Review by Robbie Kennedy

Reviewed: 07/18/08

One of the most enjoyable games I have played on the DS

The World Ends with You, released 2008 by Square Enix (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts) is perhaps the most enjoyable game I have played on the DS, and I have played a wide range of games. What really led to this game being enjoyable was the unique battle system it had. I know that some people have criticised it, but I personally really enjoyed it.

You play as a 15 year old boy named Neku, who is part of "The Reapers Game". That is all I can say, but you find yourself running away from enemies soon enough, only to bump into a girl named Shiki, who partners up with you to fight these enemies, whom are called "Noise". You, as Neku, fight on the bottom/touch screen, using unique pins called Psych's, which are wide ranging, and include slashing, generating fire, sending objects flying, and causing lightning storms, as well as many more. Your partner fights on the top screen, and is controlled by the directional pad (or the ABXY buttons if you are left handed), and uses their own psyches to fight. You can fight simultaneously, or you can leave the top screen fighting to your partner

Story 10/10

The story is excellent, however, I cannot delve into it too much here, due to spoilers. However, as I said, you are playing the Game, which takes place in a place called the UG Shibuya (Underground) which is the parallel to the RG (Real Ground) Shibuya, however, everyone in the UG is either; Noise, a Reaper, an Executive or a Player (You fall into the this category). The RG people cannot see the UG people, except for in specially marked shops. The story consists of trying to get out of the game.

Music - 10/10

As they say in Italy, Bellisimo. The soundtrack is perfect in every way, and is wide-ranging to boot. You get Rock Music (with bass if you hook it up to external speakers or a gaming chair), Hip-Hop, Rap, Metal and pretty much every genre that you can fit of, as well as some stunning instrumental fight pieces. The voice acting is surprisingly good for the DS, particularly in the cutscenes.

Graphics - 10/10

The graphics are very advanced. Whilst moving about, you have a full screen of people (Think a condensed version of Dead Rising) who are all unique, and moving about. Scan (using your player pin) and it dissolves to blue, and you can see Noise, with the people in the background. It is really good.

The cutscenes are fabulous. They take place in almost a comic book style, using both screens. Some of them however focus on only one character, where the character stretches across both screens.

Battle wise, the graphics are rather good, you can have fire and ice being generated at the same time, lightning and water, and any combination that you can think of. There are at least 80 different kinds of enemies in this game, all of whom are unique (apart from the last enemy who is just a palette swap).

Controls - 10/10

I know that some people criticise the controls because of the top screen, but they also admitted to not paying attention to the tutorial. If you watch the tutorial, it is really easy to learn how to use the top screen, and indeed how to use it effectively. The touch screen controls are rather good, though I hear that they can wear the screen down. The controls change on the touch screen, depending on your psych pin though. For example, if you have a slash psych, you slash onto the screen to go up to the enemy and hit them. If you have an Ice pin, or a Thunder Pin, you tap the ground in an empty area to form ice, or call down lightning respectively.

The last control is the Microphone, and this is for a couple of pins, and requires no voice recognition at all, apart from recognizing that there is a voice, ergo, you do not need to be clear. You shout into the microphone (or speak for those who are nervous about breaking the microphone) and you then cause damage to the enemies.

Replayability - 10/10

After you beat the final boss, you can play through again, but this time, you can do new quests to get the Secret Reports, which give a backstory to the game. Also, throughout the entire game, there is a sliding level bar, so if you feel that you are overleveled, you can put your level down, or up if you feel like you need some help. There are 3 (post-game 4) difficulty levels, which reap different rewards, so you will always find something new to do with the game.

Final Impression - 10/10

To conclude, I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes Action RPGs, or indeed wants to try a game on the DS that really uses the Touch Screen. Sadly, this may not be getting a sequel, due to managment issues at Square, which I deeply regret, but nevertheless, there is plenty in this game to keep anyone going. I give this 10/10, because I feel that there is nothing that could be improved on in this game.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: The World Ends with You (EU, 04/18/08)

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