Return to Steins;Gate

So, I might have mentioned somewhere before that after finishing the two Saint’s Row games I owned I was tempted to go back and finish more of the endings in “Steins;Gate”. So that’s what I’ve been doing the past week.

What the game very much improves on over the anime is that it focuses on Okabe and really lets us get inside his head. From this, we can see his hidden insecurities and how everything is impacting him. This really drives home the effect on him of having to undo the dreams of everyone in order to save Mayumi, and also feeds into some of the endings. At least the one with Moeka — which I’ve just gotten to — the choice to not send the cancelling D-Mail is made because he’s tired of doing it and doesn’t want to keep doing that anymore. Of course, that one isn’t really an ending, so I think I’m going to carry on from that choice because it really ramps up the angst for him and makes him a more interesting character. Whether that puts me on the True Path or not I can’t tell — and don’t really care that much, since I’m not that interested in exploring the entire game — but it just seems like what I want to do.

The endings are, again, pretty detailed considering the fact that they’re pretty obviously not the ones you’re supposed to take. Feris’ works really well for her, and so does Lukako’s. The game takes the time to give you reasons for Okabe to take them, and so it can be seen as a struggle for the character to continue on instead. Unfortunately, there’s little reason for the player to take them — as they know that the game will only continue if they don’t — which dampens it a bit. But once we past the choice and start getting into the consequences, all of that is forgotten.

As noted above, Moeka’s choice is an exception. There’s really no in-character reason not to send the mail, which is probably why the game makes you send it anyway. And the consequences of the choice really come out of nowhere, even though they were telegraphed them in advance which the game ultimately reminds you of. But it’s such a shift in the personalities of some characters that it seems out-of-place, and there is no benefit to Moeka or anyone else for taking it. As noted, it just ramps up the angst on Okabe, which is what makes it more satisfying, but also more out-of-place.

There is more of an impact on Okabe from the choices than there was in the anime, or at least it’s more obvious. While his mad scientist ranting was what annoyed me in the anime, after going through the choices and seeing the many deaths of Mayuri even he says that he’s mostly grown out of that, lamenting that at the one time where he really, really needs to trigger that side of him he simply can’t. This makes him a more sober and somber individual, which ensures that we see that he sees the seriousness of the situation, which drives home to us how serious the situation is. It also helps him in getting closer to Kurise as his seriousness, at times, helps convince her that this really, really is an issue and so gets her to help him (although they often still clash, mostly over how to approach things, with it being clear that she often doesn’t really understand things any better than Okabe does). This does so much to make him more relatable and less annoying. Thus, this is another great improvement over the anime.

I don’t know how much further I’m going to go with this, as it will depend on time and how long things go between endings. I will say that I think I’m in the part where the game is really getting good. Unfortunately, that was about 15 hours into the game, which isn’t a good thing for the game overall. I really think it would have benefited from making the intro a little shorter and adding some of the interesting parts a little earlier.

3 Responses to “Return to Steins;Gate”

  1. Pondering Games Again … | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] Still, I managed to finish I did manage to finish two Saint’s Row games, and also managed to finish off at least some of the rest of the endings of Steins;Gate Elite, getting about as far as I can get. I’ve still been busy, but I’m starting to try to […]

  2. Final Thoughts on “Steins;Gate Elite” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] I went back and played through more endings in “Steins;Gate Elite”. As it turns out, there really was only one more ending, where you end up having to decide between […]

  3. What I Finished, What I Played in 2020 | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] I started off  the year finishing off Elsinore, which was disappointing, although not has bad as I had originally feared it would be.  I also played Everybody’s Golf, which I enjoyed but didn’t manage to finish the main story portion of before getting distracted by other games and not playing on my consoles anymore.  The last game from early in the year that I played and finished was Steins;Gate, finishing off one of the stories and then coming back later to finish all except the true ending. […]

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