Science fiction visual novel STEINS;GATE is now out on Nintendo Switch as an enhanced and improved definitive deluxe version. Learn why you have to pick this one up in our STEINS;GATE ELITE review!
STEINS;GATE ELITE on Nintendo Switch is a remastered version of the most excellent sci-fi visual novel that has been improved by including animated scenes from the great anime based on the game, integrating the whole story into a package that brings the best of both worlds together in a single download/cartridge. Since this is a visual novel, most of your time will be spent reading giant walls of text as you dive deeper and deeper into the STEINS;GATE universe. You’ll be able to make decisions at crucial points in the game, and the choices you make will impact how the story develops and what endings you end up reaching.
Since the game has a time travel element, you’re going to be playing forwards, backwards, left, right, in and out of different moments in the timeline. The gameplay is reduced to you experiencing the game’s story paths, interacting with other characters by way of the text messages and calls you might get from them. You can either pick up/check the message and reply or ignore the prompts and continue with your adventure. Either option is a valid way to act and depending on who you interact with, and when, things will start to change in the ebb of time.
As you play, you will notice how the upper-right corner of the screen lights up every now and then with the word Tips. What this means is that you have just learned some new information that has been sent to the Tips menu, and you can press the + button at any time to pause the game and check the Tips list. Once inside of this menu, you’ll be able to scroll through the different tips you’ve unlocked, and as you press the A button the tip you have highlighted will open up on the right side of the screen to provide you with some extra information. Tips are ordered alphabetically, or by lists with those that are new or that you have not read yet.
If you’ve already played Steins;Gate back when it released on the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita, then you will have a general idea of what to expect story-wise from STEINS;GATE ELITE. But the fact that the STEINS;GATE anime has now been used to provide the art, backdrops, and animation makes this improved and expanded take on the game feel like a completely new experience. You’re basically playing along with the anime, laid on top of the foundation set by the original release of STEINS;GATE, making this one of the best looking games you’re going to play on the Nintendo Switch.
The game’s story is the big draw of the game, and it’s certainly a doozy, what with all the talk of time travel and what not. There are plenty of choices to make in the story that will send you down one path or the other, with so many variables that you would need a rather long and packed flowchart to track everything that is going on – as well as when it is actually going on! There are plenty of twists and turns in this one that I’m not going to spoil here, but rest assured that you’re going to spend dozens of hours glued to the screen.
Along with the great looking, fun and entertaining STEINS; GATE ELITE, your purchase of the game on the Nintendo Switch will also include a bonus game: 8-BIT ADV STEINS;GATE! If you get the game at retail, then the box will include a code for you to redeem in the eshop to download this extra adventure. If you buy it digitally, then you’ll get to download the game and the other 8-bit mystery from the Nintendo eshop. This one is made to look like the old-school adventure games on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and, as you can see from the trailer below, is certainly a very nice extra treat.
I highly recommend that you buy STEINS;GATE ELITE right away. Either on a cart or as a download, this is a massive visual novel that has been completely remastered to offer an even better experience on Nintendo Switch over the original release on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. The use of the content from the STEINS;GATE anime completely changes how you approach this adventure, elevating the sense of quality of not only the graphics but also of how the story is presented and how it develops from that moment when Okabe Kintaro sends that one email that starts a massive chain reaction in the timeline. If you’re a fan of visual novels, then this is a must-have on the Nintendo Switch!
This STEINS;GATE ELITE review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Spike Chunsoft.