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The World Ends With You

すばらしきこのせかい

27 July 2007
The World Ends With You [すばらしきこのせかい] - cover art
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566 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#287 All-time
#9 for 2007
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Releases 11
2007 Jupiter Square Enix  
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JP 4 988601 005166 NTR-AWLJ-JPN
2008 Jupiter Square Enix  
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GB 5 060121 822665 NTR-AWLP-UKV
2008 Jupiter Square Enix  
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US 6 62248 90801 4 NTR-AWLE-USA
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2018 Jupiter Square Enix  
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JP 4 988601 010184 LA-H-AM78A-JPN
2018 Square Enix Jupiter  
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XNA 0 45496 59285 1 LA-H-AM78B-USA
2018 Square Enix Jupiter  
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GB 0 45496 42254 7 LA-H-AM78B-EUR
2018 Square Enix Jupiter  
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ES PT 0 45496 42255 4 LA-H-AM78B-EUR
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For those who do not care for JRPGs, the most common discrepancy these detractors detail is with the fighting system. Besides being developed by a company based in Japan, turn-based combat is the most notable idiosyncrasy of the JRPG genre. The player and their party members will stare down their enemies situated parallel to each other on a still battlefield. A menu is presented to the player to upset the scene’s inertia, usually with the option to attack, use items, or escape when the battle becomes too frantic to handle. After the player makes their selection, the opposing side gets to return the favor immediately, and the player always anticipates the inevitable damage of their retaliation with dread. JRPG nay-sayers claim that this format is an unrealistic way to simulate combat. Not in a million years would any feuding factions out for bloodshed patiently take turns on the offensive. In a way, it’s almost gentlemanly, an ironic twist on the viciousness and brutality of war. As for where I stand on this debate, I find turn-based combat invigorating. Something like carefully strategizing the next move in the heat of battle with a seemingly endless amount of time to act is something that only the medium of gaming could effectively display. The turn-based system is relatively accessible for most gamers on a base level, and the defined leveling system grants the player a window of reference for how the difficulty for each scenario is scaled for their character. This aspect tends to be somewhat grind-intensive, but the state of being either overleveled or underleveled for any scenario mostly depends on the player’s skill all the same. The basic principles of turn-based combat also translate well across all JRPGs, cultivating a battle language understood among fans of the genre. While this makes the JRPG game easy to delve into after playing a handful of them, it also admittedly tends to make the genre feel stagnant. Twenty years after Square Enix pioneered the JRPG genre with Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, they decided to turn what they created on its head with The World Ends With You: one of the most subversive JRPGS seen in gaming.

High-concept premises are a requisite for the JRPG genre, almost as much as turn-based combat. Concepts involving role playing usually entail a fantasy element to a certain degree, so why not go the distance and immerse yourself in something extraordinary? It helps that most of these games are developed in Japan, a country notable for conjuring up grandiose stories that forsake realism to the point of verging into biblically absurd territory. The World Ends With You follows suit with a creative premise whose rules exist outside the bounds of reality. Enter Neku: our youthful protagonist who skulks through the congested crossroads of an urban epicenter. His wispy presence in the crowd becomes so incorporeal to the point of being ghostly. Neku panics, but his state of existence is seemingly resurrected when he clenches onto a pin that mysteriously materializes in his hand. Suddenly, strange, hostile creatures appear along with ominous messages detailing that Neku has seven days to complete an unknown task. He then forms a pact with a girl named Shiki who seems to be the only person who notices his presence. Their vague directive to complete in a week is then reduced to a mere 60 minutes, and failing to complete this task will result in “erasure,” a harrowing condemnation that Neku and Shiki most likely want to avoid. Immediately, the ambiguity of the scene combined with how urgently the game catapults the characters into the fray is a fantastic way to hook the player and makes them interested in uncovering the mystery behind what is occurring.

By 2007, the “domestic JRPG” that Mother and Shin Megami Tensei established to deviate from the high-fantasy tropes present in genre mainstays like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest became almost as pervasive. Out of all the JRPG games set in modern times, The World Ends With You takes the most inspiration from the Persona games. One could make this correlation due to many factors like the Shibuya setting, the teenaged characters, or the juxtaposition between the real world and the fantasy realm otherworld thinly veiled underneath the surface. Ultimately, The World Ends With You reminds me the most of Persona because the game is oozing with style. The comic book art of The World Ends With You is the crux of the game’s presentation, with characters conversing side by side with dueling speech bubbles in between them. Characters, backgrounds, and the bustling streets of Shibuya are outlined so prominently, and the stilted images of the characters move with a certain restraint during conversations and cutscenes to pronounce the graphic novel aesthetic even further. No, the game’s style isn’t ripped from Persona, but what other JRPG series possesses a kind of a hip, chic presentational flair to this degree? The World Ends With You might even take its visual finesse a step beyond Persona as every character has so much drip that they're soaked, or at least that’s how the kids these days describe it. Whether they be nameless NPCs that Neku scans, the reapers scattered around the underground, or even Neku and the rest of the players, everybody looks uniquely voguish. The collective of Shibuya looks like they traipse down the fashion runway in Milan, or maybe Shibuya is the Japanese equivalent to the extravagant Italian city (after doing some research, it is). At least one character in any Persona game is guilty of committing fashion crimes, so The World Ends With You arguably has the advantage over its stylistic inspiration for better consistency and a greater emphasis on overtly flaunting its panache.

After the opening sequence, The World Ends With You grants the player context behind what is happening to Neku and Shiki. By some circumstances, both characters have been hurled into a frantic game that takes place on the streets of Shibuya. The game exists in a subconscious realm called “the underground” where the player can interact with civilians, but not vice versa. Two players must play cooperatively, and both of them have to meet one objective under a certain time constraint. Usually, the mission entails the players to arrive somewhere in Shibuya, with hooded (hoodies) pawns called Reapers impeding the player’s course to their goal. Reapers assign tasks to the players that range in objectives, and completing these tasks grants the player past the forcefield wall the Reapers erected. As tense as the beginning scene made the game out to be, the player (meaning the player of the video game in this context) can approach each day at a leisurely pace. Days usually begin with Neku and his partner at Scramble Crossing, a medium point situated appropriately enough between all other districts of Shibuya. Sometimes, missions will be more circuitous as Neku helps reapers and citizens alike by finding the power source for a concert stage, finding a stolen microphone, aiding the owner of a failing ramen shop against its nearby competitor, etc. Overall, every mission presented day by day in The World Ends With You is supported by exposition rather than gameplay. Running around Shibuya never grates on the player because at least the narrative always offers something interesting each day that furthers the plot. However, navigating through Tokyo’s ritzy ward is not a straightforward endeavor. Attempting to find a specific destination in Shibuya in relation to the starting point of Scramble Crossing is liable to get the player as lost as if they were hiking through the woods at night because the map of Shibuya present in the pause menu is the least reliable reference I’ve seen in a video game. The district map pinpoints the player’s location, but the surrounding areas are labeled in letter abbreviations that do not match the name of the area. Earlier in the game, this isn’t so much an issue, for the logical trajectory to the goal is to follow the reapers. Later on when the Reapers go rogue and start attacking Neku, the game penalizes the player for retreading their steps trying to find their destination. If I have to scour the internet for a fan made map when the one the game provides isn’t satisfactory, something is seriously wrong.

Between walking aimlessly around Shibuya lies the real appeal of The World Ends With You: the combat. The way in which The World Ends With You innovates on typical JRPG battles is the true mark of the game’s ingenuity. Instead of swords, arrows, guns, or baseball bats, Neku is armed with an arsenal of pins. Similarly to the guns in the Persona games, the power of these seemingly innocuous pins is unlocked through the metaphysical properties of the underground. During combat, activating the pin's powers depends on its own unique nature. The first combat pin given to Neku is a fire pin in which dragging the DS stylus across the screen engulfs the field in flames, damaging any enemies that come into contact. Other pins involve tapping the screen to unleash energy projectiles, locking on enemies to disperse rounds of rapid fire bullets, summoning a line of ice pillars to stab enemies from the ground, a current that sprinkles the stage with volts of electricity, drawing an oval to send a rogue ball of energy flailing around the stage or summon boulders that careen down from the sky, etc. There is even a pin that paralyzes enemies with sonic sound waves if the player blows into the DS mic, a sure fire way to make the player look like a jackass and make them weary about playing video games in public ever again. One Reaper task forces the player to equip only these kinds of pins in battle, so make sure to find sanctuary before coming across this point in the game. I’m intentionally glancing over some of the pins because the variety of different pins with different abilities is too numerous for comprehension. Neku’s pin inventory is so massive that it would make an eagle scout feel unaccomplished. Unfortunately, the amount of pins makes Neku’s inventory too congested. Purchasing pins from Shibuya’s various shops is a viable option to increase Neku’s array of weaponry, but the game will rain pins down on Neku after each battle like confetti. Each pin, no matter how many of the same type Neku has, is accounted for in an individual slot in the inventory. I couldn’t count how many Natural Puppy boomerang pins I had by the end of the game. Fortunately, the player can cash them out for an amount of yen, and the strongest pins with a maximum level of experience are listed separately. Still, the game should’ve piled the pins of the same type in one slot so the player wouldn’t have to scroll through multiple tabs. That is my sole grievance with the pin system. Otherwise, they serve as an incredibly engaging way to shake up the usual JRPG action. Mixing and matching combinations of pins guarantees that combat will never feel stale, as well as taking advantage of the unique utility of the DS and making something practical of it.

Much to Neku’s chagrin, he cannot test out these weaponized pins on Shibuya’s bystanders. Enemies in The World Ends With You are referred to as “the noise,” creatures that inhabit the ethereal space of the underground. When Neku scans an area, multiple red and orange symbols are seen floating around the air like macroscopic germs. Touching one or more of these symbols will trigger a battle between potentially several different noise creatures. All the noise are a warped variation of real life animals ranging from frogs, wolves, bats, jellyfish, kangaroos, etc. The developers even took some creative liberties with the inclusion of mythical dragons and the extinct wooly mammoth into the mix. All of the noise have a base color at their earliest encounter, but progressively don a wide span of complexions that come with a higher level of difficulty. Approaching the noise is something that the game leaves entirely in the player’s court. Unless the player is forced to face the noise for a Reaper task, they can vanquish as many of the buggers as they see fit. Tapping the various noise symbols in succession will “chain” multiple rounds with the noise, which becomes an endurance test depending on how many bouts the player willfully imposes on themselves. I recommend chaining enemies because doing so will net the player more substantial rewards. Blackish noise symbols break the rules a bit as these corrupted noise will quickly swarm the player as opposed to letting the player choose them. Their defense is staggeringly higher than average noise and they insist that the player mustn't escape during battle. If combat becomes too taxing to deal with, it’s entirely the player’s fault. When the player bites off more than they can chew, the game also gives the player the option to restart the battle or set the difficulty to easy. I find this to be a bit patronizing, as I would rather have the option to change my selection of pins if I fail. Other than that, the game’s approach of encouraging the player to engage in combat rather than bombarding them with random encounters is quite refreshing. Plus, the noise are all as eclectic as the pins Neku uses to fight them, assuring that the player will never tire of combat due to the overall eclecticism. That, and I enjoyed seeking out new types of noise because their names listed in the compendium are all music genre related, something that tickles my music nerd fancy. “Shrew Gazer” and “Jelly Madchester” almost verge into bad pun territory, but what other video game, much less a JRPG, explicitly references these genres?

Teamwork is imperative in the game that The World Ends With You presents. The Reapers may be sadists, but even they wouldn’t leave a poor player to their own devices. A pact between Neku and Shiki is made to withstand the noise and all the other hurdles the underground might toss their way, which means that the player will be controlling both Neku and Shiki. However, this dynamic isn’t executed like your average one player video game team. Using the distinctive technology of the DS, the player will control Neku and Shiki simultaneously. For those of you who haven’t played this game and feel weary with this aspect in mind, I can’t blame you one bit. At least the turn-based element of normal JRPG combat involves focusing on one party member per turn. Attempting to juggle The World Ends With You’s fast-paced combat with two party members using unorthodox tools like the DS stylus may seem too overwhelming. In execution, however, the developers succeeded in making it manageable. The trick to pulling it off is making the control scheme of Neku’s partner simple. Shiki attacks in the top half of the two DS screens, sicing her animated stuffed cat on the noise with the D-Pad. Holding down the left or right tabs on the D-Pad is all the player has to do to deal sufficient damage to the noise as Shiki, and it’s fortunate that the duplicate noise seen on both screens are the same enemy with the same amount of health. Fusion attacks where Neku and Shiki perform a collaborative super move can be unlocked by executing different combos on the D-pad with Shiki, but I’ve found that the game grants this to the player by only mashing in one cardinal direction. After all, the developers understand that juggling two characters with two different move sets is a daunting exercise.

That is, they sympathize with the player on this front until it comes time to fight a boss. Bosses in The World Ends With You are gargantuan, heavily resistant foes whose health bars have colored layers that the player must slowly dwindle. Durability is not the issue here. The developers affirm the worries some might have had about the practicality of the game’s combat with the bosses. Oftentimes, Neku and his partner must take turns depleting two separate health bars, and the character who isn’t fighting the boss on their screen does not get a chance to relax as they still have to contend with smaller enemies. Either that, or they must complete a portion of the fight that allows the other character to damage the boss. The fight against Konishi near the end of the game requires so much synchronic work between Neku and Beats that I felt like I needed a miracle to overcome the odds. Neku and his partner don’t share a health bar but if one character is beaten within an inch of their life, the other suffers by taking more damage upon being hit. I’m not entirely sure if it's due to my lack of peripheral vision, but the scatterbrained double tasking needed to defeat these bosses is unfair. Either the game could've given the player a choice to use the top screen or co-op play should’ve been implemented.

The World Ends With You’s ambitions regarding the divergent gameplay can be questionable. However, the same cannot be said for the narrative substance that upholds it. The World Ends With You’s produces some of the most dynamic and nuanced characters I’ve seen in any video game. The most impressive of the narrative’s character arcs is Neku, who exemplifies the “redeemable asshole” trope splendidly. All the while, the game delves into pertinent themes that take full advantage of the modern setting.

George Carlin once discerned the difference between an “old fart” and an “old fuck” in one of his stand up routines. A old fart is someone who is a grouch because of their advanced age wearing on them, while an “old fuck” is someone young who gripes with the world. For the latter, I can’t think of a better term to assign to our youthful, yet curmudgeonly protagonist Neku. Our orange haired misfit roams the streets of Shibuya claiming that he “doesn’t understand people,” blocking out the irritating audible pollution comprised of the inane squawking of the people that surround him. He wears a constant grimace on his face, and the common social niceties understood among most people are lost on him. The game needn’t provide a detailed backstory as to why Neku acts this way, for this is common amongst young men his age. I should know, as I too had a pair of headphones like Neku’s when I was a teenager, and I used them for the exact same purpose.

Similar to extracurricular after school activities, The Reaper’s game forces Neku to interact with other people for his own good. While Neku is the proverbial horse and the game is the water, he’ll only humor taking a drink for self preservation when things get tense. At the start of the game, he’s a stubborn, insufferable prick and the player will feel sorry for Shiki for having to have him contractually chained to him. Neku treats her life the scum between his toes, even physically lashing out at her when he’s annoyed with her. As much as the player might wish for Shiki to throw Neku into an oncoming bus, Neku must be antagonistic to this extent to illustrate that he’s Shiki’s foil. She’s kind, personable, perky, and has a passionate drive in life involving being a designer. While she’s the antithesis of Neku, she still carries the emotional baggage that all teenagers possess. She’s incredibly insecure about how she looks, and her entry fee into the Reaper’s game was her body that she swapped for the form of her “more attractive” friend Eri. Through interacting with another human being that is willing to be patient with him, Neku learns the essential virtue of empathy. By the end of the week, he begins to tentatively change his tune. I’d comment that Shiki is another example of the tired manic pixie dream girl trope, but her gender is superfluous here. Neku is simply glad that he has made a friend.

A part of The World Ends With You’s subversiveness is not providing the shortest JRPG experience. The week’s time given to Neku and Shiki will diminish quickly before the player knows it, but there is far more of the game to explore. The set up for the second week expounds on more context missing from the beginning. Apparently, the players of this game are those who have recently died, and the underground is a state of purgatory. Playing the game to completion will grant the player an extra chance to return to the physical world and have another chance at life. Even though Neku succeeds in beating the game with flying colors, the Reaper’s exploit a loophole to keep him in the game. This time instead of his memories, his entry fee was Shiki, the person he cares for the most; a touching signification of how he’s grown. With this seven day period, he tries to uncover the mystery behind his death with his new partner Joshua. If Shiki is Neku’s beacon of light, Joshua is the foul tempter in making Neku regress. Joshua shares the same contempt for humanity as Neku did, but with a sneering superiority complex and smug demeanor that makes him come across as sociopathic rather than an angsty kid. He controls the same as Shiki did but then develops god-like powers where he can deal massive damage shooting beams of energy while levitating. He’s also a glitch in the matrix as he’s a living person who is actively participating in the game as a player. Neku must keep his guard up around Joshua, especially since his memories have recovered vague recollections of Joshua being Neku’s murderer. Once they become clearer, it turns out that the Reaper Minamimoto killed Neku and Joshua sacrifices himself to save Neku at the end of the second week. I didn’t like Joshua because he’s a smarmy cunt, but I can’t deny that his wildcard presence spices up the game’s narrative and adds a layer of mystique.

Unfortunately, Joshua’s selfless deed did not grant Neku another chance at life. In Neku’s third week, he partners up with Beats, a familiar face who is as seasoned with the Reaper’s game as Neku is at the point. Out of the game’s secondary characters, Beat is perhaps the most dynamic character next to Neku. Beats is a tall, blonde young man who carries around a skateboard and whose vernacular mostly consists of hip malapropisms. He also compensates for his lack of intellectual acumen with his brutish strength. Beats is impulsively hot-headed and greatly impatient, which is the reason why he’s partaking in this game in the first place. Rhyme, Beats’s partner in the first week who got erased, is revealed to be Beat’s younger sister who died trying to save Beats from another one of his rash decisions. When Beats became a Reaper during the second week, it was all a means to climb the ladder to become the game’s composer, the omnipotent game master. He did not seek power to abuse it, but to amend his past mistakes and give his sister another chance at life. Beats is yet another character whose bad first impressions are changed, as the big lug has a heart of gold and the will of a warrior. It’s too bad he’s the clunkiest of the three partners in battle.

Surprisingly with all of this positive character growth, the game seems to vindicate Neku’s initial cynical outlook. Through interacting with the people of Shibuya through scanning them and hearing their woes, the game portrays them as pitiable, materialistic, and comically impressionable. The ward of Tokyo is practically a glorified shopping mall, all with the gaudy excess that comes from the capitalist hub. Neku can purchase a number of clothes from a myriad of different flashy designer brands, but most of them all have the same stats. The constant flow of yen earned during battle and through disposing of pins guarantees that Neku will never be penniless, giving more of an emphasis on the frivolity of the culture. The game overtly comments on the farce of fads and capitalist practices when the Shadow Ramen store is doing better than its neighbor only because it’s trendy and has a celebrity endorsement, even though the more humble one has far superior food. The game shows that people are easily influenced by the most superficial things. A business executive makes all of his important decisions by consulting a Shogi board that Neku manipulates. In extreme cases, the Reapers use the pins they’ve helped make popular to control the population of Shibuya. It turns them into pod people, but one could infer that the game assesses that they already were.

With all of this in consideration, the game conveys the message that despite the inane bullshit of modern life, one still can’t tune it out. Mr. Hanekoma, a respectable artist and game moderator, expresses to Neku the ideal behind the title, “the world ends with you.” It means that the bubble one encases themselves in when they wish to be the ruler of their own space, they willfully block out the organic elements of life that make it meaningful. A bubble is only so big, which is a shame because the world is so vast and filled with beautiful things. Similar to Persona, The World Ends With You expresses that friendship is one of the most integral aspects of modern life that conquers all of the insipid modernities. When Neku reunites with all of his partners in the fabled Shibuya River and defeats the game’s conductor Megumi, Joshua reveals himself as the game’s composer and finally grants Neku and the others a second chance at life. When they all come back, Shibuya hasn’t changed, but Neku and the others have expanded past their foreground by forming an organic bond beyond what they had in the underground. Neku even drops his headphones to signify that his world is much larger now. I came to somewhat of the same realization in the second half of my time in high school. I, like Neku, drowned out the world for the same reasons he did. By making myself vulnerable and letting people into my world, it inflated to a point where I was happier with my surroundings.


Square Enix are a company synonymous with the JRPG genre, especially that of the JRPGs that we’ve all come to recognize as the genre’s traditional form. Decades later, it comes as no surprise that the developer had the potential to innovate once more and craft something unseen in the genre. The World Ends With You is a unique experience in so many ways that it’s astounding. The turn-based combat system that grew tiresome after the formula was exhausted upon repetition is shifted to some of the most kinetic gameplay seen in the genre, as well making the best use of the DS’s format. However, the gameplay can be too ambitious for its own good, yet I can’t deny its originality. Even when the gameplay falters, The World Ends With You presents one of the most resonating stories seen in gaming, along with impeccably deep characters writing. The World Ends With You the prime reason to own a DS as far as I’m concerned.
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Erockthestrange 2022-12-07T04:33:13Z
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This is kind of an odd RPG, released originally on the DS, then ported to touch phones, which was then the version that was ported to the Switch. I guess Switch was the perfect console to release it again on because Switch is touch screen, but that doesn't mean this is without issues. Playing this it was a bit weird, the controls are entirely touch screen meaning you attack by tapping and swiping the screen of the switch. You can equip different attacks which are called pins and the story is kind of weird, you are in some World where you are in a game and you must interact with different NPCs who give you challenges, mostly consisting of fighting enemies that allow you to progress to the next day. You must make it through 7 days, where you then will face against a big boss and you repeat this 3 times. The touch controls actually work pretty well and it was a bit weird since I never played a game before that was completely touch screen without a controller, but I rare struggled.

Now in terms of difficulty the game varies. It starts of super easy and I pretty much steamrolled through most enemies and battles, actually the game is easy for most of the first half, I didn't really find the game got difficult or challenging until the final 7 days. The other thing is most pins in this are pretty useless. You can get around 300 pins total in the game, but only maybe 10-15 of those are really of any use and many of the pins you get are just variations of other pins, there are maybe 30 or so unique pins with unique abilities that aren't copy/paste of others. I literally didn't change any of my pins until the final 7 or so days, and used most of the same pins I got during the first 2-3 days in this and was able to steam roll through most of the enemies and bosses with these pins. Sure later on in the game I had to change the pins because they weren't working, but I feel like the game doesn't really encourage you to change pins out too much. The game rewards you by using the same pins by leveling up which give the pins more power and uses, and even can make the pin evolve into completely new pins that are more powerful.

I mean aside from the game being pretty easy, I found the story to be a bit too out there. It started off interesting, you meet a girl and you have no clue about anything or what's going on and explore this bizarre World while the villains are acting behind the scenes, but then through the game you get new partners who kind of make the game feel a bit disjointed. I mean I started growing attached to one character, then that character disappears and you have to play with a new partner with new attack patterns and new personality. I also found there to be too many villains and it got kind of confusing keeping track of them all or what they are trying to all accomplish. The final villain in this was actually kind of lame.

The gameplay is solid, but its just a bit repetitive and I found enemy variety in this game to be a bit repetitive. Sure each day and areas you explore you get new enemy types, but I found myself fighting against the same 10 or so enemy types the entire game, and after 15 hours this got a bit repetitive. The enemy design was kind of cool, but I just wish there was more variety. The other thing is near the end of the game there is a major difficulty spike that almost feels unfair. The game isn't too bad until the final few bosses, then you are thrown into chaos where the boss ends up being a damage sponge and you need to have the right pins or you'll be screwed. I could forgive this if the game built up, but the game was fairly easy and only mildly difficult, and these bosses are just way harder than anything prior that it feels like too big of a leap.

I found this game to get a bit repetitive after the first 5 hours, and really after the first 7 days I kind of felt a lot of the game was getting to be a grind because it was just fighting the same enemies and grinding my same pins levels up. What I really don't like is most of the game you are restricted to certain parts of the map and can't really fully explore it until the last days of each segment. That means you'll only be going between 5 or 6 different areas most days and you'll be backtracking a lot.

I mean for what it does its a decent game, one of the only completely touch screen games and it has a unique story and even is fun to grind out pins, but I just found this game to get a bit too repetitive and things started to feel the same, and you are mostly going back and forth between the same areas for most of the game rather than going to new places. This game is only 15 hours which is shorter for an RPG, but still felt a bit dragged out due to the backtracking and repetitive enemies and lack of variety in missions. There were also those annoying missions you had to scan peoples thoughts and follow people around the city. The bosses were probably the highlight of this game because they actually had some challenge, but also near the end the bosses just got a bit too tedious and frustrating. Plus the story really didn't keep me hooked after the first 7 days, I lost a lot of interest once I got a new side character and the game really didn't pick up much until near the end, then all the villains sort of come after you at once. I mean I don't really consider this some hidden or overlooked gem, its an alright RPG, has a decent enough soundtrack, solid enough combat for being touch screen, and its a game that rewards you for grinding and collecting, but I just wish it had more variety and that the story was more focused.
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jweber14 2020-03-16T06:36:03Z
2020-03-16T06:36:03Z
3.5
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For a game whose narrative does rely on some pretty obvious metaphors and utilises some banal tropes, its effectiveness as an emotional rollercoaster is still undeniable because it uses the right twists at the right times for the right reasons, and by the end you'll know, understand and care for most every character even in a story based on surviving Jigsaw's trials on a much graver stage. Head to toe, The World Ends With You is like this: appearing unassuming in its style but using old tested tropes in new and exciting ways. The combat combines basic fighting combos and card games with experimental stylus-based moves and asks you to do both at the same time, demanding yet rewarding attention, and the style is off the charts, with a legendary decor and soundtrack and inspired character design. Even the mission structure, which appears bog standard at first, asks you to do many things, not just in a superficial manner, but in ways that enhance Shibuya's atmosphere. Damn high on the list of handheld exclusives.
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Lowlander2 2017-09-03T19:05:20Z
2017-09-03T19:05:20Z
4.5
1
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Certainly it was popular when it came out, and I guess a lot of young-ish people actually look back on this with some nostalgia. I will admit that the characters and story are pretty interesting, but personally I always found it to be kind of a pain to actually play. Like a lot of DS games this was designed around making use of the touch screen. The result is one of the most utterly strange combat systems I've ever seen in a game. Nothing about it really works for me. Just feels like chaos. Every weapon has its own attack style. For some you just maul the touch screen, others might make you hold the stylus down in one spot, etc. It's always tough to get used to one after having used another for a while, and some are just annoying to use no matter what. You've also got the other screen to worry about. There's a backup character up there who fights enemies at the same time as you. The characters keep changing over the course of the game and they each have different attack styles as well, controlled by the buttons rather than the touch screen. There's so much going on I just end up mashing buttons while focusing on the bottom screen, or blindly running in a big circle around the walls while focusing on the top. I'm sure mastering both is possible (and it may even be fun) but the game is easy enough just blundering through everything.
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Tombas 2016-11-15T23:07:27Z
2016-11-15T23:07:27Z
1.5
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I have a very hard time picking a #1 of anything. My mind just doesn't work in a strictly hierarchical manner. But on the occasion that I'm asked "what is your favorite video game?" this is the only answer that makes sense to me. The densely interwoven threads of narrative, aesthetic and combat denote a really mindboggling level of craftsmanship.

This isn't just a JRPG with an urban setting, it's a love letter to Shibuya, and metropolis in general. Big cities are worlds unto themselves, human hives, mazes full of forgotten and hidden places. They offer to their inhabitants a liberating diversity, but also an unending clash of mindsets and a sense of insignificance in the sea of humanity. To stay sane, you need to build walls and filters. TWEWY will sell you this mindset without every really telling you it is, because the game itself communicates the metropolis mindset on a very intuitive level - most obviously through the trend system, but also through the rhythm of combat itself. To conquer the disruptive negative energy, manifested as Noise, Neku and his partner need to maintain a call-and-response rhythm of battle despite being separated both literally (by the screen divider) and plot-wise. The weirdly elaborate cosmology and worldview are for you to explore, but suffice to say that every aspect of the systemic design is intentional and relevant to the thematic aspect of the game.

Yes, the plot is quite elaborate and there's a number of exposition dumps - including one rather large one before the final boss - but the pacing of the developments and reveals is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Every day in the game's week structure has its share of revelations and drama, and as layers of mystery are peeled away, more take their place. A lot of JRPGs can rightly be accused of backloading the actual plot, but in TWEWY the discovery of the game's setting is the main appeal. Like a city, there's a magnetic pull that drives you to explore until you finally reach the heart. As such, I won't ruin the fun of the experience, and will keep the review spoiler-free. Not only is the plot brilliant, it's capable of emotional impact on a level of nothing else in the medium... but again, that's for you to discover.

In pure gameplay terms, TWEWY is unsurprisingly brilliant and unlike anything else. Touchscreen combat can be finicky, even with the semi-hidden workarounds to make gesture recognition less annoying, but it's also brilliantly frantic. You have a dizzying array of build options, in the form of pins and threads, and the high skill/stat ceiling ensure that the postgame isn't as monotonous and poorly-balanced as it is in so many JRPGs. You can also adjust your level to change your drop rate, adding an extra tier of risk/reward to the demanding task of filling out the pin catalog. Perhaps the most brilliant aspect of the postgame is that, once you finish the main game, you can select any day you want, and revisit bosses and plot points with a new perspective and the possibility of new rewards. As you revisit days, more and more pieces of the massive puzzle will fall into place.

Among the other innovative gameplay features - you're rewarded for taking breaks from the game, and for encountering other DS users in public. Of course, it's just a reinforcement of the game's message, but it adds an interesting twist to normal progression without being too gimmicky or inconvenient. Yes, even on a mechanical level, TWEWY tweaks action-JRPG fundamentals to fit a modern and urban audience, encouraging portability and short play sessions without compromising its depth whatsoever. An exemplary game I can't help but be awed by to this day, and one you all owe it to yourselves to experience.
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Catalog

ZachGM すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-28T01:08:36Z
2024-02-28T01:08:36Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gshdgsdh すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-25T08:00:41Z
2024-02-25T08:00:41Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
longestseason The World Ends With You 2024-02-22T20:47:57Z
DS • GB
2024-02-22T20:47:57Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Y2K
alexgm3107 すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-21T01:14:36Z
2024-02-21T01:14:36Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Turton すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-20T07:09:10Z
2024-02-20T07:09:10Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
theamazingxyz すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-19T03:37:40Z
2024-02-19T03:37:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hyperhaxorus すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-18T17:19:36Z
2024-02-18T17:19:36Z
43
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
blacefalon すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-18T15:09:43Z
2024-02-18T15:09:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dr0pside すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-17T08:45:34Z
2024-02-17T08:45:34Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nyohoho すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-07T20:26:01Z
2024-02-07T20:26:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lorexio16 The World Ends With You: Final Remix 2024-02-05T23:19:46Z
Switch • XNA
2024-02-05T23:19:46Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
5.555598416172731e+23 すばらしきこのせかい 2024-02-04T23:09:38Z
2024-02-04T23:09:38Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: A
Player modes
1-4 players
Media
1x Game card
Multiplayer modes
Deathmatch / FFA
Multiplayer options
Local
Also known as
  • The World Ends With You
  • It's a Wonderful World
  • Subarashiki Kono Sekai
  • The World Ends With You -Solo Remix-
  • View all [4] Hide

Comments

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  • Previous comments (15) Loading...
  • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-07-03 07:21:20.731194+00
    Absolute peak Nomura. The right kind of edgy.
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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2022-10-27 23:08:56.548473+00
    replaying this for the first time in years and man did this age well.
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  • Shift__11 2023-02-07 01:25:50.435042+00
    peak art humanity's greatest achievement
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  • poopbutt10 2023-09-08 14:06:28.963954+00
    part of my top 5 favourite games
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  • poopbutt10 2023-09-08 14:06:55.80322+00
    my fault for not buying NEO TWEWY when it came out though :/
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  • poopbutt10 2023-09-08 14:09:43.954198+00
    im actu.ally a bit stupid when i played this game for the first time bc i didnt know you could control your partner to actually initiate combos and thought it only worked if you put it on auto battle for you. didnt know this til my 2nd playthrough 2 years later
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  • Crazystone 2024-02-22 17:21:49.518803+00
    Calling, someone is calling
    reply
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