Robotics;Notes DaSH Switch Review – Starring Daru

Rejoin the Robot Club as they go on one hell of an acid trip.

Robotics;Notes DaSH is the extraordinarily entertaining visual novel sequel to Robotics;Notes Elite (check out our review of that here) brought to us by developers of Steins;Gate 5pb. and Spike Chunsoft. However you really must play Elite to enjoy DaSH to its fullest (I’ve tried to keep this as spoiler free as humanly possible for those who haven’t played Elite). Once again DaSH is set in same worldline as the true end to Steins;Gate, 10 years into the future.

IROU is back but you barely use it.

You start by traveling to Tanegashima island six months after the end of the original game as *drum roll please* everybody’s favourite gentleman pervert: Daru from Steins;Gate. This time round you play mostly as Daru as he and the protagonist from the first game Yashio spend some time solving mysteries and finding themselves in hilarious situations.

That’s just what you’d expect from Daru! He does something we never could! That’s why we love him! That’s why we adore him!

It takes no time flat for the villain of the first game to make their appearance, who throwing their toys out the pram because they lost first time round, give a challenge to the robot club as they attempt to ruin the Tanegashima gun and robot festival that is currently taking place on the island. With many of the festival events the robot club members have to run and their struggles of doing so being focal points for the story. For fans of the Science Adventure series DaSH starts with pure unadulterated comedy and entertainment, setting you up for a blast of a visual novel. Daru is both funnier than ever and has grown extremely wise in his tender old age of 29 and has come to the island for a mystery purpose before spending much of the story sidetracked by becoming tangled up with the Robot clubs adventures quickly becoming an integral part of the crew.

Bow before Daru’s wisdom.

Electromagnetic wave irradiation equipment makes its return allowing pretty much anything imaginable to happen and damn if it doesn’t make for some amazing reading. I was constantly chuckling away at the slightly risqué back and forth between Daru and the gang. Plus for fans of Steins;Gate there’s going to be a lot of nostalgia seeing the OG crew tweeting.

Kurisu’s tweeps are the best.

It’s claimed you choose your path in DaSH however it’s more luck of the draw whose chapter of 7 you get after the first 2 chapters as it’s determined by picking where you go on the map between a few locations, one of which continues the story. This does mean in your first playthrough you can miss out on scenes if you pick the location that moves the story forward. Fear not because you will see them all eventually in the process of unlocking all the chapters. Though once again I’d recommend using a guide, unless you plan on making notes of where you went and what end it led to. 

This is how you pick your story.

The character chapters themselves are all entertaining ranging from the potential end of the world through an incredibly comical means to wacky situations such as Daru becoming an idol’s producer. Some of these had me laughing my arse off while others were a tad more serious with funny bits but the overall theme for most of the chapters is: Daru is the man! Kindly helping teenagers grow up, come to terms with their feelings and become more complete individuals. In general DaSH is more akin to the first half of Elite with a chilled out vibe only extremely funny at times, I wouldn’t be able to count the times I laughed out loud. 

For the fan service!

The graphics are the same as in Elite with a lot more drawn backgrounds and still only three 3D character models on screen at a time. They often have slightly clumsy animations as they run into screen, which I actually found endearing. You still often have an empty background with text instead of seeing scenes animated. But you do see the protagonist of Elite; Kaito’s 3D model a lot and his constantly worried look about the madness unfolding around him so I guess that makes up for it. Plus there’s a lot of perfect innocent fan service, seeing the characters in different outfits such as the return if the cat earred maid getup.  

You get to see characters in really cool and ‘unique’ outfits.

Most of the music is the same but there are some new tracks thrown in too. They fit perfectly with the relaxed nature of the game, everything gelling with the peaceful subtropical nature of the game. Everything a character says is well voice acted by the original actors in Japanese only.

There’s nothing explicit but there’s a lot of fan service.

Robotics;Notes DaSH is a fun filled adventure that is a must have if you enjoyed Elite or if you plan on buying Elite (the physical double pack is excellent value for money). It does feel like more of a spin off than sequel, especially as the character chapters after the first two are more of a ‘what if’ taking place over the same time period but don’t let this stop you because considering DaSH a spinoff I’d have to say it’s best spin off visual novel I’ve ever played and the most lengthy to boot. Even as an outright sequel DaSH does a fantastic job of developing the characters and helping them grow, with the added legal loli of Airi joining the crew and having her own chapter if that’s your thing.

A huge thank you to Spike Chunsoft for providing the review code. Robotics;Notes DaSH is available now both physically as a double pack with Robotics;Notes Elite and individually on the eShop for £31.49/€34.99/$34.99.

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