Steins; Gate has been around for over a decade, I have heard about it, but at the time I really wasn’t into visual novels or anime; so I gave it a hard pass. As time went by I had the joy of playing The Nonary Games, which blew my mind.
It was like playing the old Choose Your Own Adventure books I use to read as a kid. Steins; Gate 0 fell into my lap for the Switch and I knew that it was a perfect title for my Switch Lite. Visual novels aren’t something that I would play on the big screen, to me they’re more of a portable game one that doesn’t need to be pretty, but MUST be engaging.
This is the first time I’ve ever opened this gate and to be honest the first hour or so was a bit confusing. You begin falling out of a time machine in August of 2010, covered in blood that is not yours. Itaru, Suzuha, and Mayuri find you distressed like this, you find out your name in Okarin (Rintaro) and that changing time isn’t possible.
Seeing as Okarin is the only one who has “the powers of an observer of the world” he feels that he is the only one that can change the past. But as the past kept telling him, it is impossible to change the past.
This story somewhat hit home with me seeing as my Father died about eighteen months ago. You always wonder “what if,” regardless if things were in your control or not. Had we gone to the hospital a few days sooner would he still be here? I don’t know, I would love to find out, but I know I can’t go back; hell even video games say I can’t go back. I think this tragedy made me connect more to this visual novel than I ever have. The escape room story was a good one, but a time travel one, really hit home and pulled me in.
Okarin stopped going to the Future Gadget Lab and his era as a time traveler had ended. Now attending school he ends up at the Akihabara Techno Forum to watch some important technical seminars that he knows work in the future.
The main event for Okarin is Dr. Leskinen speech where he talks about transferring memories from a human to a PC so that people who have Alzheimer’s can re-upload their memories should need be. Okarin knows that this tech works because he’s been traveling through time and hitting other world lines. The one you currently occupy is the alpha line, if I’m following this complicated story right.
I had never played the first game in this series, so I never really knew what was going on. I still enjoyed the story, but I feel that had I played the first game to completion and seen some of the Anime I may have enjoyed it even more.
However, for most of the story, I didn’t know what was really going on or how the characters fit into the story. This did not take any enjoyment from the game for me, but I was scratching my head a lot as I met all these characters and watched their story progress.
You also have to be insanely smart to follow what’s going on in this story as well. I’m kind of smart, but definitely not “science” super smart. Most of the time I had to re-read the dialogue so that I could figure out exactly what was going on. Then, they mentioned John Titor, which got my conspiracy theories interest piqued. How in God’s name did a Japanese Developer hear about the early 2000’s Internet sensation of John Titor?
The game plays like a normal visual novel, press a button to proceed to the next dialogue chunk, rinse and repeat. It’s fairly simple, even my mom who has NEVER played a video game can get it done. The look of game is very Anime and it looks great. I did play the game on my Switch Lite and not on my main screen but it looked great in handheld mode. I figure that if I played on the big screen I would get bored easily, in handheld more I can multitask while playing which makes me pay MORE attention to the game, weird right?
If you’re a fan of visual novels, science or the Anime I would definitely give this game a look. I enjoyed it even though I had absolutely NO IDEA what was really going on. The story, while confusing to me, did engage me and I wanted to see what would happen next.
It also made me want to play the first game, and perhaps even look up the Anime to maybe understand everything. This is a nice game to play when you want to get away from super difficult games and just want to relax and enjoy a great story. Curl up by the fire and read away on your Switch.
What do you think about Steins; Gate 0? Are you going to play it on the go with the Switch Lite? What’s your experience with the Steins; Gate series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Do you want to read another review? Check out our review of Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness! Make sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with our reviews.
This review is based on a final code provided by the publisher
Steins; Gate 0
Should you play this visual novel on your Switch before playing the original game, Nope. However, you should play this well written game!
- Very well written story
- You care about the characters
- Conspiracy theories in bound
- Play the first game on the PS3 before this one
- Need to know A LOT of science