Time played: approx. 18 hours
Progress: completed game (1 time), player level 49, ESP’er Rank C
The World Ends with You is an action-RPG for the Nintendo DS. It was developed by Jupiter (a subsidiary of Square Enix) who was also responsible for the game Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The World Ends with You’s pedigree and ancestors have set a pretty high set of standards for new Square Enix games not of the Final Fantasy lineage. But does this new game meets up to these standards?
Graphics and Sound
This game has anime-style graphics. The in-game graphics are 2-D and fairly pixellated, but the cut-scenes and character dialogues’ graphics hold out quite well. Overall the graphics could have been done better, but they do not take away from the game’s beauty. The soundtrack has a stellar lineup featuring some tunes by actual Japanese pop, rock and rap stars (almost none of which are mentioned in the game). A personal favourite of mine is “Three Minute Clapping”. While none of the songs last more than about 60 seconds, there are quite a few which are worth listening to. Aside from the small amount of voice acting in some cut-scenes and battle, there is not much voice acting.
Gameplay and Plotline
The game’s main character Sakuraba Neku (Neku Sakuraba if you must) starts off as a complete jerk and ignoramus who hates life and gets sucked into some sick “Reapers Game” (Haha…“game”) where he must battle his way through seven days of trials to earn a second chance at life. As always, the story is deep and has many hidden meanings and plot lines for you to search for, making this game all the more fun. The gameplay can be annoying at times, but that does not take away from the game at all in my point of view. The battle system (referred to as the “Stride Cross Battle System”) utilizes both touch-screen controls and D-pad. Neku is controlled by the touch-screen and the only bad thing about it is that the move and attack commands are very similar, also several “psych pins” (Neku’s mode of attack, which have a limited number of uses followed by a varying “reboot” time, and can be leveled up along with your character) have similar if not the same actions required, so battle can be confusing depending upon what pins you have in your deck. These pins are used to kill “Noise” which are monster things and “Reapers” which are the main bad guys. You control Neku’s partner via the top screen with the D-pad, the partners attacks consist of you rapidly tapping out several random directions on the D-pad and hoping for the best. While you’re desperately trying to keep your partner alive, Neku is on the bottom screen utterly defenceless. Good thing there is an auto AI kick-in for your partner, so my tip is put your partner on “Auto: Fast” and leave him/her alone unless you absolutely need to. The hierarchy of Reapers (which is important for the plotline) starts of with “The Composer” (not really a Reaper but creator of the game) at the top followed by “The Conductor” (Actual head of the Reapers) then Officers, Harriers, Choral Reapers (Tenor, Baritone and Bass) and Red Reapers (they make walls… that’s pretty much it). So let’s leave plotline at that.
The other big idea in this game is the “trend” system, where the different areas of Shibuya (an actual district in Tokyo) are effected by what brand of clothes your character wears and by what brand of pins you use. One of my favourite facts about this game is that it uses a real life place with real life land marks (i.e.: Statue of Hachiko, and the Scramble Crossing both really exist in Shibuya).
Well all-in-all this game is most certainly worth the money for all RPG fans and the story line is too good to miss for those “non-RPG” people (if they really exist. Nah, they’re just a myth). This game has got a little something for everyone and is one of my personal favourites from Square Enix.
+ Awesome Square Enix story line
+ Picturesque anime cut-scenes and dialogue graphics
+ Pins level up along with character giving them extra damage
+ The Game takes place in a REAL PLACE, with some fantasy thrown in for good measure
+ Sound Track is amazing with music from almost every genre
- Battle coordination can be annoying
- Contolling partner is too difficult
- Main Character is a jerk for most of the game and you tend to dislike him
So overall I give this game a BIG: