Steins;Gate[a] is a science fiction visual novel video game developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus. It is the second game in the Science Adventure series, following Chaos;Head. The story follows a group of students as they discover and develop technology that gives them the means to change the past. The gameplay in Steins;Gate follows non-linear plot lines which offer branching scenarios with courses of interaction.
Steins;Gate was released for the Xbox 360 on October 15, 2009. The game was ported to Windows on August 26, 2010, PlayStation Portable on June 23, 2011, iOS on August 25, 2011, PlayStation 3 on May 24, 2012, PlayStation Vita on March 14, 2013, and Android on June 27, 2013. The game is described by the development team as a "hypothetical science ADV" (想定科学ADV Sōtei Kagaku ADV). JAST USA released the PC version in North America on March 31, 2014, both digitally and as a physical collector's edition, while PQube released the PS3 and Vita versions in North America and Europe in 2015. Additionally, the iOS version was released in English on September 9, 2016.
A manga adaptation of the game, created by Yomi Sarachi, was serialized from 2009 to 2013, and later published in North America from 2015 to 2016. A second manga series, illustrated by Kenji Mizuta, began serialization in Mag Garden's Monthly Comic Blade on December 28, 2009. An anime adaptation by White Fox aired in Japan between April 6, 2011 and September 14, 2011, and has been licensed in North America by Funimation. An animated film premiered in Japanese theaters on April 20, 2013. A fan disc of the game, titled Steins;Gate: Hiyoku Renri no Darling, was released on June 16, 2011. A non-canon 8-bit sequel to the game, titled Steins;Gate: Hen'i Kuukan no Octet or Steins;Gate 8bit, was released on October 28, 2011. Another game, Steins;Gate: Linear Bounded Phenogram, was released on April 25, 2013. A follow-up game, Steins;Gate 0, was released on December 10, 2015 for PS3, PlayStation 4 and Vita, and received an anime adaptation in 2018. A remake of the original visual novel titled Steins;Gate Elite which presents fully animated cutscenes from the Steins;Gate anime was released for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch and Steam in 2019. Included as a bonus for the Nintendo Switch version, an entirely new game called 8-bit ADV Steins;Gate[b] in the style of Famicom adventure games from the 1980s, was released.
Steins;Gate's gameplay requires little interaction from the player as most of the duration of the game is spent reading the text that appears on the screen, which represents either the dialogue between the various characters or the thoughts of the protagonist. Like many other visual novels, there are specific points in Steins;Gate where the user is given a choice to affect the direction of the game.
For these decision points, Steins;Gate presents the user with the "phone trigger" (フォーントリガー fōn torigā) system which is similar to the "delusional trigger" system that was introduced in Chaos;Head. When the player receives a phone call, the player can choose to answer or ignore the call. Incoming text messages have specific words underlined and highlighted in blue, much like a hyperlink on a browser, which the player can select to reply to the text message. Most phone calls or text messages do not require a response, though there are certain points in the game where the player is required to take action. Depending on the player's choices of how to respond to these phone calls and text messages, the plot will progress in a specific direction.
Steins;Gate is the second collaborative work between 5pb. and Nitroplus after Chaos;Head. The game was created with the concept of "99% science (reality) and 1% fantasy" in mind. The planning for Steins;Gate was headed by Chiyomaru Shikura of 5pb. The characters were designed by Ryohei Fuke, also known as 'Huke' (known as one of the illustrators of Metal Gear series, and the creator of Black Rock Shooter franchise) whereas the gadgets were designed by Sh@rp. Naotaka Hayashi of 5pb. wrote the scenario with assistance from Vio Shimokura of Nitroplus. Tatsuya Matsuhara from 5pb. was the producer and Tosō Pehara from Nitroplus was the art director. The music was composed by Takeshi Abo of 5pb. and Toshimichi Isoe of Zizz Studio. Shikura, Hayashi, Matsuhara, Abo, and Isoe had all previously worked on Chaos;Head. The title "Steins;Gate" had no specific meaning, being coined from the German word "Stein" meaning stone, and tying in with famous physicist Albert Einstein.
Steins;Gate was inspired by earlier visual novels written by Hiroyuki Kanno. These include Eve Burst Error (1995), and most notably the time-travel adventure YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World (1996).
Prior to the game's announcement, a teaser site was featured on 5pb.'s website that simply referred to the game as Project S;G and stating that it was going to be a collaboration between 5pb. and Nitroplus. Nitroplus's website had also hinted at this on its 10th anniversary website. Matsuhara, who was also the producer for Chaos;Head, had previously stated that the game would be centred on Akihabara and that the project with Nitroplus would be the second part in a series around the theme "Science Novels (科学ノベル Kagaku Noberu)". On June 12, 2009, the countdown expired and the name Steins;Gate was revealed.
Kana Hanazawa stated that she was happy to have been selected to be in Steins;Gate as she felt that it was not common to be able to play a part in a serious game. She also thought that the game gives the player more of a thrilling sensation rather than a frightening one and it entices the player to continue reading.
Steins;Gate was first declared gold on September 18, 2009 with a demo of the game being made available a few weeks later on the Xbox Live Marketplace on October 7, 2009 for Xbox Live Gold members and then publicly on October 14, 2009. The demo allows the player to play through the prologue and the game's first chapter. Steins;Gate was released in both limited and regular editions on October 15, 2009. The limited edition contained the game itself, a toy named "Future Gadget #3 Lie Detector" from the game and a small hardcover artbook that includes various illustrations and background information about the game's universe as well as comments from the staff members. A Windows port of the game was released on August 26, 2010, and included additional CGs. A PlayStation Portable port of the game was released on June 23, 2011. The game includes elements from the downloadable contents of the Xbox 360 version as well as a new opening movie, a new opening theme and a new ending theme. The game was also released for Apple iOS devices on August 25, 2011. A port for PlayStation Vita that includes the original game as well Steins;Gate: Hiyoku Renri no Darling, was released on March 14, 2013. All copies came with a free movie ticket for the upcoming film. At Anime Expo 2013, JAST USA announced that they would be licensing the PC version of the game in North America. The game was released on March 31, 2014 in a Limited Edition, as well as digitally. The Limited Edition contained a deluxe collector's box, a fan book with artwork, a set of replica Future Gadget Laboratory pins, the manual, and game disc. A physical Standard Edition later followed. On December 16, 2014, PQube announced they would release the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of the game in North America and Europe in 2015. Physical versions were exclusive to Amazon.com in the United States, while in Canada, they were only available at VideoGamesPlus.ca. The PC version was made available on Steam on September 8, 2016. The Xbox 360 version became playable on Xbox One through backward compatibility on May 19, 2017, along with the spin-offs Steins;Gate: Darling of Loving Vows and Steins;Gate: Linear Bounded Phenogram. On May 1, 2018, Spike Chunsoft took over publishing of the Steam version of the game from Mages/5pb.
TagsBased on a NovelActionFantasyDramaSuperpowersMature ThemesViolenceWarMysteryRomance
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