Games You Slept On: The World Ends With You
By otakuman5000 On 31 Jan, 2011 At 09:05 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games You Slept On, Nintendo DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 1 Comment

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The Nintendo DS is home to many great and fun RPGs from all types of developers. Many of the RPGs that are offered on the DS have stories and game play elements that are fun and engaging enough to rival those that are made for other systems. Square Enix, mostly known for the Final Fantasy franchise, give us a completely new world and story in the form of The World Ends With You. An RPG that utilizes the DS’s touch-screen in some of the most unique ways for Nintendo’s handheld.

The main story of The World Ends With You revolves around a boy named Neku. Neku wakes up on the ground, with no memory of how he got there, in a street in the middle of Shibuya, Japan. This Shibuya is an alternate realm where a dangerous game is played among people outside from real world, or Real Ground (RG), this world outside of the real one is called the Underground (UG). Neku comes into contact with other people that play this game in his quest to recover his lost memories and discover a way back to the RG. The story is engaging and never becomes dull throughout the entirety of the game. There are always new characters showing up and adding to the story, which builds up a lot to a huge climax and resolution by the end of the game. Each character Neku comes into contact with has his or her own personality, as do the enemies he encounters as well.

Roaming around the UG Shibuya is a very interesting, and sometimes elegant experience. The scope of view while in the city spans both screens, where players can see Neku on the touch screen and his surroundings ahead on the top screen. Neku moves by either using the directional buttons or dragging/pointing the DS stylus on different areas in the touch screen. Either way is easy and simple to control Neku as he moves about the different areas of the UG Shibuya, Japan. Neku can interact with other characters using a pin that allows him to read thoughts of people around him. By touching the pin on the bottom of the touch screen, Neku will enter a trance and read the thoughts of others around him, which can be read by players by touching thought bubbles that appear on the touch screen. This is also used to come into contact with enemies that will attack Neku if pressed on the touch screen.
The battle system and gameplay elements are what really make The World Ends With You outshine most other RPGs on the Nintendo DS. Battle is done using both the top and bottom screens, with Neku on the touch screen controlled with the stylus, and his partner on the top screen controlled with the D-pad. Battle is fast paced in real time, and requires players to split their attention between both characters equally. This can be a little awkward at first for new players, but as more time is spent with the game, the controls for battle eventually become second nature. Neku attacks enemies using Pins he finds throughout his quest, which can control different attacks in a variety of different ways. Some attacks require slashing enemies with the stylus, while others need players to just touch or drag enemies to damage them, there are even some instances where a pin would require a player to blow into the DS’s microphone in order to damage a wide area on screen. This is a game where players will always be using the stylus to do almost every action Neku and his companions can do in and out of battle.

There is a huge customization element in The World Ends With You. While this is primarily a single player game, players can interact and exchange items with each other over Ad-Hoc play or Nintendo Wi-Fi. This not only allows the acquisition of new items and Pins, but can allow players to gain experience at the same time. Neku and his allies can be equipped with clothing that changes different stats that are RPG staples, but delivered in a new way or seeing the development of different characters. Each item has a brand associated with it, that can change the bonuses or aliments depending on the brand and what area of Shibuya Neku is currently in, this is called Trends. Trends and the bonuses/aliments the give Neku and his companions can have great effects in battles, which can make some of the more challenging sections of the game a little easier.
Other things that can be customized are the selection of items and pins that players can exchange or sell over Nintendo Wi-fi. Any item you obtained can be used for trade, or rack in a lot of money for purchasing more items. There is a mode called Mingle, which allows players to find items as they walk around in real life with the DS in sleep mode. This can be helpful in finding unique items and bonus experience, as the DS interacts with other DS systems, and even other wi-fi enabled devices. Finally, the game allows players to level up their pins even when not playing the game. Using the DS’s built in clock and calendar, the game will total up an amount of experience based on how long players stop playing and turn off their DS systems. This is an interesting concept in that it allows players more incentive to come back at later dates with their equipped items powered up.
The World Ends With You is one of Square Enix’s most innovative games made within the past few years. The battle system is completely unique and utilizes more interaction with the DS touch screen then most other games within the DS’s vast library of titles. Paired up with the ability to interact with other players over Nintendo Wi-fi, and even outside of playing the game, the many options offered really makes this title well worth the time of any RPG lover. Anyone looking for a different kind of RPG experience, with a great story to keep them involved will love playing The World Ends With You.

About - I am a 44 year old Gamer/Geek/Otaku who has been gaming and watching anime since the late 1970's. I am a passionate otaku who loves all types of games, anime and comics. I have been writing about games since I was a young man. I am an entertainment retail expert and an avid game collector. You can always find me playing or watching something geek related.

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