Before we bid 428: Shibuya Scramble a fond farewell from the Cover Game spotlight, I wanted to give some love to one of its main characters.
Since many of the articles on MoeGamer deal with the core narrative themes of the games under the microscope, I don’t typically bother with spoiler warnings. However, in this instance, I will preface today’s article with one, since… well, to explain why would probably in itself constitute a major spoiler for 428: Shibuya Scramble. So consider yourself warned.
Armed with that knowledge, then, let’s spend some time with Maria Osawa!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Maria Osawa
Many games these days make a point of providing some sort of “added value” over and above their base experience. Be it a postgame chapter with stiff challenges, post-launch DLC or a New Game Plus mode, these features are typically there to keep you playing even after you see the credits roll.
Visual novels, as an offshoot of video games, aren’t typically known for having substantial postgame content other than the “metagame” that multi-route titles have: seeing all the possible narrative routes and collecting all the CG illustrations. But, as we’ve already established fairly comprehensively in this feature already, Spike Chunsoft’s 428: Shibuya Scramble isn’t a game to do things… “conventionally”.
Oh, sure, the base game has 85 “bad ends” to collect (with a series of trophies and achievements attached to these, encouraging you to seek them out rather than avoid them — and it’s worth doing so because several are very odd indeed!) as well as a “normal” and a “true” ending, but once you’ve seen the main narrative through to a satisfactory conclusion, you’re not done. Not by a surprisingly long shot.
Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – In Search of the Truth
Well, it’s time to unravel some of the mysteries at the core of 428: Shibuya Scramble. And there are plenty of them!
Not only that, but “beating” the game isn’t the end, either; once you’ve seen the “normal” or “true” endings, there are other, more deviously hidden scenarios to track down… but that’s a tale for another day. Today, we’re going to focus on the how the game explores its various protagonists and one of its most important core themes.
Let’s step back into Shibuya, then… the beating heart of one of the world’s busiest cities.
Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – A Question of Identity
When we’re talking about conventional games — particularly today’s games — it’s important to consider them from a wide variety of perspectives.
Typically, we look at a game from several different angles: the way it’s presented through its sights and sounds; the way it plays through its mechanics; and, where applicable, how it handles its story.
When contemplating visual novels, the balance tends to be a little different. We tend to up the focus on narrative considerably, and in many cases mechanics don’t enter the picture at all — many visual novels simply don’t have any! That is, unless you’re 428: Shibuya Scramble, in which case your narrative and mechanics combine together to produce something exceedingly interesting…
Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – The Mechanics of Storytelling
We’ve had celebrities putting in appearances in video games for a good while now, mostly as voice actors, but it’s quite rare to see a performer appear in a game as themselves.
Japanese singer, actress and model Aya Kamiki evidently saw a good opportunity back in 2008, though, and played a part in Spike Chunsoft’s sound novel 428: Shibuya Scramble. Quite a substantial one, too, despite not being one of the main actors; her face is plastered all over billboards and electronic displays in the in-game rendition of Shibuya (which is represented entirely through photographs and full-motion video), her song Sekai wa Sore Demo Kawari wa Shinai is heard numerous times throughout the narrative and she even puts in an in-person appearance for one brief moment during the main story.
It’s an inventive way to promote yourself, for sure, and adds to the overall believable atmosphere of Spike Chunsoft’s game. But who, exactly, is Aya Kamiki?
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Aya Kamiki
Every so often a game comes along that really makes you sit up and pay attention.
Sometimes it’s because it features a beautiful refinement or evolution of some established mechanics. Sometimes it’s because it really pushes graphical technology forwards. Sometimes it has famous names attached to it.
And sometimes it’s 428: Shibuya Scramble, a title so far removed from what we traditionally think of as a “video game” that you can’t help but notice it.
Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – Introduction and History
The Nintendo DS might not be the first place you’d think to look for some quality visual novels, but in actual fact Nintendo’s diminuitive and immensely popular handheld has played host to a number of interesting titles over the years.
Besides the well-known Ace Attorney series, there’s Kotaro Uchikoshi’s Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, the Hotel Dusk series… and then there’s the title I’d like to discuss today.
It’s an offering from Japanese developer Spike (now Spike Chunsoft who, in a pleasing coincidence, both developed and published 999 between its two constituent parts) known variously as Resident Doctor Tendo 2: The Scales of Life (Japan), Lifesigns: Surgical Unit (North America) and Lifesigns: Hospital Affairs (Europe).
Continue reading From the Archives: Hospital Affairs