428: Shibuya Scramble is storytelling via video games at its finest. The multiple parallel stories, the twists and turns, the characters, each is reason enough to pick up this title despite the initial release being a decade ago. It plays with ease, allowing you to completely lose yourself if the story of Maria’s abduction and the ten most important hours spent trying to save her.
A truly great visual novel but with a gameplay mechanic I really enjoy and despise at the same time. Lets start at the beginning: Visual novels are a niche genre in my country but even I heard the praise of this game as it earned 40/40 in the Famitsu magazine and was even localized here. It took me however a long time to actually play it. The story happens in one day in Shibuya which is a ward of Tokyo. There the fate of multiple people are linked together in a strange event that started with a ransom deliver but there is more to it than it seems. The story and twist are excellent. Everything is well pieced together and makes sense when all informations are available. Like in each good mystery story if you pay careful attention you even can spot some hints for things to come or figure these out. Remark: This means not that it is foreseeable just you can make valuable deductions. The story has elements from a thriller, detective story, drama and comedy in a mixture that is as exiting as entertaining. Rarely have I ever enjoyed a story like this. A lot of this comes with the characters and presentation. We have the cop Shinya Kano who is observing the ransom delivery, the former street gang leader with a hearth of gold Achi Endo, Tama a girl stuck in a cat suit, the skilful reporter Minouru Minorikawa and the scientist Kenji Osawa as protagonist. All are fully believable in a way I forgot these are fictional characters. Their emotions, struggles and baggages are fully believable and won me over completely. This is also valid for the side characters and I would name them all here. Everyone is so well written and they act in such a way that I enjoyed nearly every minute of the game. I want also to praise the humour and positive quirkiness. For the gameplay they made some decision that can either be really enjoyable or you will hate with passion (I did both). The game is set in chapters like for example from 10:00 to 11:00 with separate paths for each character. You have to get each character to the end (to be continued message) before you can start the next chapter. However there are choices, branching parts, bad ends (= dead ends) and keep outs (Have to do specific things to continue from there). Your decisions matter and what one character does can affect others. There are even some jump points (red) where you can switch characters (Mostly to solve keep outs but not exclusive). The game is mostly fair and gives you even hints for each bad end until the final chapter where I needed them the most. Also there are (blue) explanations where sometimes jump points are hidden and you need to reach some bad ends to continue later on (stay there with 1 character and continue with another until the path is changed). There was some repeating paths over and over for me until I found a solution. I enjoyed it to puzzle things out and some bad ends are hilariously entertaining or spoil even some infos but it can get annoying sometimes. For example I finished a chapter with 4 characters but the last one was impossible until I change a decision from the start of another character (that finished the chapter). However I enjoyed the game and puzzling enough to not decrease my rating. The presentation and soundtrack is excellent. It creates an atmosphere that I praise. I can clearly see why Famitsu gave 40/40. Overall this is an excellent game and I fully recommend it. I have warned you about the gameplay and give a 10/10 for the enjoyable and satisfying experience.
One of the best games I have ever played. It's hard to find anything negative to say about this game. Well there is only one thing, but I'll get into that later. The plot is so well written; making me feel actual emotion instead of many games I have played where it feels way forced. It's one of the few games to make me actually cry. And man did I? The plot has so many wonderful twists and turns, and has a very interesting gameplay concept. You play as 5 characters in the game, and choices in each character's plotline changes what happens in other character's stories. It's a wonderful visual novel that most people will find themselves enjoying. It's retail price is a little bit high, but it does go on sale a lot, so I would recommend getting it then.
In the end, 428: Shibuya Scramble is yet another top notch Visual Novel, a genre that has exploded onto the console scene seemingly overnight and shows no signs of slowing down. The frustration to find the necessary keyword or decision in order to advance the story is a minor inconvenience given the entertaining source material, and the unpredictable story and quirky cast will undoubtedly inspire players to stay dedicated in shaping their individual stories to reach their destinations.
428 is a truly rare beast, a special and unique experience that would have once been completely passed over for a Western release. While it's not without its flaws, it's hard to think of many other games that blend text-driven storytelling and well-constructed visuals and sound this well. From the first hour of the in-game day, you'll be riveted by this story's unexpected twists and turns. If you want a story- and character-driven game with a presentation you won’t see anywhere else, 428 is a game not to be missed.
As a visual novel, 428 Shibuya Scramble is ambitious and makes a great combination of five different storylines. It suffers from the limitations of its own genre, such as poor visuals or little interaction.
I barely review games any more or at least on metacritic for some reason. Now while i have only finished 7 visual novels with some on my backlog , however it doesn't change that fact that i really, really liked this game.
The story/ plot was interesting all the way trough with alot of twist and turns i didn't see coming. While i have played alot of sad and emotinal games during my time, this has to be one of the saddest or most emotional once, has at least a couple of scenes that really hit you or at least it hit me. I really liked the setting , that it takes place in modern Japan or a Japan from 2008 or so, despite it being 10 years old i think it has hold up pretty well.
I really like all the varied characters you met or/ and you played as. They were more then varied enough, and how the all got intertwined with each other from time to time was really , really great. I liked the fact that you play as 5 different characters all with they own personality and the own reason to be a part of the story. I liked that you can jump back and forth between characters to unlock more parts of the story. I loved all the weird and funny bad endings , i think most if not all of those i have seen makes sense, but some are still pretty funny or weird. I really liked that the game had some humor, and had it share of funny moments.
Also think the soundtrack is pretty damn good. Their might be some wrong typos, but not that many and it didn't affect the game for me, but well thats about the only negative thing i got.
If you can play this game without to much hype, and you play a hr or two a day or so, you will get yourself a fantastic game that i argue deserves far more attention and that goes for the genre it self to, this is quickly becoming one of my all time favourite games if it isn't even that already. Excellent game with alot of humor and charm and if you just can accept that it takes place in 2008 or so ,you will get an excellent Visual novel. Recommended if you like that genre. PS: i am not to fond of the rating system, but i would consider this a masterpiece even tough that word is used to much especially if you can play it slow or just take you time to enjoy it and try to ignore the hype. I fell it has hold up very well.
the review might be updated when i get all the bad endings or alternate endings.
It's so hard to assess this game, cause from some perspective it's not really a game... I mean, it's still much better, than Edit Finch or Journey, but it's still a text adventure. Anyway, the great plot does it. It's worth to go through 50 (!!!) hours of the game to get to the grand finale.
Absolutey loved Uchikoshi's Zero Escape Series and Danganronpa. I have a thing for visual novel games mixed with puzzle and various other mechanics. This however felt uneventful and kinda boring from the beginning. 8 hours in and I still couldn't get into the game. Story feels dragged-out, filled with exposition, it's just not rewarding enough for a time you put into it.
SummaryA kidnapping in Shibuya brings together a detective, a journalist, a former gang leader, a big pharma researcher, and a part-timer stuck in a cat costume for a series of unexpected events. Can they–or the city itself–make it through the day?