Visual novels are very big in Japan, I played the original STEINS GATE last year on the PS3 and found it to be an excellent game with an absorbing, if quirky, story. This time round STEINS;GATE ELITE is the remastered version with animated scenes taken from the anime. The original was very text heavy with multiple endings, hopefully this remastered version can reignite the engaging experience whilst adding its own slant on things. If you’ve never played a visual novel before then you could argue that they are similar to Telltale Games, but without the control of your character, you will view a series of scenes/animations then make choices that will dictate how the story will play out.
The plot behind STEINS;GATE ELITE follows a group of young, tech-savvy Lab Members who discover the means of changing the past by using e-mail and a modified microwave. Their experiment to push the boundaries of time spirals out of control as they become entangled in a conspiracy surrounding SERN, the organization behind the Large Hadron Collider, and John Titor, who claims to be from a dystopian future. The plot revolves around Okabe Rintaro who speaks a lot and has a lot to say about lots of things. Throughout the adventure, depending on your choices, you will come across several love interests to help you on your way. The storyline can range from light to dark issues quite quickly, so be aware that STEINS;GATE ELITE is designed for the adult gamer.
As with most visual novels, STEINS;GATE ELITE hasn’t got a great deal of gameplay in it. It’s more akin to watching an anime which stops at certain points and give lets you decide which direction you wish to go ahead. Generally you’ll be pressing X to move on the dialogue and most of your decision-making takes place by using the phone to respond to people. You will receive a message and then there will highlighted words within that text which you reply to, some texts will have highlighted words to respond to whilst others will have maybe three or four options. You can only choose one of the highlighted words to respond to, you can also not respond at all depending on how you feel. In the original you could also take/make calls and you received a lot more texts that could be missed, in STEINS;GATE ELITE it’s much more streamlined and polished. When you receive a message the game will stop and open your phone up which is a lot more user-friendly than the original.
Graphically STEINS;GATE ELITE is a much more aesthetically pleasing treat, the animations are far more involving that the original’s static screens. The vocals are in Japanese but that’s no bad thing, you’ll be concentrating on the text dialogue anyway. Sound wise STEINS;GATE ELITE again benefits from explosive and highly detailed animations being backed by welcoming music and excellent sound effects. Luckily you can save at any time, this is important if you want to cut time replaying for a different ending, additionally STEINS;GATE ELITE has a quick save feature that saves automatically after certain checkpoints are reached.
STEINS;GATE ELITE contains a tips list which is effectively a dictionary of science/random terms that are found within the game. STEINS;GATE ELITE does a fairly detailed job in describing how time travel could work and includes summaries of principles such The Principle of Causality that states that every event has a cause, and it by that cause than an effect is produced. You may want to spend some time understanding these statements in more detail as it will help you understand more deeply what is happening in STEINS;GATE ELITE. As previously highlighted STEINS;GATE ELITE is a visual novel, there is a lot of Japanese dialogue and a lot of text to get through. To gain a better understanding of the story you should read these, but in case you don’t want to you can skip it manually, if you’ve already experienced a scene before then you can automatically skip and it will stop when you need to choose an action or respond to a text. If the skipping features were not present then replaying STEINS;GATE ELITE to unlock the different endings would take twenty to thirty hours.
The originally was an excellent game and STEINS;GATE ELITE is an improvement helped greatly by a more polished presentation and new animations. STEINS;GATE ELITE is the kind of game that will get you interested into the visual novel genre and that is a good thing. You will need a certain degree of patience, but no more than any other title that has a deep storyline. Time is always moving so don’t waste it, go play STEINS;GATE ELITE now and you’ll enjoy a time travelling tale you won’t forget.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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STEINS;GATE ELITE Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Replay Value - 9/10
User Review( votes)
You have the ability to time travel so which ending are you going to choose? Whose life is more important to you?