The World Ends With You

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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JaySevenZero
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The World Ends With You

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions of The World Ends With You for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Jobobonobo
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Re: 428: The World Ends With You

Post by Jobobonobo »

A friend of mine recommended this to me as he knew I was a DS owner who loved his JRPGs. This being a new series from Square Enix and being set in modern day Tokyo did make this pretty appealing so I was not hard to convince me to give it a go! While the game had some clichés such as a main character losing his memory and being a mopey little git, its unique settings, aesthetics and combat kept me glued to my DS for weeks. The combat utilising both screens and controlling both character attacks with the touch screen and directional pad simultaneously definitely takes some getting used to but once you go over that hurdle it really becomes quite compelling. The fact that battles are not random certainly helps endear me to this title even more. Wearing certain brands in each district that are currently fashionable is a clever approach to handling equipment ensuring you hold onto any clothes you have collected so that your stats are always in top condition for battling. One of the more unique JRPGs to come out on the DS and one I would definitely recommend to fans of the genre wanting something a little off the beaten path.

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Toon Scottoon
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Re: 428: The World Ends With You

Post by Toon Scottoon »

I made it through most of the second week of this game on Switch. I had an okay time, but it showed me that life is too short for a game to require its player to use touch controls for traversal, especially during combat. I've heard the DS version blends d-pad and touch controls, which might be better, but I'm not dying to find out for myself.

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BlueWeaselBreath
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Re: 428: The World Ends With You

Post by BlueWeaselBreath »

I’m sad to say this one didn’t click with me. I had heard it described as a unique, must-play JRPG. As a fan of the genre, I borrowed it from GameFly to play on Switch and was unfortunately a bit cold on it.

I think my first barrier was that I personally didn’t find the setting to be that compelling. It’s a shame—I sincerely wish I found contemporary Japanese urban youth culture interesting, but it just doesn’t push my buttons. I can see how it could be a great hook for others, though, and I always appreciate modern day settings in RPGs, so I recognize this one as a strong case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

While the game’s art looked great, the sparse animation and stiff character movement made it feel a bit chintzier than I had expected. While the interactive combat made me feel very hands on with the game world, the traversal had a feel of limited interactivity for me, somehow, like I was moving a paper doll across a passive backdrop rather than moving a character weighting through a real interactive environment—ironic, given how immersive the environments could potentially have been given their basis in real locations.

They also made the unusual decision to keep some of the game icons in their original resolution from the DS, which was visually jarring.

Two main things kept pulling me out of the experience. Firstly, I found the touch controls to be unreliable on the Switch. The original DS stylus combat probably worked better; I found myself slashing and tapping wildly to execute particular attacks strategically only to have the various attacks activate haphazardly, with a different attack than I’d intended, or not at all.

Secondly, and I say this as someone who enjoys dialogue in a game, the amount of text here really should have been cut in half. The dialogue itself is fine, but the amount of redundant inner monologue is egregious. Of course some of it is critical to character development, but when Neku finds a character obnoxious and answers in a guarded and peevish tone, implicitly conveying his annoyance and his wish to be left alone, it’s not necessary to have him also think, “She’s so annoying! Why doesn’t she leave me alone?” I wish the writers had trusted in their own characterization and the players’ intuition a bit more.

I also have infuriating memories of trying to activate a dog statue early on and knowing exactly what I needed to do, but going back and forth for twenty minutes, talking to everybody and swiping and tapping like a fool trying to figure out how to trigger the next action but getting insufficient feedback from the dialogue boxes. I can’t say for sure that this is emblematic of the entire game—it could have been a fluke—but the memory of it badly colors one of the first sections of non-combat, non-dialogue gameplay of this game when I look back on it.
In the end, I returned the game early, less than a quarter of way through. I could tell the story was beginning to pick up, so I intended to come back to it at some point, but with all the games out there, I’ll not sure if I will.

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NoMoreSpearows
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Re: 428: The World Ends With You

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

It is frustrating that there will likely never be a "definitive" version of The World Ends with You.

From a gameplay perspective, it feels unfair to compare the original DS version with its mobile and Switch counterparts because they're such different beasts, but there was undoubtedly more love put into the former. The game emphasizes the importance of multiple layers of existence, so having that element portrayed with two different screens is the clearest way of doing so. It's not an easy setup to learn, with the temptations to focus on one screen or adjust the difficulty felt throughout the game, but learning how to use each partner effectively, as well as finding a set of pins that best matches your playstyle (or just finding one that can break the game), is rewarding in a way that other versions can't match.

But The World Ends with You is just as much a game about the aesthetics as it is the gameplay, and versions such as Final Remix are superior whether you're looking at the quality of the graphics or the amount of music provided by Takeharu Ishimoto. In a perfect world there would have been a version released for the 3DS or the Wii U, where both of these fundamental elements could work together in as much sync as Neku and his partner. If the promised "NEW 7 DAYS" that have been teased for the past half-decade or so come in the form of a sequel, I'm worried that the combat will lack the identity everything surrounding it has if it isn't retooled in a major way.

[Completely off-topic, but applause for whoever had this be issue 428, which can be phonetically read as "Shibuya" in Japanese.]

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Nupraptor
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Re: Our next podcast recording (18.7.20) - 428: The World Ends With You

Post by Nupraptor »

I played this on the DS back in it's hayday. It is a superbly creative and fresh JRPG.
I think it is one of Square's best "Non-Final Fantasy" JRPGs. It is a shame that it has never had, and is unlikely to get, a sequel.

They really embraced the dual screen and touch screen functions of the DS and made them integral parts of the gameplay in a varied and creative fashion. Even better, the mechanics switch up throughout the game when you find new pins and new partners, so you have to keep learning new techniques throughout. The art design is striking and some of the noise enemies and bosses in particular, look stunning.
The plot is fun and has an anime feel, where they combine slightly absurd melodrama with a sense of awareness of it's own goofiness.

It is probably going to go down in gaming history as a sort of cult classic and respected oddity. It really deserves to be played by more people. Aside from it's many other positive points, everyone should get to experience a boss battle where an unhinged anime villain screams "Sine! Cosine! Tangent!" while he makes his attacks! 8-)

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: Our next podcast recording (18.7.20) - 428: The World Ends With You

Post by ThirdDrawing »

I had high hopes that TWEWY would bring back the halcyon days of Square from the 90s where they experimented and produced interesting new titles. It partially succeeds but I just couldn't get the controls on the DS to work. Finicky, flawed...whatever you want to call it...they just didn't gel with me, so I put it aside.

I picked up the remaster with the hope that I would be able to use traditional controls. So far I've only been able to progress using the controls on the touch screen of the Switch - the only game I've used it for. I appreciate the attempt, Square, but perhaps less experimental controls next time?

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ColinAlonso
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Re: Our next podcast recording (18.7.20) - 428: The World Ends With You

Post by ColinAlonso »

I got this a few years after release, when its reputation in the DS's library was well established.

I enjoyed the story. While Neku's character development will be obvious from the start, the Reaper's game, the twists and turns it takes and it's many likeable characters were interesting and fun.

While battles are very busy, I find that the key to not being overwhelmed is the light puck. It is far more than just a combo multiplier. Its a guide that helps switch focus between the battle on each screen at appropriate intervals, creating the rhythm of TWEWYs battles. Once I get pulled into that rhythm I love the mad battle system.

The upbeat uptempo music is a wonderful match for the game. I often tap my feet to it while paying.

Couple all that with a great anime art style and the end result is my favourite DS game.

PS. Thanks to whoever decided to also map the d-pad controls to the face buttons. The game would have been completely unplayable for us lefties otherwise.

Also, If you reach the end, play Another Day. Its a wonderful slice of silly post game content.

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