“Enjoy every moment with all you got. The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they’ll go.” It takes a special game to stick in your memory for over a decade. I can safely say that The World Ends With You is definitely a special game.
Instead of telling you the story I am going to jump straight into the aesthetics of this game, because damn. The visuals are beautiful, the style looks more like a manga than an action RPG. The cast of characters are all highly stylised and stand out against the backdrop of Shibuya that the game is set in. With beautifully crisp lines and bright almost standoffish colours it soaks into your eyes and leaves you swimming in the visual bliss it causes.
Despite how good the game looks, it pales in comparison to the soundtrack. Well, technically the two soundtracks in this case. The music goes into a huge array of genres and does each and every one of them well. Even better, you can choose to listen to the original DS versions, or you can opt for the new remixes offered in this final remix. If the Switch ever takes off as a music player, then you can bet this will be high on the most played lists.
To enjoy this treat for the senses you have to take the role of Neku, a spiky-haired, selfish, grumpy teenager who has no idea what is going on. He isn’t sure why he is where he is, he just knows he isn’t happy about it, and that everyone else is holding him back. He isn’t what you would call a likeable protagonist. Granted, I don’t think anyone would be all that keen on suddenly gaining consciousness and then being chased by weird frog monsters.
Thankfully the other characters in the game call Neku out on his nonsense and provide a more balanced feel to the whole thing. You see, in order to actually fight against the monsters, who are called The Noise, you need to be paired up with someone, otherwise you can’t fight back at all. This allows the game to match different personalities together in order to have more interesting interactions as you progress through the story.
The fights are done using pins that unlock special powers within Neku, anything from calling down thunder to throwing cars are the enemies. It is a strange combat system but an incredibly fun one. You have to balance moving Neku out of harms way, attacking with your partner, attacking with your pins, and the cool-downs on every different ability. It leads to thinking about a lot of things but feels very satisfying once you’ve found a set-up you like.
The story takes place over a few different chapters representing the different days of situation you find yourself in. If it seems like I am being vague, I am. Even mentioning what is going on in too much depth could be a spoiler and this game deserves to be played with either no previous knowledge, or all of the nostalgia it has earned.
All you need to know is that the story is good and will pull you through to the end. The constant building of tension is done brilliantly, and there is even a couple of extra things to balance outside of the fights and story itself. One of which is a mini-game that is a bit like Beyblade meets Pogs.
The other and more significant thing to manage is how you dress. Each area you go into has a firm grasp on what its inhabitants believe is stylish, so if you use pins from that brand, or wear their clothes, then you get a bonus. You can even influence this yourself by using pins effectively and dragging your favourite brands into the limelight. You can even unlock the special abilities hidden away in your clothes by being good to the shops you visit. It is weird, but in a very very good way.
In handheld mode the game can be played entirely with the touch screen, which makes perfect sense given the games origins. This works perfectly and is the way the game should be played. If you prefer to play things on the big screen then you can, this involves using a Joy-Con as a pointer. It isn’t the best, it works, but it lacks the precision necessary for the tougher fights. The game looks gorgeous on a TV screen, but the beauty doesn’t seep into the control system. Stick to handheld here.
Along with a brand-new chapter at the end that dives deeper into this excellent story, is a co-op mode. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try this out, but it sounds like an interesting way to play through this fantastic experience with someone else helping you through the combat. The other player always takes control of whoever is with Neku so they get a different experience depending on who they are controlling.
Overall The World Ends With You: Final Remix is a fantastic experience, one that will have old fans gleefully jumping back in and new fans getting lost in this incredible game. It is one of the most stylish games ever made, it has a fantastic soundtrack, a truly brilliant premise, and even more content than before. While the docked controls feel a little lacking, the touch screen mode is how the game should be played and work perfectly. Do the right thing and check this game out, expand your horizons.
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