Review by Texanfish
A Good Game that shouldn't be passed up - Good for quick fun and long hours
The World Ends With you is not your typical Square Enix game. Although it may show a few traits of older works, a major one being the same art style as the kingdom heart series, TWEWY is a very "different" game. For one your character, Neku, is in the modern world where cell phones and fashion trends are everywhere. All is not normal however as you soon find out that you are part of a "game" where you must find a partner and complete daily missions for 7 days or you will be "erased" from existence. This is the driving factor of the plot.
This is probably one of if not THE dominating factor in rating this game. Most people when they first pick this game up may give this category a 3 or 5 just to be kind but if one were to just try the game a little longer, the learning curve is a little long, the gameplay becomes fast paced, easy to understand, and most importantly enjoyable. The DS's two screens are used in a very different way. Although you control the main character Neku throughout the game, during battles you have a partner that you also control. The problem is is that each of you are fighting your own sets of enemies so the two screens are actually showing slightly different battles. If you're right handed you use the stylus to control Neku. Neku carries pins which when the stylus moves certain ways are activated. Two examples are a sword pin which slashes enemies whenever you slash the stylus over the screen. The other example is a bullet pin which fires little energy balls wherever you tap the screen repeatedly. While you are using the stylus to fight on one screen you would use the D-pad to control your partner with left and right being direction of attack and up being jump. If you're left handed you just use the buttons on the right instead.
The pins used in the game to fight are quite enjoyable. There are a large variety of these pins, some you can buy... others drop off of monsters, and the abilities of these pins can be quite fun to try out. The slight problem with the pins is that some of them may have different abilities but similar motions and the prioritizing of which pin activates can be frustrating but is usually pushed aside. I myself found 3 or 4 pins that I used majority of the time with one that I would rotate for "brand name" reasons.
The Brand system is actually quite unique. It's like a homefield advantage but with clothing/pin styles. When you click the pause menu the top screen turns into a map and your respective area's styles are shown. If you have a pin/clothing item on that is unpopular you will have your damage halved. If you have someting fashionable the damage goes up in three increments depending on HOW popular.
The final gameplay element is the food system. It's very useful and if you don't use it from the get go you will find yourself using it soon. Your partner and you have a "sync-rate" that determines how well you two fight. Food is a great way to increase that rate but they only take effect after a certain number of battles or "bytes." Also it is a good way to increase your bravery so you may meet requirements for better clothes.
Unlike previous Square Enix titles, this plotline isn't epic or grand. You wake up in the middle of a modern japan city. You have no idea why you are there and you have lost your memory except for your name. You soon find out that no one can see or hear you. You discover that you are in a game run by people known as the Reapers. They run a game every week in a parallel version of the city. The parallel city is run by a mastermind and the game is aptly run by the game master. These people are out to erase how many people they can, deeming them unworthy of life. The winners however may get a chance to live again. I cannot reveal much more because there are some interesting plot twists in this game. Like I said the story isn't grand but it is very entertaining and not really bad just not really elaborate.
The graphics aren't the greatest seen in a DS game but they are probably some of the coolest. The art style of kingdom hearts is perfect for this slightly dark (or matured) Square Enix Game. Everything is smooth and seamless thanks to the design. The presentation of these graphics are cool as well with the top screen showing a building or some landscape of that area while the bottom shows you and the crowd of people. The cut scenes (if you want to call them that) are shown interesting as well, with comic book like bubbles and characters sliding in and off screen to give some sense of depth in location- trust me it works. Also the graphics seem to work quite well with another great factor in this game, the soundtrack.
The music in this game is fantastic. I myself am in no way a fan of techno or most things resembling rap, however, the music and the graphics for some reason work so well together that I enjoyed both rather well. The tracks repeat quite a bit but they are so interesting and fun to listen to that you will never go "not this song again." The soundtrack is so popular that it actually is available on i-tunes, the whole album which I highly recommend downloading.
Replay Value 9/10
I myself have not beaten the game fully yet I gave this category a review for one reason. This game provides quick entertainment. Thanks to the fast paced fighting style you can turn on your DS, fight some bad guys in a very fun way, save the game and turn it off just to kill time. The great thing about this is that it's one of the few games I've played that I have fought enemies for a long time and never got bored with not continuing the plot.
Overall, The World Ends With You is a great DS game, especially for teenagers. It questions/presents modern ideas and still holds some old ones. It's fun and cool to look at. It's not great but it is pretty darn fun to play. Everything about this is a nice little gem with barely any flaws. If you are a fan of video games... get this.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: The World Ends with You (US, 04/22/08)
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