TWEWY centers around the exploits of a teenage boy named Neku who loathes his life and has a difficult time understanding and getting along withpeople. Just as he is mono logging giving the player an idea of the kind of person he is He's shot from out of nowhere and wakes up in modern day Shibuya, Japan as a ghost with no memory as to how he died. He is then given a number on his palm that decreases over time then out of nowhere monsters attack and he is forced to team up with a partner to save his life. This is where the criticism comes in. The world ends with you is another one of those R.P.G. games that are about saving the world, and you do this by fighting things, eating foods to increase your stats, controlling peoples thoughts, reading people’s minds, buying clothes, and of course discovering the true meaning of friendship. But by forcing relationships in such a way makes it seem like the game is trying to hard to teach a moral and doesn’t focus enough on the characters themselves. Over time you get to know more about these characters individually, but when there together the whole game just feels like a sitcom. Each of the cover art characters (with theexception of Rhyme a tom boyish girl who disappears from the story roughly a third of a way into the game) has an interesting back story which are interesting and give you an incentive to keep you on your toes till you've finished the story.
However you just can't help but feel that there should be more closure towards the end of the story. The whole focus on the game is asking the player how valuable there life is and if you were to die what reason could be good enough to warrant a return to humanity. These questions are somewhat answered by the games end but you just can't help but feel that there should have been a little bit more. though after completing it you unlock a bonus chapter which will have you view the main characters in an alternate reality in a much more comedic form.
Though despite my gripes with the games story the presentation and gameplay are what managed to keep me hooked for hours on end even after completing the main story. In Twewy You control your bottom screen charter Neku with the stylus while the upper screen you control with either the d-pad or a,b,y,and x buttons depending on whether your left or right handed. This is probably one of the coolest game play methods that I’ve seen on theDS to date. Only one problem there’s up to six different attacks that you can use at a time depending on what types of pins your using on the bottom screen alone and they each require you to use such precision that sometimes the game cannot tell one stroke from another and get’s your commands mixed up. Thankfully you can put some of your pins to sub mode by pressing the shoulder buttons.
Outside of combat your characters will be taken around varies parts of a fictionalized version of Shiubuya with some shops (Such as the 104 building based on the real Shibuya's 109 building) being derived from actual Japanese stores though they obviously couldn't name them after there official names due to copy write reasons. you'll be able to buy brand named clothes for your characters and equip them to increase there status. You can also increase the strength and dexterity of your equipped items and pins by fighting numerous battles in certain sections of the city which in turn depending on what brand you have equipped the most of that brand will become more popular. The hand drawn art style for the cutscenes remains impressive to this day every section of the city has something that will make you just sit there marveling at the attention to detail. and the colorfully hand drawn enemies fit all the more so because of it. Many rpg's focus to much on the environments and the characters and enemies feel like they were an afterthought (Cough Final Fantasy 7) that's not the case with twewy, every design feels like it was well thought out in the grant scheme of things never once did I feel like the environments were generic or just cut and paste. If you've ever wanted to take a look at what Japanese society is like then you will get a boat load of cultural references and cameos that will almost make you feel as if you really are in an alternate reality.
There is a lot of re playability, from leveling up your pins through extensive use, to hopscotching back and forth between levels after you've completed the game with cool side activities to accomplish and even a minigame that allows you to play with up to three other people locally add to this the fact that your pin's status evolve over a course of however much time your not playing the game, I can see The World Ends With You becoming a fan favorite ds title to be played for years to come. However analyzing this game further you will start to see that it owes a lot of its existance to other franchises. The hand drawn art style and J-Punk music are reminiscent and can easily be attributed to Sega's Jet Grind Radio and the story as interesting as it may be at one point could no should openly say that it was heavily "Inspired" by GATZ an anime about two teenagers who die and wake up in there world as ghosts who have to perform certain tasks while a timer is counting down on there hands.
You know I get this uneasy feeling that every
time Square Enix tries to build a new game from the ground up there's always some guy who bursts into there office and tells them that he won't letthem do it unless they rip off at least some other franchise. so they throw darts at a spinning wheel with pictures of different anime and games and "Borrow" heavily from that particular sub genre.
As cool as the game mechanics are flipping the coin over to the the story side of the game it falls short of anything great. It often feels like your watching the story in action and don’t feel like your actually doing something. Let me give you an example. There was this part in the game where I was asked to go a place with the symbol’s 100 + 4 assuming your memory isn't impaired you will remember a building called the 104 building that stands tall in the middle of a crossing walk. So I went to the building to try to meet up with the reapers ,but I cant because there’s an invisible barrier keeping me from going there. The barrier will only go down after I’ve talked to someone who’s role it is to help me out with the story, and then wait for them to flat out tell you to go to the 104 building. See what I mean when I say that it doesn’t feel like your doing anything.
The game tries to force you to meet characters, but it dose it in the wrong way. All games that have lot’s of character development take at least a little bit off of the game play but this is just stupid. another scenario of this would be during a point when an npc was being attacked , the game gives you two options you can either save him or not save him. Obviously I chose to save him, but when I made that choice I was immediately ambushed by noise. after my battle with them the npc dies and your character says "It's to late we left him to die" however if you chose not to save him he still dies anyway, and the same dialog is spoken, so what's the point of giving you options if the outcome is the same regardless. I can't stretch enough how I love the art style animation and the game play is one of the most innovative ideas on Nintendo DS, but the game play comes at a price, a storyline that will have you wanting more to be explained
overall score 9.3/10.