Steins;Gate Elite

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Steins;Gate Elite
The game's cover art consists of a stylized illustration of two young women and one young man, standing among clockwork; in the distance, a satellite-like machine can be seen having crash landed atop the roof of a building.
Cover art, featuring (left to right) Mayuri Shiina, Rintaro Okabe, and Kurisu Makise
Developer(s)5pb.
Publisher(s)
Producer(s)Tatsuya Matsubara
SeriesScience Adventure
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
ReleasePS4, NS
  • JP: September 20, 2018
  • WW: February 19, 2019
PlayStation Vita
  • JP: September 20, 2018
Microsoft Windows
  • WW: Q1/Q2 2019
Genre(s)Visual novel
Mode(s)Single-player

Steins;Gate Elite[a] is a visual novel video game in the Science Adventure series. It was developed by 5pb. for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows, and was released in 2018 in Japan and is planned for release in 2019 internationally. It is an updated version of the 2009 game Steins;Gate, and is fully animated, using footage from the anime adaptation of the original game along with newly produced animation by White Fox.

The game was created as a result of how its planner, Chiyomaru Shikura, wanted to evolve the visual novel genre: he was influenced by the fully animated game series Yarudora, but as high development costs and a long production time would have prevented a full-length animated visual novel, it was decided to create a game that reused a lot of already existing animation.

Overview[edit]

Steins;Gate Elite is a visual novel,[1] and an updated version of the 2009 game Steins;Gate.[2][3][4] Unlike previous games in the Science Adventure series,[5] it will be fully animated,[6] using all the footage from the Steins;Gate anime series along with newly produced animation for story routes not adapted in the anime;[5] the animation is played together with the script and voiced dialogue from the original game.[2] The player reads the on-screen text and presses a button to advance the animation and text, and thereby progresses through the story. At some points, the player makes choices which cause the story to branch into different directions, leading to different endings.[7]

Development[edit]

A 2012 photograph of Kanako Itō
Kanako Itō performed the game's opening theme, "Cosmic Looper".

Steins;Gate Elite was developed by 5pb., and was planned by Chiyomaru Shikura and produced by Tatsuya Matsubara.[8] The new animation was produced by White Fox, the studio that produced the Steins;Gate anime series.[5] Shikura had for a long time thought about how to evolve the visual novel genre, as he felt it had been largely stagnant. He was influenced by the Yarudora series of games, which are fully animated and voice acted,[8] liking how fully animated visual novels would have the advantage of both containing prose describing characters' internal feelings, and showing movements and expressions that are not as easily conveyed through character sprites and prose only.[9] He did however note that making a full-length visual novel in that style would be difficult due to production costs and how long the development would take. Realizing that a project like it would have to reuse old animation to be feasible, it was decided to create a game using material from the anime adaptation of Steins;Gate, as it already contained a large portion of the story from the original game.[8]

There were still difficulties involved in incorporating the anime footage in Steins;Gate Elite: In a typical visual novel, each character only talks and acts when the player pushes a button, while multiple characters can move and talk at the same time in an anime. This resulted in the anime footage having to be deconstructed, with each character's movements in a scene separated into its own individually playable animations. Because the player can use the in-game cell phone at any time, they also had to add several animations of the player character taking out his cell phone. The user interface was also redesigned to be subtle and blend in with the animation.[8]

The game was announced at the Chiyo-ST Live 2017 Genesis event in Tokyo in May 2017,[10] and was showcased at Sega's booth at Tokyo Game Show 2017, with a seven-minute demo available for the public to play.[7][11] The full game, which is branded as a "Full Animation Adventure",[8] was released on September 20, 2018, in Japan for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch,[12] with no differences between the three platforms.[8] Although it had originally been announced for release on March 15, 2018, it was delayed as further improvements to the quality were deemed necessary.[13] In March 2018, Spike Chunsoft's newly established American subsidiary announced that they would publish the game in North America and Europe for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows:[14] their PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions are planned for release on February 19, 2019, and the Microsoft Windows version in early 2019.[15][16] The English versions will use the script from the English release of the original Steins;Gate,[17] along with Japanese audio.[14]

The PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Microsoft Windows versions include an HD remaster of the 2013 game Steins;Gate: Linear Bounded Phenogram, while the Nintendo Switch version includes the newly developed 8-bit ADV Steins;Gate,[b] a Steins;Gate game in the style of 1980s adventure games for the Famicom console.[15][14][18]

The game's opening theme, "Cosmic Looper", is performed by Kanako Itō, and the ending theme, "Annie no Yubiwa" (アニーの指輪, Anī no Yubiwa, "Annie's Ring"), is performed by Yui Sakakibara. Both themes were released on singles on September 19, 2018.[19][20]

Reception[edit]

Reviewing the game's Tokyo Game Show demo, Famitsu wrote that they thought the game felt fresh despite how they had already played the original game and watched the anime. Because of the added animations, they thought the game gave a greater feeling of urgency than the original Steins;Gate, and described it as feeling like they were moving the animation due to how it waits for the player to press a button before moving.[7] Dengeki PlayStation were initially negative towards the idea of remaking Steins;Gate using material from the anime, but were positively surprised when they played the demo.[9] IGN was positive to the demo, and thought the anime footage prevented the monotony one can feel when playing visual novels with static background images and character sprites.[21]

The PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation Vita versions of the game were the second, fourth, and twentieth best selling physical video games in Japan during their debut week, selling a combined total of 30,400 copies.[22]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Steins;Gate Elite (Japanese: シュタインズ・ゲート エリート, Hepburn: Shutainzu Gēto Erīto)
  2. ^ Titled Famicolle ADV Steins;Gate in Japanese;[18] not to be confused with the similarly-titled 2011 game Steins;Gate 8bit.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sato (2017-09-21). "Steins;Gate Elite's Gameplay Video Shows The Visual Novel With Anime Footage In Motion". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  2. ^ a b "Steins;Gate Elite Game's Video Shows Anime Footage With Visual Novel Script". Anime News Network. 2017-09-21. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  3. ^ Bass (2017-09-10). "Steins;Gate Elite listed for PS4, PlayStation Vita... and Nintendo Switch?". Destructoid. Modern Method. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  4. ^ Romano, Sal (2017-09-20). "Steins;Gate Elite first gameplay video". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  5. ^ a b c Romano, Sal (2017-09-19). "Steins;Gate Elite is a "full animation adventure game," coming to Switch". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  6. ^ "『シュタインズ・ゲート エリート』フルアニメーション・アドベンチャーゲームとして新生!【先出し週刊ファミ通】". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2017-09-19. Archived from the original on 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  7. ^ a b c "『シュタインズ・ゲート エリート』プレイインプレッションーーアニメを操作している感覚で遊べるフルアニメーションアドベンチャー【TGS2017】". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2017-09-21. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "志倉千代丸氏インタビュー 『シュタインズ・ゲート エリート』は"ゲーム以上でいて、アニメ以上"". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2017-09-21. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  9. ^ a b "【電撃PS】『シュタゲエリート』志倉千代丸氏へのインタビューを掲載。フルアニメーションの動画も初公開!". Dengeki PlayStation (in Japanese). Kadokawa Corporation. 2017-09-21. Archived from the original on 2017-09-21. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  10. ^ "『シュタインズ・ゲート』と『ロボティクス・ノーツ』の新作などが発表――ライブイベント"チヨスタライブ"での発表内容をお届け!". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2017-05-28. Archived from the original on 2017-05-28. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  11. ^ "「STEINS;GATE ELITE」2018年春リリース、東京ゲームショウにプレイアブル出展へ". IGN (in Japanese). Ziff Davis. 2017-09-09. Archived from the original on 2017-09-24. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  12. ^ "『シュタインズ・ゲート エリート』の発売日が9月20日に決定! 豪華特典を同梱した完全受注生産限定版も発表". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2018-06-18. Archived from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  13. ^ Romano, Sal (2018-02-13). "Steins;Gate Elite delayed to general 2018 in Japan". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2018-02-14. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
  14. ^ a b c Romano, Sal (2018-03-23). "Steins;Gate Elite coming west for PS4, Switch, and PC in 2018". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  15. ^ a b Sato (2018-09-25). "Steins;Gate Elite Launches In The West On February 19, 2019 For PS4 And Switch". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  16. ^ Romano, Sal (2018-09-25). "Steins;Gate Elite for PS4 and Switch launches February 19, 2019 in North America". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  17. ^ Sato (2018-03-23). "More Mages Games And Robotics;Notes May Come To The West [Update]". Siliconera. Curse, Inc. Archived from the original on 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  18. ^ a b Romano, Sal (2017-12-14). "Steins;Gate Elite first-print copies in Japan include Famicom-style Steins;Gate on Switch, Linear Bounded Phenogram HD on PS4 and PS Vita". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  19. ^ "いとうかなこさんが歌う『シュタインズ・ゲート エリート』OPテーマ 『COSMIC LOOPER』のジャケットデザインが公開". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2018-08-14. Archived from the original on 2018-08-15. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  20. ^ "『シュタインズ・ゲート エリート』のEDテーマとなるファンタズム(FES 声:榊原ゆい)NEWシングル『アニーの指輪』のジャケットデザインが公開". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2018-08-27. Archived from the original on 2018-08-27. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  21. ^ "ゲームとアニメのいいとこ取り「STEINS;GATE ELITE」インプレッション". IGN (in Japanese). Ziff Davis. 2017-09-22. Archived from the original on 2017-09-24. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  22. ^ "「STEINS;GATE ELITE」や「ゼノブレイド2 黄金の国イーラ」などの新作が登場の「週間販売ランキング+」". 4Gamer.net. Aetas, Inc. 2018-09-26. Archived from the original on 2018-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-27.

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