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The World Ends with You

Nintendo DS

Game Description:

Somehow, the guy who made the Kingdom Hearts managed to conjure this thing up. It’s not a bad game, yet it isn’t absolutely perfect. I can say, though, that it is a step up from the usual Square-Enix fare where they just spit Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest out while denying themselves from creating new things. So yeah, it’s a bit of a strange game. I beat the main story, but I never got too far into the pin battle.

Gameplay wise, everything is played via the stylus. You equip a certain number of pins and these pins allow you to use certain abilities. Every pin has an ability that’s used by pointing or dragging, but it creates a bit of chaos since you end up moving by pointing and dragging. So, yeah, battles can get a bit chaotic, although some people report to not have any problems with it. I’m not one of those people, though. Fortunately, the game has “sword pins” which work well when you have my level of skill (read: none). You have a partner working with you on the top screen, but to be honest, I never understood that part of the system, so I neglected. Needless to say, I suck at this game. But it’s not impossible. It has an interesting little difficulty matching thing where, depending on what you change your difficulty to, you can get more or less rewards (and better or worse rewards). So, if you set your game to easy, expect to get spare change and vendor trash; but if you set your game to hard, watch your wallet grow fat and your pin collection contain gems. Or something like that. I usually played on Normal and Easy, but on occasion, I would put it on Hard when I knew I could come out of battles alive.

It also has a fashion system thing, but I think all it does is affect your defense. You can also eat food, but it just boosts your stats for a bit. The fashion thing is a bit interesting, except that you don’t really see your characters wearing anything they put on. So, you could put a dress on Neku (the main character) and he’ll still shorts. So it kinda diminishes the effect. …Not that I wanted to see Neku in a dress. I leave that job to the fan girls.

There’s a… “Mini episode” that kinda feels like a Custom Robo game, except you play with tins. You kinda flick the pins around and you try to defeat the opponent. It’s an alright game, but by this time, I was already sick of the game and didn’t want to play anymore. Plus, the story proper had ended already, so this was bonus content, apparently, and set in an alternate universe.

This game has okay sound effects and pretty cool music. It’s like… I don’t know, a bunch of rap and pop music? I’m not big on music, but I can tell you that this game has a pretty good soundtrack. Just get prepared to hear repeating lyrics, although they’re not too noticeable.

The graphics for this game are nice. It’s all 2D sprites and that’s good. It’s very stylistic and feels very “comic book” like. Contours are thick, backgrounds are detailed but also crude, depending on the scene. Screens are rarely the same and switch out perspectives. It looks very good overall. The battle backgrounds, by contrast, aren’t quite as impressive, although they still manage to be quite alright to look at (not that you’ll be allowed to too much).

The story starts off rather simple and then starts to go bonkers. Basically, you end up in this weird dimension where people don’t see you and you can “hear” people’s thoughts. Your character, Neku, is understandably freaked out. He starts out being all snobby and bratty, but that’s intentional as you’ll see as you get further in the game. Anyhow, there are these grim reaper people who threaten to annihilate Neku if he doesn’t play their game for seven days and win. So, it’s up to Neku to play their game, win, and do whatever he can to get himself out of his predicament. In his quest, he’ll meet up with several people who’ll help him out in his adventure, although he can can only have a single character with at any time.

This game is for people who like things that aren’t the norm. It’s also for people who like action RPGs that center more around the actiony part and can tolerate the imprecise controls. Kingdom Hearts fans might enjoy it, but aside from looking like Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, this game is completely different from Kingdom Hearts. All in all, it’s a pretty good game that has a lot of rough edges.


1 Utility
The World Ends With You - Original Japanese Dub PatcherGame Specific11 Aug 2008

2 Translations
The World Ends with You (IT)Fully Playable15 Sep 2012
The World Ends with You (ES)Fully Playable18 Nov 2011