than a little eccentric, Okabe – aka Okarin – fancies himself a mad scientist on a quest to overthrow the shadowy Organization and plunge the world into chaos. He likes to talk to himself on his phone, give people nicknames, and rant about conspiracies, but seems blessedly unaware of the strange looks this behavior attracts. Okabe leads the Future Gadget Laboratory, a small group consisting of himself and his (only) two friends. They spend their time inventing useless gadgets and giving them “cool” names.
A girl genius who graduated from university at the age of seventeen. Her research on the brain’s memory retention system has earned critical acclaim in the scientific community. Her accomplishments in spite of her youth have exposed Kurisu to the jealousy of those who consider themselves her betters. As a result, she has adopted an acerbic attitude that functions to hide her vulnerabilities. At heart, Kurisu is a very curious girl who loves science and can’t resist an interesting experiment.
A sixteen-year-old girl who has been friends with Okarin since childhood. Mayuri is a cheerful, carefree, optimistic girl who always wears a bright smile. She’s not much for science talk, but as long as everyone’s having fun, it’s okay with her. Mayuri dislikes conflict. Any tension between her friends will put a frown on her face. She wishes that she could do more to keep things upbeat, but she lacks the ability to diffuse arguments before they begin.
A friendly, athletic girl who loves cycling and works part-time at the Braun Tube Workshop below the lab. Suzuha often comes across as overly familiar, but in truth she maintains a carefully measured distance from everyone. When something captures her interest, however, Suzuha’s personality changes dramatically and she becomes aggressive and relentless. Suzuha dislikes asking others for help, and will not reveal her own problems to anyone unless absolutely necessary. She also has a tendency to use uncommon words in casual conversation, possibly on purpose.
Mayuri’s classmate. Soft-spoken, gentle, and polite to everyone, Luka is the very model of traditional Japanese femininity — except that he’s a guy. Luka is extremely shy and has difficulty asserting himself, which coupled with his trusting nature makes him easily influenced by Okarin’s delusions.
A high school girl who works with Mayuri at MayQueen+Nyan2, a maid cafe in Akiba. Faris is her professional name. Faris is a playful girl who knows exactly how to wrap men around her finger. She speaks only NyanNyanian, a sickeningly cute variety of catspeak.
Okarin’s classmate and friend since high school. Itaru — aka Daru — is a hardcore otaku whose tastes range from anime girls to maid cosplayers and beyond. He speaks in memes and can’t resist using sexual innuendo whenever he gets the chance. His skills as a hacker and programmer are invaluable to Okarin’s efforts, though he responds to most of Okarin’s requests with mild disdain. At the same time, he trusts Okarin as a close friend.
A part-time editor whom Okarin encounters in Akiba. Moeka is practically glued to her phone and cannot function without it. Even when face to face, she prefers to communicate by email. This annoys Okarin to no end. She is searching for the legendary retro PC known as the IBN 5100.
many female characters almost make this game a Otome game than pure Visual Novel. Even the endings made Okabe ended up with the chosen female character. The romance part just occur when the I reach the ending, because the focus part of the story is time travel. Some characters was hit and miss with the mood of story and I found that annoying. Even I couldn’t stand with Okabe sometimes and had to skip his dialogue. Fortunately, Okabe’s characterization is getting better in the end.
Steins;Gate using Phone Triggers system, Okabe’s phone take effect to make choice that affect with flow of the story. Answer or ignore calls, send and receive emails also affect your relationships with the other characters. This an example when Phone Trigger occur.
You’re in the middle of a conversation.
Suddenly, your phone rings. You have mail.
If you choose to ignore it, the conversation continues.
If you choose to reply, the scene changed
This game didn’t have a tutorial about this and made me miss many calls and mail. Until I realized that the time to use Phone Trigger was when the icon signal showed in the text box. The deadline to use the Phone was also very short. Like when I wanted to reply the email when conversations end but I couldn’t reply the email anymore. This systems was unique but made me confuse sometimes. Many times I had to load and skip to find the right moment to use the Phone.
Graphic and Sound
I like the character art and design in Steins;Gate, especially the sprite art. With many cute-type character, I felt like they out-of-place in this sci-fi Visual Novel. Maybe because they included otaku trend in Japan. The music was also good with opening song and many ending themes. The pieces of funny moment or the thriller moment really match with the music and obviously the voice acting was really great for all characters.
The most unique part of this game was the Phone Trigger. The moment you accept or Ignore calls affected the ending you will reached. Even you ignore all of it, you will reached Normal Ending or one of character ending in the middle of story. What kind of reply you had to choose also affected the ending. This game also provided TIPS, a dictionary menu that explained difficult word. This really helps a lot if you didn’t understand about physic and otaku world.
Because this is Visual Novel, it won’t be weird have many ending. You have to replay again to achieve new ending. But it never necessary to replay from the beginning, the branch part was in the middle of the story. You could have many save before choosing. To get 100% achievement you have to reply the different email, so replay it’s a must.
+Unique gameplay for visual novel
+Beautiful characters art
-Ugly text in the phone
-Skip feature skip too fast
FINAL SCORE: 3.6/5
Steins;Gate mixing otaku environment with sci-fi which is weird but also interesting in the same time. If you understand you will find it funny, also it also have many pun from real organization or people. Time travel plot will always have one forced plot to make everything reasonable. Steins;Gate has it but didn’t make me stop playing to the end. Steins;Gate still have interesting plot about time travel that I never seen before.