Robotics;Notes DaSH (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 08.11.2020

Review for Robotics;Notes DaSH on PC

Robotics;Notes DaSH follows on from Robotics;Notes Elite, and it is not the first in this science fiction adventure series to get a direct sequel. Developer 5pb has a colourful history of visual novel games with this series being one of the longest. It encompasses many of their properties, including Steins;Gate and Chaos Head. The Robotics;Notes instalments are the most recent entries, and have garnered their own following over the short few years they've been available. Spike Chunsoft has taken up the reigns to get everything localised and released in the West. It is selling the Robotics;Notes games as a bundle on consoles, and as separate titles on Steam.

Taking off a year and a half after the first game, Robotics;Notes DaSH takes the cast back to Tanegashima island for a whole new adventure. As with the previous entry, the story is fairly light-hearted and straightforward, which plays to the in-game world's strengths. This time, along with returning main character Kai, this also includes a front and centre cameo from Daru The Super Hacker (DaSH) from Steins;Gate.

This time there are also a lot of crossover elements, including the illustrious Steins;Gate itself, and in general a slightly heavier emphasis on player choice. Characters are now explored further, and many aspects of the writing are dialled up as the characters are no longer in school. It feels like a genuine next step for the world they dwell in.

As with the previous title, and many other visual novels, the main brunt of the playtime is made up of reading text. To be fair, the writing is outstanding, so it's not a problem, however some players will get more out of this than others. Luckily, there are some other bits to the gameplay that make up the choice element, as well as the returning encyclopaedia feature used throughout the Science Adventure games.

Screenshot for Robotics;Notes DaSH on PC

This encyclopaedia breaks down terms used by characters or in flavour text that normal players might need expanded, for example the term 'Otaku' may not be something everyone gets, so this will explain it in simple English. Besides the encyclopaedia, there is the return of the interactive phone which houses the in-game map. This navigation app is essentially what drives player choice through the story, as different places hold different events and characters, meaning that it is possible to play things in a different order or way, which may inspire replays.

Deciding to integrate some of the wider Science Adventure series into the story actually elevates things quite nicely above the preceding title. It adds a flavour not present in the original that shakes things up, keeping the flow and intrigue going. It has also influenced the art style slightly with all the characters looking a bit more refined. In general, the art direction is really strong and interesting. Sharp, modern manga-style character designs fit seamlessly into a colourful and realistic setting.

This also uses 3D models for characters in many scenes, giving it that unique sell that made the first game stand out. It's all very expressive, and compliments the story and tone perfectly. Sound also contributes; it completes the atmosphere with some excellent musical tracks that are quite memorable, as well as excellent voice performances and sound effects bringing the characters to life. Honestly it is a joy to experience.

Screenshot for Robotics;Notes DaSH on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

All in all, this feels like a worthy sequel. It takes what made the first game click, and adds to that without feeling superfluous. It is very, very hard to put down once it gets going, and the added replay value means there are many reasons to keep playing after the ending. Robotics;Notes: DaSH is a better game than its predecessor, and a highly recommended science fiction visual novel.

Developer

5pb

Publisher

Spike Chunsoft

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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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