The World Ends With You is a new departure for Square Enix in that it has elements of role-playing but a very different style to its usual fare. In this game that looks like a cross between a Gorillaz music video and a funky manga cartoon, you play as a character called Neku. One day you wake up in the trendy streets of Tokyo and get a message on your mobile saying you’ll cease to exist in seven days if you don’t complete a number of tasks in time. You also discover other people who’ve been sent this message and must work together to fight some nasty spirits called Reapers and stuff called Noise which manifests itself in all kinds of forms including frogs of all things.
Gameplay takes place over both screens of the DS. When you get into a fight you tap, drag and point on the lower screen to fight enemies and move your character and on the top screen, you input quick commands using the d-pad to do your moves. Both your characters share HP so you have to keep your wits about you or you’ll end up deeeeed!
When it comes to choosing special powers, you collect pin badges that let you read minds, fire bullets, cast flames and move objects. It’s up to you to choose how you assign these pins to which characters to get the best results but if you want to keep things simple you can set the DS to do this automatically.
The rest of the time you’ll be exploring Tokyo, buying items from clothes to food and talking to other characters. If anything there’s a little too much text to scroll through and it would have been nice if these scenes were completely skippable. Another gripe is the battles can be a little confusing at first as you try your best to keep your eyes on two things at once. Now I know how linesmen feel in football matches.
This one is fun but different and some people may find it a little too Japanese and stylised for their liking.
If you like this sort of thing though, you’ll get lots from it. My review of The World Ends With You ends with a very good 7 out of 10.