Top Critic Average
What can we talk about, then? Well, even without giving spoilers, quite a few things. Let's start with the most standout of the gimmicks and tricks 428 has, and one you probably already noticed. The graphics. They're not 3D rendered, they're photographs and video clips. Even at a glance, this makes the game stand out sharply in an era where this hasn't been done unironically in years.
428: Shibuya Scramble is, by far, the best narrative based visual novel you’ll ever experience. Sure, there is no voice-overs and the text is presented as a ‘wall of text’ from the point of a narrator, as you would see within a book, but the whole presentation, delivery, emotion and overall narrative is simply amazing. You’ll laugh, cry, shout, become emotionally attached, and pray for each and every character throughout their ten-hour adventure. However, even though it’s ten hours for them, expect many more hours on your side as you work your way through over five separate stories which are all connected in some form to one another, even if our protagonists aren’t 100% aware of this.
The way 428: Shibuya Scramble is presented is unlike any other translated title, but if you value games with strong stories you owe it to yourself to not let this creative crime drama fly under the radar. Like Shibuya's scramble crossing, the events are chaotic and the passing moments between characters are sometimes fleeting, but crossing that iconic intersection is one hell of a memorable experience.
I have never played a game quite like 428: Shibuya Scramble. It's hands-down the best visual novel I've ever experienced. Anything you could want in a VN it offers. Deep character development, a rich, meaningful story, humor, action, romance, you name it! Hell, it even teaches you things! Did you know that in Japanese law a kidnapping is different than an abduction? The more you know, am I right? I can see why it's one of only 25 games to have ever earned a perfect 40/40 from Famitsu Weekly, Japan's largest circulating video game magazine. The bottom line is, that as far as visual novels go, 428: Shibuya Scramble is one of the best. Download the demo on the PlayStation Store today and try it out for yourself.
When all is said and done, this visual novel is absolutely incredible through and through. Again, having no VA on a console VN is a shame, but the game is just fine without it. The camera work is superb while admittingly the amount of motion blur in some shots are definitely a bit much in some situations. But other than that, I can’t give any praise higher to a work like this. The use of Live Action truly elevated what would be considered just another good visual novel. Everything here is just spectacular.
428: Shibuya Scramble may have taken ten years to arrive in the West, but it tellls its engaging story like no other game in all these years.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Never before have I played an interactive novel that kept me so compelled to the very end, and once it was wrapped up all neatly, 428: Shibuya Scramble continued to surprise me with more and more story than I could've ever asked for.
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.
428 : Shibuya Scramble is clearly a game worthy of its Japanese reputation. Spike Chunsoft's Visual Novel tells a riveting story and makes a really clever use of its multiple bad endings system. The game gives you a tour of the real Shibuya and introduces you to a cast of characters that grows on you very fast. It grows on you so much in fact, that once the game ends, you're sad that you'll never see them again.
Review in French | Read full review
It won't satisfy those who like a lot of action in their games, but anyone who likes to take their time and devour a good book will be in their element, that's for sure.
428: Shibuya Scramble may be a ten-year-old game, but it's such a unique experience that it feels like a slightly flawed, modern classic even today. If you have any love for the genre, don't skip this one.
Despite my minor frustrations at the way I had finally reached the epilogue, upon watching the credits roll and various screens appeared bringing up memories of earlier game moments I felt a fondness for each of the characters. Over the course of 428: Shibuya Scramble I had grown to know these characters and see them through tough situations. I was genuinely concerned when some were put in danger, and often found myself chuckling at whatever ludicrous situation or funny ending I happened upon. 428: Shibuya Scramble left an empty feeling in my stomach once I had finished, as I realized my time with these characters had come to a close and no new significant time would be spent with them. It's a familiar feeling, one that punctuates the end of stories that I was always sad to have to finally put down.
428: Shibuya Scramble takes some time to get into but once you start uncovering the mystery of its overarching plot, its unique story-telling and a well-developed cast are more than enough to recommend it for fans of Japanese visual novels.
428: Shibuya Scramble is a classic nonlinear visual novel that requires you to be attentive. More than 50 hours of delight are guaranteed to the fans of good detective stories.
Review in Russian | Read full review
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.
428: Shibuya Scramble is a fun addition to the PS4's growing visual novel stable. Solve a kidnapping, thwart a viral conspiracy, and assist a hapless salesperson in taking off her giant cat costume: Spike Chunsoft's zany story has charm to spare and is both funny and thrilling while it lasts.
428 Shibuya Scramble has its realistic atmosphere and a well-written and non-linear story which keeps the player in suspense and great characters . The fanatics of special visual nouvels should really enjoy the game. But this genre adresses to a niche audience, especially beacause there is no animations and the story remained in english.
Review in French | Read full review
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.
Review in Spanish | Read full review