V.R.C.:The World Ends With You

ORIGINAL REVIEW DATE: March 2 2009


So this is my first review on a blog…and it’s not anime….not a good start.

I’ll be reviewing The World Ends With You and since it’s my first, please bear with me.

I tried to make fixes to the review in order for it to be spoiler free so excuse me if I blurted out something.

Vidya Review Corner

The World Ends With You was developed by Square Enix and Jupiter for the Nintendo DS.

It was released on April 22, 2008 but I didn’t play it until 09 but I’ve always wanted to pick it up and check it out.

I’m not too good at plot introductions so I’ll link you to the wikipedia page for a more detailed summary.

Plot

Neku, the main protagonist.

Neku, the main protagonist.

Plot wise I thought the game was great. It was the main drive that kept me going. The main protagonist, Neku, find himself in the middle of the shopping district in Shibuya. The strange thing is, he’s laying down in a crossroad with hundreds of people passing him and none of them notice him. He awakes in a daze and is suddenly attacked by creatures called the Noise. He suddenly finds a girl named Shiki who notices him and comes to his aid. Together they form a Pact that will bind them together and give them powers allowing them to defend themselves. As the story moves on Neku finds out he’s a player inside a game that decided who lives and who dies. He and his partner must pass missions each day for 1 whole week and survive attacks from the Noise and people who enforce the game called Reapers.

It doesn’t seem like much at first, if anything I thought it sounded a bit cliche but as I continued playing, the plot really grew on me.

Game Play

What’s a good game without an interesting plot and addictive battle system? The battle for TWEWY is pretty unique in it’s own right. You basically play two people at once. At the bottom touch screen, you can command Neku with your stylus and at the top you control your partner. Each screen has enemies that share the same HP as the same model on the pposite screen o so it’s easier to get rid of them.

To attack with your partner, you us the D-pad and each partner has their own special style of offensive and defensive skills but all have the same navigation. Each partner also has their own special which becomes available once you’ve met that partner’s specific objective. For example, with Shiki, you have to choose her cards in a certain order. Once the order has been achieved, her special attack becomes available which is called a Fusion. There are multiple levels for fusions, two being the most available at your disposal throughout the play through of the game.

When it comes to Neku, you have Pins. Each pin has it’s won special ability. For example, some can slash enemies continuously, hurl object that are in the area, throw projectiles at enemies, heal yourself and your partner, etc. The pins system reminds me a lot of the materia system in Final Fantasy VII because of the freedom you have.

A scene of a typical fight in Shibuya.

A scene of a typical fight in Shibuya.

One restricting factor of the Pins is that they have a limit of use. Some can only a certain amount of times, mostly the more powerful ones. Once they have been used to their limit, they’ll reboot. The reboot process takes a couple of seconds but in battle, seconds can take cost you the fight. That’s why you have multiple pins to use in place of those who have to reboot. You can level up your pins to increase it’s power, raise their limited use and shorten their reboot time. Some may also evolve to make them even stronger. Each section of Shibuya has it’s own trends. Nearly every pin has a brand. Depending on the trend, your pins can double in attack, becoming stronger by 50%, 20% or be halved meaning your attack is cut in half but don’t worry. The more fights you engage in, the more chances you have of getting the brands you’re wearing to become trendy. So you basically become the trend setter.

Another freedom you have is that you can decide when to fight the enemy. How many battles at a time and at what difficulty. You can 4 difficulties over all. Easy, Normal, Hard and Ultimate. I mostly stayed on Hard simply for the challenge and racked up the max battles you can have at once. It was a real rush for me since you gain more experience and have more chances of having items dropped from the enemy. You can also reduce your own level to raise the chances of items being dropped from your enemy. It helps if you ever want to level up faster.

Your options in the main menu along with a map of Shibuya and the areas current trends.

Your options in the main menu along with a map of Shibuya and the area's current trends.

Now for the equipment. Shibuya is a shopping district. You have a large category of stores and brands to buy from in order to dress Neku and his partners with the best fashion. Either the flashiest or the strongest. Equipment can increase your attack, defense, HP or Bravery. Bravery determines what clothing your character can wear. Each article of clothing has it’s own bravery. If your character can’t meet or exceed the article’s bravery then he/she can’t wear it. Each clothing also has it’s own ability which has to be unlocked. You can unlock the abilities by buying more from the stores and increasing your popularity with the sellers. The more you buy, the more chances you have of unlocking abilities.

You also have the option of increasing your stats by feeding your characters food. Just like there are a lot of clothing stores, there are also restaurants. Each store has it’s own selection of meals. Ramen, burgers, tacos, etc. It’s a good way to increase bravery since you can widen your options of equipment for your character.

A con from the battle system is that some times the Neku is unresponsive to your commands which can be frustrating when battles get intense but I guess it’s all in the stroke of your stylus. Gently strike down on the screen and getting your stylus off it makes Neku respond more smoothly then slash without remove the stylus but it may just be me.


Music

Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You

Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You

Quite possible the most unique soundtrack to come from a video game in a while. The music in this game is a blend of Rock, Electronica and Hip Hop. It has a pretty big lasting impression if it’s able to distract you from the plot. I often found myself listening to the music instead of reading what the dialogue was. Kinda shameful but it was that good. One of my favorite tracks from the game is Three Minutes Clapping. I’ll give you both the original version and the remastered. The sound track is pretty great. I’d buy it myself if it wasn’t $60 for an import version on Amazon.com.

Graphics

If you haven’t figured it out by now. I like anime. The impression I had from viewing the artwork? Loved it. I liked most of Nomura‘s character designs as long as they aren’t chocked by their own belts and zippers but I like these the most. If only the DS was more powerful to better portray the characters. Neku and his partner can get easily pixelated in the over world but the battle scenes are better in terms of quality. They look less pixelated despite them being in more action. In the dialogue cutscenes, it’s like a visual novel. The characters are at a distance where you don’t see anything wrong. It’s just them speaking with dialogue bubbles and mostly changing expressions. In the motion cutscenes, the pixels really stand out. I’m using the word too much but that’s my only problem with the graphics. It’s not unbearable but it still bugs me a bit but eh. It’s not a big enough problem to make me like it less.

Replay Value

The replay value for this game is pretty high. Once you beat the game, you’re able to retain your level, equipment and pins you’ve collected. You have a new option in your menu that allows you to select a chapter in the game that you can replay. There’s also new collectible items called reports. Clearing certain objectives in a chapter can gain you a report that can clear some unanswered question you still have after beating the main story. A new chapter is also available called “Another Day” which takes place in an alternative reality. I wished it was a bit of a continuation of where everyone was after the end but that’s just my luck. Liked a certain piece of clothing one of the reapers had? Well now you can buy it.Visit some of the stores in “Another Day” and you can find some pieces to a reapers attires. Those which caught my eye are Shades’ ‘phones and Minamimoto’s swag.

The people wholl make this game memorable.

The people who'll make this game memorable.

Over all The World Ends With You is a fresh new piece of work that any person can enjoy. Each part of the game fits together perfectly. The plot, the music, the environment, the gameplay, just about everything.

I give The World Ends With You a 9.5/10.



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