So, after a very, very, very slow start ... did I say this game has a VERY start? @.@ Steins;Gate turns out to be exactly what critics had long lauded: an excellent localised VN game. I cruised through the final three-four chapters last weekend ... I just couldn't put it down. I laughed, I cried and I cried some more before a very, very satisfying end.
Since I am not a big VN fan -- I don't have the patience to unlock every single ending -- I went straight for the the True Ending (though I did, by mistake, unlocked the Suzuha ending) and though it is kinda long (an full extra chapter) but it wraps up the whole story very nicely.
Okay, *** Spoiler alert ***
|moments of comic relief|
|...and high tension|
Take away the padding (and there is quite a bit) the structure of Steins;Gate is actually quite simple. Protagonist Rintarou Okabe (brilliantly voiced by Mamoru Miyano) accidentally stumbles across a way to send emails back to the past (D-Mails) and, inadvertently, sending himself to another "worldline" (like, an alternate reality). Without knowing what happened and the (serious) consequences of sending these emails, he gradually leads himself into a reality (Alpha) in which his oldest childhood friend has to die. When he finally realises his "mistakes", Okabe, with the help of the very intelligent (and later love interest) Kurisu Makise (voiced by the equally outstanding Asami Imai), has to undo all the D-Mails that eventually takes him back to his original reality (Beta). But all is not well in this reality -- from the beginning, we know Kurisu dies here -- so who is Okabe going to save? His childhood friend or love interest??? It's heart-breaking to witness the many sacrifices that he has to make in order to save at least one of his friends ... but, if you get to the True Ending, at least there is one reality -- known as Steins Gate, where this game got its name from -- in which they all survive, alas, with an unpredictable future.
|Is He a She?|
|The True Ending ....|
So now I just started Steins;Gate 0, which is pretty dark as it is set in the Beta reality in which Kurisu is dead. So how does Okabe cope with this reality? With some of the old cast returning and new characters joining, I'm going to find out. But at least the pace of this follow-up game seems to be a lot faster (no need to reintroduce characters / background I guess) so I hoe it's more engaging than the early chapters of Steins;Gate, which did put me to sleep :-)