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Appreciation Time: The World Ends With You September 9, 2008

Posted by Matthew in DS, Feature.
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TWEWYI’m not usually a fan of your typical JRPG and upon first inspection The World Ends With You appears to be one of them. Thankfully though it isn’t, and it’s one of the best handheld games I’ve ever played. One of the many features that makes it stand out is the story which takes place in the modern setting of Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan. Placed in what is essentially a twisted reality game, Neku – the central character – has to complete the game in order to be brought back to life.

Completely ignoring the random battles, turn-based combat etc. that is usually associated with this genre it instead uses real-time combat and you can chose whether you want to fight or not. Your combat abilities come from pins (badges to you and me) which grant you various powers such as lightning strikes and slash attacks. These attacks are activated via different gestures on the touchscreen. While that happens on the bottom screen, your partner simultaneously fights on the top screen and can either be computer-controlled or manually by pressing the d-pad in the direction show by the scrolling arrows. It all seems rather daunting so it is probably best to initially set your partner’s AI to automatic.

The J-pop soundtrack perfectly matches up with the unique graphical style. The story is utterly compelling and the whole package is unlike anything else available on the DS.

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