5pb's 2009 visual novel gets a sizeable makeover - but don't expect it to make new fans for the genre.
This may not be the definitive way to experience the series, but it's damn sure the most accessible, and it beats the hell out of the neutered anime adaptation. For new fans, this is a fantastic entry point. For returning fans, Steins;Gate Elite is a solid reason to revisit a beloved series with a fresh set of eyes. I adored every second of it.
Steins;Gate Elite lays down the welcome mat for newcomers whilst providing a much-needed excuse for eager fans to lose themselves in this stirring tale once more. Long-winded, technical dialogue segments are remedied with engaging animated scenes that keep you more thoroughly ensnared in it's compelling story. Its time-travelling premise is thorough and easy to follow yet shrouds it's narrative in an exciting element of unpredictability that overshadows your every decision with a daunting sense of uncertainty.
Steins;Gate Elite takes the best of the anime and visual novel source material to create a superb visual novel adventure experience that is a must play for newcomers to the genre and fans of the original visual novel.
Easily one of the best visual novels available, Steins;Gate Elite is a stellar and beautifully framed retelling of its source material and one that is grandly suited to series newcomers and stalwarts alike.
While I have some contention in regards to the changes made to the main campaign, the additional stories are well worth the cost of admission by itself for fans, and even though I hesitate to call “Elite” the definitive way to experience the beauty of Steins;Gate, there is simply no bad way to experience such an exceptional story.
It's surprising just what an impact the new animations have in Steins;Gate Elite -- the additions take an already excellent visual novel and makes it feel much more dynamic and intense. What's more, being able to finally play Linear Bounded Phenogram in English is just the icing on an already very scrumptious cake. Elite is the complete visual novel package, and pretty much the best that the genre has to offer.
Despite some small annoyances that are either confusing or intrusive to the overall immersion that Steins;Gate Elite provides, this was a genuinely fun and engaging experience. In fact, because of how graphically close it is to the anime and how intense and complex the narrative is, Steins;Gate Elite is smooth as butter from start to finish and captures the true meaning of a graphic novel come to life.
Those minor problems aside, Steins;Gate Elite is definitely the best way to get into this property. It has all the charm of the anime, all the narrative excellence of the original, and a refinement that hasn't existed in either up until this point. For new fans or veterans alike, Steins;Gate Elite is well worth the pick-up, and should represent a potential starting point for future visual novels looking to make a similar impact.
Whether it's your first time playing a game in the genre or not, Steins;Gate Elite is definitely one of the best visual novels available today. Just keep in mind that, while it may have taken a bit for the Phonewave (name subject to change) to heat the story up, the payoff is worth the wait.