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External Review: The World Ends with You

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Introduction

A few years ago in the dawn of 2008 brought one of the most highly prised titles by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS. The World Ends With You has one of the most loyal cult followings calming its greatness. So the big question is, does it deserve its praise or not?

Gameplay

Neku doesn’t get people and well in this western society is what we would call kind of an emo. So when he finds himself awake in a world which people are just how he acted around them, doing their own thing, shrugged down and not paying attention to him, Neku is quite shocked. We won’t lie, probably would be happy with it like this, but he ends up with a partner who just insists on tagging along with him and when monsters pop out of nowhere he decides to let Shiki stay. So from there on out begins there journey into a world of the Underground.

The game revolves around a 7 day period of trials which will test the players to solve a mission to advance to the next day. Along the way you will notice more players simular to you who are also trapped in this Underground playing these games, above all there are reapers who just wait for the time you do something wrong so they can sweep down and well effectively kill you.

The stakes are high when you play for your soul, and so you have both you and your partner taking up one screen each on your Nintendo DS. Battling various monsters which come your way with slashes and dashes and energy based attacks which are based around a “pin system”.

There even is later on in the game, a light hearted game attached to The World Ends With You based around these pins. Quite similar to Bay Blades, so you know the deal when your goal is to knock the other pin off the field.

Controls

The game uses the stylus to control Neku on the bottom screen. The main protagonist has the ability with the player pin to also “read people’s minds” and find where monsters called Noise are. Tapping on things is essentially your goal when it comes to talking to people and other functions similar to that.

Battle is a little different, with the game taking place on both screens the game has developed a new control style which fixes the problem. Neku gets the touch screen, so his attacks are slash based with the stylus as well as using the pins and other functions on the screen. Your partner however has a world of their own which uses the buttons to perform various “steps” to do a attack.

Graphics

Graphics are quite polished, but at the same time probably the games down fall. Sprites are blown up and quite pixelated in some sections. However they are sharp and crisp for the majority of the time and do the game justice.

The game also features a few CGI cut scenes which are quite well down and very impressive- done in an art style simular to the character sprites and the world around them, which uses simplistic colours but many shades to give it the most detail.

Sound

The soundtrack in The World Ends With You, has to be one of the most polished for a video game in a long time. Produced by Takeharu Ishimoto the soundtrack can then rattle on a number of vocal artists which are well known in Japan. What TWEWY offers is a solid range of music which are more like songs than sound clips in a video game.

Because of this the soundtrack can easily be listened to by itself, and within the game it truly puts the player within the world created. It’s a magical experience which hasn’t been replicated for quite some time and is one of the games major points.

Dual screen

Picture this, action on both screens at the same time, but it’s not the same action- no The World Ends With You puts two different perspectives of action on the screens. On the top is your partner, trying to survive just like you- and you can help your partner out with various control schemes or set it to automatic if you’re having trouble. Otherwise the bottom screen is all you, which includes slashing and dashing instead of ramped button presses.

Final comments

The World Ends With You is possibly one of the most perfect and high quality titles for the Nintendo DS. It’s up there in what you would expect from Nintendo themselves and at the end of the day presents some game changing elements.

Pro: Story is well designed, Soundtrack is divine and Dual Screen Use is quite commendable.
Con: Battles can get tiring and quite repetitive and Graphics can be a bit on the rough side at times.
Final score: 9.5

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