Monday, December 7, 2015

Steins;Gate Review (PlayStation Vita)

"Woven through time, a man seeks redemption."

Game Title: Steins;Gate
Genre: Visual Novel
Publisher: PQube Ltd.

Steins;Gate isn't you typical run-of-the-mill visual novel. It doesn't feature any action scenes, romance segments, or even an overt environment to reel the audience in. Instead, it relies on its well versed and deep-seated storyline, well balanced character development, and a scientific standpoint that will keep you hooked-in in the long run.

Steins;Gate is a Japanese visual novel game and also one of the most critically acclaimed visual novels to-date, developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus and is the second game in their Science Adventure series preceded by Chaos;Head and succeeded by Robotics;Notes. We've got to thank Degica on bringing the game into the west and more-so is that it's a well made one. It is a port of the original XBOX 360 version that has since received various ports to other consoles and it has also received numerous sequels and spin-offs.

This game manages to tell itself apart from your typical visual novels. It's a visual novel geared towards the field of science, let me correct that... HEAVY-ON-SCIENCE, from pseudo-science to established ones, and what's interesting is that the game doesn't diverge that far from the laws of what science has already established or theorized. Terms such as Black Holes, Time Travel, and even the infamous John Titor makes the level of interest quite high. It also gives a clear depiction of the modern culture of Japan, and also its correlation to the Otaku culture.

Story?! Absolutely fantastic, from the beginning up until the end. And let me tell you that this game will literally force beginners to consult an FAQ, for the reason that with its complex and overarching storyline, every choice constitutes to just about everything. Scattered throughout the game are flags for you to trigger the "True Ending," and if you miss a single flag, all the succeeding ones that will lead to the True Ending will be permanently inaccessible for until you start a new game again.

The game introduces a feature where you can interact with NPC's through the use of a cellular phone that the main character uses. You can reply to the text messages sent to you with the use of keywords. Due to its sciency theme, players will often see themselves to be in a lost-for-words, terms can get too complex or incomprehensible, but not to worry a system where such terms will be explained in a more detailed manner can be accessed through the Tips, and my it IS helpful. These features gives the game a new found edge, the level of interactivity is something that you rarely see in a visual novel game.

It introduces various features that can range from new-and-unique to existing-but-improved. One of the most profound elements that this game can boast about is its stunning visuals, the way how the characters and the environment are draws sets it apart from today's modern drawing techniques. In contrast to it's proceeding versions, the game looks gorgeous on the PlayStation Vita's 16:9 OLED screen.

As an audiophile, I find this game's soundtrack to be refreshing and amazing, I for one am particularly mesmerized by the background music played while on the title screen, it gives off a sort of mysteriousness and subtle melodrama that you can feel just by listening. Every audio element are very intuitive, with the plots radically changing pace, the background music constitutes to about 20% on how the game should be interpreted by the player, thus making it an essential element in the game.

Quality ◆◆◆◆◆
Gameplay ◆◆◆◆◇
Replayability ◆◆◆◆◇
Execution ◆◆◆◆◆
Steins;Gate is undoubtedly one of the best visual novels to arrive on the PlayStation Vita. It's entirely immersive gameplay and themes of time travel that can fuel the imagination of people on all ages. Steins;Gate is a must-must-must have game in everyone's library. 
Overall Score