Steins;Gate 0 – No, Seriously, Don’t Invent Time Travel

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Steins;Gate

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When I finished playing Steins;Gate back in 2015, I found myself in that state of mind where, even though everything was neatly wrapped up, I was hungry for more from its world and characters. Even if it was an entire story just about the characters living their lives, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye yet. Fortunately, there was an anime adaptation to throw myself into and a movie that acted as an epilogue of sorts (both of which I loved). But then I found out that a full-on sequel was coming to Japan very soon and would be out in the West the following year… and I had no interest in playing it.

“But you just said you wanted more Steins;Gate!” you cry. True, but Steins;Gate 0 isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense, instead continuing the story in an alternate “bad” timeline. Considering how much I loved the first game’s ending, I was worried that the sequel could potentially undo how perfect it was. Plus, I didn’t want to see more bad things happen to the characters after they got their happy endings, so I skipped it.

Cut to 2018 and the anime adaptation began to air on Crunchyroll. I had an account at the time and when the first episode went up, I thought “Eh, why not? I’ll give it a shot.” And sure enough, I got completely sucked in. I’m not sure what it was but it did enough to make me see it through to the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But even I could tell that certain elements had been changed or removed in order to fit the narrative in an anime format (I even saw some comments complaining about how certain scenes were cut). Curious, I decided to play the game myself and go through the full unaltered experience of Steins;Gate 0 myself. Continue reading

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Zero Time Dilemma – It All Began With a Snail

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In another timeline, this game does not exist. Due to the poor sales of Virtue’s Last Reward (which I wrote a review of previously), the third entry in the Zero Escape series was pretty much dead in the water. The odds of it ever being made were virtually nonexistent. Fortunately, this is not that timeline and thanks to outcry and support from a dedicated fan-base, director Kotaro Uchikoshi was able to bring this project to life and properly conclude the series.

This was one of my most anticipated games of 2016, but I held off playing it due to hearing rumours of a re-release of the first two games being made. Those rumours were true but I wasn’t able to actually play it until late 2017 when the Vita version finally got released in the EU. With those games under my belt, I immediately went into Zero Time Dilemma with high expectations and plenty of concerns. While reviews for the game were mostly positive, there were still a tonne of fans that outright hated it, even claiming it retroactively ruins the entire series. And after playing it… well, it left enough of an impression to make me write this review.

So is Zero Time Dilemma the worthy conclusion it was hyped up to be? Or would it have been best if it never existed at all? Continue reading

Steins;Gate – Or Why Time Travel is a Bad Idea

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Opinions are a funny thing, aren’t they? We all have them, we love to share them and, for some reason, we can’t fathom the idea of somebody else having one different to ours. But possibly the most bizarre thing about them is how they can change. We can go from liking something to hating it and vice versa. It’s all very weird. Why am I bringing this up? Because of my experience with today’s subject, Steins;Gate.

Now, Steins;Gate isn’t an old game that I played as a child and am now looking at to see if it holds up or anything. It only came out in Europe last summer (though it originally came out in Japan in 2009), but it sticks out as possibly being the only game I’ve played where my opinion of it radically changed whilst I was playing it. Such an oddity deserves to be documented and shared with others. I guess you could say this is the will of Steins Gate itself. Let’s get started, shall we? Continue reading

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward – A Super, Smart, Scary, Suspenseful Story

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Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is possibly one of my favourite videogames of all time. I was actually surprised by how much I loved it since I only got it on a bit of a whim. It had received good reviews, particularly for its story, and I’m a sucker for a good story, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Little did I know what I was getting into. And with its sequel now on its way, what better time than to convince you lot to play it? … Well, probably when it first came out but I can’t time travel. Now, sit yourself down and get ready for the long haul because there’s a lot to get through, starting with the concept and plot. Continue reading