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Unread 01-20-2009, 02:17 AM   #1
Regulus Tera
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Regulus Tera single-handedly slew a dragon. Regulus Tera single-handedly slew a dragon. Regulus Tera single-handedly slew a dragon. Regulus Tera single-handedly slew a dragon. Regulus Tera single-handedly slew a dragon. Regulus Tera single-handedly slew a dragon.
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Default "Gimme chance, dig me deep. Trust me with your words." THE WORLD ENDS WITH YOU

How I love double entendre lyrics.

I've been wanting to buy this baby since it came out in April of last year, but only recently have I had the resources to enjoy this thoroughly. I think I'm about the halfway mark and I can say that, so far, this game is the best game Square Enix has published since Vagrant Story™.*


The first thing that will probably attract your attention are the stylised angular designs of the characters. While some may attribute these as a case of "X-TREEEMISM", they are representative of the "live-it-all" message the game puts across the table, as well as of the setting it takes place on.

The story revolves aroung Neku Sakuraba, a fifteen-year old boy who suddenly finds himself in the middle of Shibuya, one of the three major subcenters of Tokyo, along with Ikekuburo and Shinjuku. With no memory of his past, he is immediately thrown into a game of life-or-death by entities called "The Reapers", who throw "Noise" (typical JRPG cannon fodder) at the "Players" as part of their job. Luckily (yet begrudgingly), he forms a pact with Shiki Misaki, a girl in pink clothes, who explains to him that they have seven days to win the game or face "erasure".

The amnesiac starting point is admittedly cliché, but the main plot gets very interesting just a few hours in. Characters develop, new enemies are introduced, and the story keeps twisting itself at you every second. It doesn't degenerate into the Xemnas is Ansem but not really cause he's Xehanort but Ansem is actually DiZ but Riku is Ansem and oh fuck it mess of Kingdom Hearts II, yet manages to seem both light-hearted and serious at the same time.

However, the shining gem of this title is its battle system. The World Ends With You utilises both screens of the DS in each battle, with Neku in the bottom screen and his partner in the top. While Neku's companion remains immobile, attacking with combinations of the D-Pad buttons (or X, A, B and Y for the lefties), Neku is controlled by dragging him with the stylus, using different commands (scratches, slashes, circles, etc) to confront his opponents. Utilising Neku's partner and getting "stars" will net them a groove, which enables both of them to unleash a powerful attack that spans both screens while regenerating a little bit of their health (the HP bar is shared between the two).


It feels overwhelming at first, but thankfully the developers were smart enough to implement an AI smart enough not to kill itself every thirty seconds. It is slower than if you controlled the top screen all by yourself, but the feature lets you acclimatise to the hectic urgency of having to control two characters at the same time.

Which brings me to another point: customisation. The World Ends With You has tons of it. Among letting you choose your battles (no randomness, suckas!), it lets you select a level of difficulty at any moment. And hey, if even the hardest one is a cakewalk to you, you can use the level slider, which reduces or augments your HP according to your taste. Choosing low levels will result in better loots at the end of the brawl, while remaining in your current level will make the game easier, but less "farmable".**


There is still a lot to talk about of this game -its multitude of subsystems, its Beyblade rip-off of a mini-game, the pin mechanics, the fashion system, and its collect-a-thon libraries. But hey, I'm already tired, so I'll leave it at you should play this game if you haven't already. Jupiter (the developer) polished a beautiful gem with this one -not surprisingly, since they developed Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, a game which showed potential but had some nagging issues that kept it from being a marvel. In the meantime I'll continue playing this beauty, hopefully posting my impressions of the endgame in the following week. However, I have the feeling this is one title I'm gonna revisit for a long time.

***

P.S.: The music was composed by Takeharu Ishimoto, whose other works include different entries in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, the Kingdom Hearts series, and Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Despite being perhaps a bit "too hip" for the usual NPF masses, it fits perfectly into the trendy urban atmosphere of the game. Hip-hop, techno and J-Rock permeate the title's ambience at all moments, creating very catchy tunes that build, in my opinion, the best soundtrack Square Enix has made since Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles™.

*Remember I'm a true Nomura hater, so anything good I say about this game must be really good.
**I've been playing the entire game at level three all of the time, and believe me, it has been epic.

Last edited by Regulus Tera; 01-23-2009 at 02:26 AM.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:02 AM   #2
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In before "you were all enthusiastic and shit so now I hate it".

But I've been thinking about checking this out, for all that Geometry Wars Galaxies has its little vector-art fangs sunk into my throat these days.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:14 AM   #3
Krylo
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You were all enthusias...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifthfiend View Post
In before "you were all enthusiastic and shit so now I hate it".
...Damnit.

Seriously, though, this game looks pretty great. Almost makes me wanna get a DS, but hand helds destroy the shit out of my neck... so, is this game worth having the back of your neck put in a vice and then smashed with a baseball bat? 'cause that's about what anything over ten minutes of playing a hand held feels like to me.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:39 AM   #4
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My sister wanted this for Christmas so I bought it for her... earlier last week. Used super saver shipping, too.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 07:58 AM   #5
Victus
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I've had this game for a bit, and lemme tell you, hella fun. Now if only I weren't stuck at the last battle D:

But this game has consumed many, many, many hours of my life. And levelling pins aren't really too hard. Especially if you're not like me (I play honest) and set the calendar ahead on your DS a week, and watch the PP roll in. =P . Okay, maybe not roll in. I've been in battles that give me more PP than doing that (I tried it once just to test). It's mostly not a useful trick once you're too far in the game. Cheap as hell at the start though.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 08:47 AM   #6
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I played this back when it came out. Fun game was fun.

The only downside is that it has limited* replayability. Once you do everything, that's it. Unless you want to max your pins, anyway. Though the game is so massive, you'll probably not need replayability for a while.

PS - Week 2 was the best

*Limited in that after you play it once through, you can play it all again for achievement-like items and also the bonus chapter to add to the "story." Good for that but I found it lagging after this.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
Mirai Gen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifthfiend View Post
But I've been thinking about checking this out, for all that Geometry Wars Galaxies has its little vector-art fangs sunk into my throat these days.
New Puzzle Quest is out next month.

Just, y'know, in case it wasn't bad enough.

I might nab this, but right now I'm going all PC-crazay, so it'll be a while.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:11 PM   #8
Tendronai
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Buy this god-damned game, anyone who has any doubt about it.

No, seriously, go out right now and buy it.

Like Regulus said, the battle system is a lot of fun and you can customize it to be as easy or hard as you want. Learning how to manage the two screens is probably the hardest part, but once you get that down you'll be hooked.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 07:42 PM   #9
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Yes! The World Ends With You puts so many great spins on the RPG experience, like the level slider and chain battles, that those spins are themselves going to become conventions from now on. It's like the Dragon Quest of the new millenium.

And Tin Pin Slammer is totally epic. If you have friends, you can spend hours just flicking pins at each other and have a total blast with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krylo View Post
Seriously, though, this game looks pretty great. Almost makes me wanna get a DS, but hand helds destroy the shit out of my neck... so, is this game worth having the back of your neck put in a vice and then smashed with a baseball bat? 'cause that's about what anything over ten minutes of playing a hand held feels like to me.
I use a beanbag chair to play handhelds, so I don't have to hunch over as much. Sometimes I put pillows between my legs and the handheld too. It's spared me a lot of pain.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 07:46 PM   #10
Daimo Mac, The Blue Light of Hope
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TWEWY is by far one of the best looking games on the DS. It's visuals are gorgeous and I love the music from the game.

I was very hesitent when I first bought the game, but I could not put it down.

I need that soundtrack.
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