Steins;Gate – Review
Follow Genre: Visual Novel
Developer: Nitro+
Publisher: PQube
Platform: PS3, PS Vita
Tested on: PS3

Steins;Gate – Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Illustrations
Bad: Lacks interactivity
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

What would you do, if you had the chance to change the flow of time? Would you try to win the lottery multiple times? Would you prevent the death of someone famous or a loved one? Then again the chance of ruining the fabric of time might be too great a risk, especially if your time machine happens to be made out of a microwave oven and a bodgy cell phone. At least you’ll have a hot snack waiting for you, if your plan fails.


Note: As this game is pretty much a complete visual novel, we’ll try to do our best to keep the story portion of the review as spoiler free as possible.


Life is hard as a wannabe mad scientist, especially when you’re not really that mad. This is the case for Rintaro Okabe (Okarin for his closest friends but he’s rather known as his mad scientist pseudonym Hououin Kyouma) as he walks the path of becoming a legendary scientist, thanks to the many special projects he develops together with Itaru Daru, his girl-crazy/perverse partner, and of course the mental support of his closest friend Mayuri (who likes to refer to herself as Mayushii, just because).

Okabe, who loves to talk to his smartphone a lot, which happens to be turned off, starts off with his secret mission of infiltrating ‘the organization’, as they have more information about an actual time machine. In reality, he’s just attending a press conference, but boys will be boys. After much sneaking around, he hears the presentation about this time machine and cannot stand by, as he notices that the entire concept of the so-called time machine is actually stolen from another mysterious scientist named John Titor. Whilst Okabe likes to defend the honor of someone’s work, he gets pulled aside by Makise Kurisu, another (actual) renowned young scientist, who for some reason thinks she has seen him before. She asks him what he wanted to tell her earlier, but Okabe thinks it’s all an evil ploy of the organization and does his best to escape from her evil clutches.


When smelling the sweet scent of freedom, Okabe and Mayuri, who accompanied him, not knowing the many imaginary dangers of his mission, both get startled by a loud scream coming from below the auditorium. As Okabe returns to investigate, he stumbles upon the lifeless body of Makise. He goes back to Mayuri and both run out of the building. Okabe decides to send a text to Daru about what has happened, namely the death of Makise Kurisu. Upon sending this short message, something seems to have gone wrong and Okabe finds himself next to the building where everything has transpired, but for some reason a satellite sticks out of the auditorium and according to everyone else, all of the events mentioned above never happened. Oh – and Makise Kurisu is still alive. Conspiracy? Alternative universe? The organization? Who knows.

Overall the story of Steins;Gate is actually quite serious, with enough humor to make this fairly heavy pill a bit easier to swallow. The flow might be a bit slower than most, but it will certainly be worth your while.


Graphically the game is simply marvelous. Whilst a visual novel doesn’t have that many moving illustrations, there is still plenty of life in Steins;Gate, and the universe surrounding it. The game itself has a decent amount of different sceneries, ample character emotions and poses, and picturesque backgrounds. Every scene will look more like a painting, which differs the game from the original anime series.

A few fun features have been implemented, in which you can remove the text window, in order to appreciate the full picture. Overall this might be a very small gimmick, it’s certainly one worth appreciating. Nonetheless, the game would have been nice with a bit more animations, even though it would distance itself from an actual visual novel then.


Whilst the game has humoristic touches, the overall topic tends to be quite heavy and this is enforced by the art style of the game. The ‘oil painted’ style of Steins;Gate, enforces a serious touch, while the character designs keep the game a tad lighter, which creates a perfect balance of wit and seriousness.


Steins;Gate does not have the most flashy soundtrack a game possibly has to offer, but it has a lot of mood setting moments. The music tends to be subtle, which will allow you to read all of the text in peace. Most of the time you’ll be treated to environmental noises to help you create an even clearer image with all that’s happening in the picture.

Voice acting in the game is top notch. Even though not every line is voiced, all of the conversations are. Although some might prefer that all of the text would have been spoken, it is actually a nice change of pace that thoughts are silent.


As the game is nearly a full visual novel, you’ll be scrolling through text most of the time. Going through all of the conversations works pretty straightforward as you’ll simply have to press a button to skip to the next line of text and so on. If you are ‘revisiting’ some of the parts you’ve already done, you can skip certain conversations and move on to the part you wish to experience once more. Overall quite basic standard stuff.


To add some variation to the reading and viewing experience, you’ll have to perform some smaller actions yourself. From time to time you’ll have to use your phone to read messages, reply to them, which in turn ‘unlocks’ a bit of extra story content for your own entertainment. Ignoring some messages will not have any direct consequences, but it’s always fun to receive some extra information, which wasn’t really fleshed out in the anime series.

Other than that, you can also use your phone to place calls or connect with the mysterious Future Gadget #8: Phone Microwave (Name subject to change). As this is the device that will determine the future of the human race (dramatic music) you’ll have to input some timers here and there. That being said, later during the course of the game you’ll have to make a few other choices as well.


Steins;Gate proves to be a great visual novel, with a few active components to provide a small change of pace. Those who have not seen the anime series yet will probably have the most fun to scroll through the universe of Steins;Gate but even fans of the original series, will certainly get their fill with all the extra content the game has to offer. Beware though – the organization is watching you! El Psy Kongroo.


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Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Steins;Gate - Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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