Thursday, July 21, 2011

Video Game Review: The World Ends With You (DS)

"Listen up, Phones. The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go."- Mr. Hanekoma

One of the best games on the DS, The World Ends With You received high praises for its unique story line and gameplay.

Story- 10/10
Neku, the main character, wakes up on a busy Japanese street. He has no memories of his past, and is suddenly attacked by monsters called “Noise”. A girl comes by and makes a pact with Neku, allowing the both of them to fight the Noise. Neku finds out that he died, and he is now in a game. The only way to win is to make it through 7 days in the game.
At first, I thought the beginning was too generic. But as the story unfolds, the game becomes more like an anime. The twists and turns in the plot are predictable. But, the ending really wraps everything up. It was very satisfying, so good that a direct sequel to this game may ruin the series.

Character Development-10/10
The character development is on par with Chrono Trigger. Everyone had their own background, even the enemies.  You could see how Neku changed from being a loner to a guy that opened himself up to the world. There are even side quests, like Chrono Trigger, to get more back story on Neku and his friends.

The gameplay is a hit-or-miss. People were turned down by the steep learning curve. You control Neku on the bottom screen with the stylus. Neku attacks with pins, and every pin works in a different way. Some requires you to slash the enemy, and others require you to tap the ground. While Neku is controlled at the bottom screen, his partner will be controlled at the top. The partner is controlled with the D-pad or the A-B-X-Y buttons. Each partner has their own way of fighting, which was difficult for people. Controlling two characters at a time were difficult at times, but the game was nice enough to allow an A.I to control the top character. If the game was getting too difficult at some point in the game, you could lower the difficulty, and change your amount of HP. There is very little grinding in this game. While Neku does level up, his pins are able to level up too. Once the pins reached their maxed level, the pins are mastered, and can evolve into new ones. Sure this all seems confusing, but the game does a well job explaining everything.

This game felt like an anime to me. Maybe it was the story, or maybe it was the art. Everything was colorful and interesting to see. The attention to the details of the surroundings, and the people walking in it is second-to-none.

Again, another hit-or-miss. Japanese hip-hop songs are played throughout the whole game. I enjoyed the music very much, but some songs were overplayed too much for my liking.

Final Score-10/10
The story is original and unique. Gameplay is hard to learn, but eventually it will be easier after practicing. The anime style drawing with the Japanese hip-hop really sets the mood for the modern day Japan. I really recommend this game because it is perfect in every way.

The Good
-Interesting story
-Beautiful graphics
-Awesome soundtrack
-Very satisfying ending

The Bad
-Some people may find the game too short
-Again, some people may find the gameplay too hard

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