428: Shibuya Scramble is a critically acclaimed live-action visual novel that’s making its way west, Summer 2018. Originally released in Japan, almost ten years ago for PlayStation 3 and Wii, this game centers around a day gone wrong, set in Shibuya, Tokyo, involving five characters and a kidnapping.
This story-driven game received a USK 12 (suitable for children 12 and over) rating in Germany last month. Meanwhile, violence caused the game to receive a M-rating in Australia. It’s not too surprising, given Australia’s strict rating system, that the difference between these two ratings would be so drastic. But it does leave me curious as to what kind of content we’ll see from this multiple perspective narrative.
While many gamers have sworn off visual novels entirely, we know they’re not always bad. In fact, they can really surprise you. And with 428: Shibuya Scramble already having had success in Japan, this is a release I’m really looking forward to. The fact that this game is blended with the visual novel genre, however, leaves some room for concern. Live-action games’ greatest strength is in creating cinematic moments, so static “novel” moments seem like they’d create an awkward contrast. But all of us in the west will be able to judge that soon enough, for ourselves.
Will you be picking up 428: Shibuya Scramble?