The World Ends With You: Final Remix
- Developer : Square Enix
- Publisher : Nintendo
- Release Date : 12/10/2018
- Review Code provided by Nintendo
- Price : £39.99
8 Days a week!
The 1st thing that I noticed as I loaded up The World Ends With You (herein TWEWY) was just how cool this game looked. From the outset I felt like I often feel at work, surrounded by people showcasing their own unique style and using words that I don’t really understand. I felt like a dad. A nintendad…
Which is absolutely fine as I, like so many others, play video games to experience things that I couldn’t in real life. Not just that though, also as an escape. And boy is TWEWY an escape!!
New Banger who dis?
Before I ramble on in great detail about the gameplay mechanics, art direction, controls or any other areas that any self respecting journo type should probably consider when putting together a video game review, I’d just like to discuss the sound track. Composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, who is currently working on Kingdom Hearts III for the record, the music showcased in this title is just ridiculously good. It mixes together Hip Hop, J POP and to coin a phrase made popular by Hanson, M-bop. Seriously though, this soundtrack is absolutely sublime, a fusion of genres and continues to excel, delivering beat after beat for the duration of TWEWY.
Visually, TWEWY utilises a simplistic comic style, much like you’d find in a visual novel. The reasoning behind this is because of the aforementioned soundtrack and what with this title originally being released on the 3DS, cartridge space had to be considered. Saying that, despite the lack of any 3D animations, the nuanced Japanese styling really lends itself to the underlying tone of this title and whether intentional or not at the inception, works perfectly for TWEWY.
Originally released in 2008 on the Nintendo 3DS and then as an enhanced package in 2012 on mobile devices, it now comes to Nintendo Switch with all the content from the aforementioned, dubbed ‘FINAL REMIX’
The premise of the game is completely out there. You take control of Neku, an angst ridden young man, a loner if you will, who wears headphones to block out the world around him. We can all relate to that right?
Having recently died, you find yourself caught up in a week long game to avoid permanent erasure and seemingly rejoin the land of the living. This strange and slightly morbid misadventure is orchestrated by the somewhat sinister Reapers, human like beings that arrange daily missions that need to be cleared within a time limit, in order to progress to the next day. Aside from that, the Reapers also block progress by putting up walls. These walls can be passed by carrying out menial tasks, which in fairness feels like your standard JRPG side quest fayre, albeit they’re sometime required in order to progress.
In order to compete, Neku must bond with a partner and make a pact. Once bonded, the fate of the two characters becomes intertwined and what happens to one will also happen to the other. Without going into spoiler territory, Neku has numerous partners throughout the course of this absorbing adventure but the one who stands out, with whom I resonated most was Shiki. Shiki offers a foil to Neku’s reclusive character by being more of an extrovert, having more of an outgoing nature. As the story develops you learn of Shiki’s vulnerability which adds even more depth to proceedings and her character really blossoms
Combat in TWEWY is the one area of the game that to me felt a little clunky and cumbersome. In handheld you use touch gestures, little movements to attack ‘noise’ TWEWY’s term for hostile forces.In docked mode the process is replicated with point and click like commands, which responded fine for the most part, but the sensitivity setting had to be turned right down at an early stage as the default was simply to busy.From the outset, pins play an important role, offering Neku the chance to perform various Phycs, depending on the pin, or combination of pins that you have equipped. You start with just a single ability but in no time you’ll be mixing it up with the best of them, sporting 4 in no time at all. This affords a lot of flexibility with attacks, offering flames, lighting and slashes, as well as health recovery to name buy a few.Due to the nature of the control options there is no option to play with a traditional controller, be it the Pro or Joy Cons in Grip.For the most part I found myself playing in handheld a lot as I usually play late at night after a long day, and even simple motion controls made me feel sleepy.
The World Ends With You. This Review Ends With Me, Now.
As a lover of the traditional JRPG; titles such as Skies of Arcadia, Xenoblade and the quintessential title in every collection, Chrono Trigger, I can honestly say that TWEWY whilst being completely different to the aforementioned games, belongs alongside such lofty company. It might not have the perfected battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden County, or a customisable flag ship at the head of your fleet akin to the Delphinus in Skies of Arcadia. What it does have is a soundtrack quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, pulsating and elevating everything to the max.
Were it not for the clunky combat, The World Ends With You – Final Remix would be deserving of perfect marks, the fabled Fifield five. As it is, it’s still an absolutely triumphant title that belongs in every bodies collection, whether JRPG aficionado’s or casuals who simply enjoy good, well made video game experiences.
Verdict – Something just a little bit different