Steins;Gate 0 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 06.01.2020

Review for Steins;Gate 0 on Nintendo Switch

Ask pretty much any visual novel fan to recommend just one in the genre to an interested person and they will most likely suggest Steins;Gate. The accidental time travelling adventures of Okabe and his otaku friends have fast become some of the most popular titles in the medium, and its popularity has culminated in an anime series and spin-offs that expand on the many characters in its world. With Steins;Gate Elite having been released on Nintendo Switch for a while, it was only a matter of time before the sequel arrived.

Unlike the original game's Nintendo Switch edition, Steins;Gate 0 sticks to using still images in true visual novel fashion rather than incorporating anime clips that play out as text advances. It was expertly blended into Steins;Gate Elite, but there's no question that the removal of all those wonderful hand drawn artworks was a loss for the game. The continuation of the story in SG0 benefits from sticking with the tried and true format.

Steins;Gate was left a little open ended, although there is certainly the argument that it didn't necessarily need a sequel. Steins;Gate 0 expands on what happens at a pivotal point in the first title, however, and goes way beyond what players could have imagined takes place. It takes Okabe to a timeline he reluctantly wants to exist in, but forces himself to live his life through, after having driven himself crazy in attempting to perform miracles saving his friends previously. This new journey, with a notably depressed and emotionally drained Okabe, is a fascinating one, as the former self-proclaimed mad scientist tries to get his life back on track whilst bumping into familiar and new faces - the latter of which link back to the woman he loves.

Screenshot for Steins;Gate 0 on Nintendo Switch

Just as Steins;Gate had a lot to say about time travelling, timelines and the theories surrounding them (and that is still prevalent here), Steins;Gate 0 delves into the intriguing topic of artificial intelligence using the memories of one of the stars of the previous game as its basis. Whilst the use of AI and all the discussion that comes with it is captivating, it generates mixed feelings when the fan favourite woman of the first title is essentially a simulation in this alternate timeline. It makes it very difficult to get attached to her this time, yet there may be a case that players will therefore understand the confliction Okabe has throughout this adventure.

One of the biggest faults that could be thrown towards SG0 is its drawn-out length. Despite how relatable, humorous and enchanting the weird and wonderful characters of this franchise can be, this is one visual novel that drags on for much longer than it needs to. It wouldn't always be recommended to skip through the story, but with how often things get sluggish in terms of getting to the meat and potatoes of the story, the ability to fast-forward through unread parts is extremely helpful, especially for anyone replaying it to reach certain points again. Player interaction is more limited this time around, mostly saved for accepting phone calls and texting friends, but given that this is setting up the true ending of Steins;Gate, there may have only been so many branches the development team could have squeezed in. Be prepared for a lot of reading.

Screenshot for Steins;Gate 0 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Although an important piece of the story that sets up the true ending to Steins;Gate, it wouldn't be an absolute disaster for fans to brush over this one. The character writing is excellent, and the concepts and effects of AI in this world are intriguing, but the fact the story drags itself out for so long means it can be tough to finish this novel. Thankfully, quick saves and the very fact this is portable by nature help to make getting through much easier by picking it up for a bit before bed each night.

Developer

5pb

Publisher

Spike Chunsoft

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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