428--Shibuya-Scramble-Review 428: Shibuya Scramble Review

   24/09/2018 at 12:43       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Visual Novel, Japanese, PS4, PC

Review by Alex Vaughn

 

Japan. Another life. A teacher maybe. English of course. A bustling city. Questionable erotism. People. So many doctors, lawyers, coppers, journalists, mascots, couriers, directors and bosses. People. Living life in Tokyo, getting through it. 

Crossing paths. Crossing lives. Shibuya’s Crossing.

428: Shibuya Scramble is not the first visual novel i’ve ever played, yet it is the most bizarre, bonkers Japanese fuelled insanity of any game i’ve played in the past. Well. Forever. I love it. 

Following the lives of five strangers, whose lives merge one fateful day at Shibuya’s Crossing, the world’s busiest public crossing in Shibuya, Tokyo. 428: Shibuya Scramble does such a brilliant job of introducing the protagonists, that I won’t spoil a moment of the story or even who they are, only to say they are fantastically unique, often fantastical but plausible and grounded in their own right.

As a visual novel, a simple story, it would be worth getting on board yet 428: Shibuya Scramble does so much more to earn its £40 pricetag. Text is interspersed with live action, photographs and a wonderful soundtrack. It feels substantial, like a hefty paperweight atop an oakwood desk, polished to a sheen. 

If you want a good story, engaging characters, a soundtrack to remember and mechanics only visual novels can muster as you dance between these characters, helping them out or causing a meeting which can only end in heartbreak, Shibuya Scramble is definitely worth a shot.

Oh! The Time Chart. I can’t go without telling you about the Time Chart. Making wrong decisions can lead to a BAD END for a particular character. The Time Chart allows you to trace each decision, each intersection, each crossing to find where things starting going wrong and gives you chance to change things. To correct the poor choices you made. It’s ace.

Get it. I want to tell you about Shinya, Kenjin, Tama. Oh god Tama. Yet I won’t. I won’t tell you nothin’. If you want a good story and are willing to put up Japanese insanity turned up to 11, play this game.

Stars
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