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[First Impression] The World Ends with You: Final Remix
The World Ends With You is a classic I always heard about but didn't play until now. First released on Nintendo DS, I'm currently playing the Nintendo Switch version, subtitled "Final Remix." The game follows Neku Sakuraba as he finds himself playing The Reaper Game, in which he has to form a pact with a partner and finish tasks to avoid erasure.
The game throws you in the action quickly. Neku doesn't understand the rules of The Reaper Game and they get explained as needed. No dialogue is wasted! I thought that was fresh from Tetsuya Nomura whose Kingdom Hearts story is full of redundant dialogue.
Nintendo offered the game for free for Switch Online Members for a week, and I took this golden opportunity. I played the game for about 2 hours and finished the first two days of the game.
What caught my attention the most is the style of this game. The presentation is unique. Art, music, and even the controls of the game mix very well together to provide what I'll describe as an "Urban feeling!"
On Nintendo Switch, The World Ends With You: Final Remix can be played using Joy-cons or Touch screen. I only tried the touch controls on my Nintendo Switch Lite. I didn't get used to them quickly, it took a few battles to get hang of it, but after I did, I enjoyed the control system of this game.
The World Ends With You was originally a Nintendo DS game that was praised for its use of the handhelds unique features at the time. I think the touch controls translated to Switch pretty well.
The art style of the game is closer to a comic than an anime, which is enhanced by the dialogue bubbles. Playing the game feels like reading a comic book and that gave me a completely new experience I never got anywhere else.
The main character Neku is your typical edgy introvert. He doesn't talk much, doesn't like meeting new people, and the one of the first lines he ever speaks in the game is his monologue regarding his hatred of people.
"Shut up! Stop talking! Just go the hell away! All the world needs is me... I got my values, so you can keep yours, all right? I don't get people. Never have, never will." --- Neku Sakuraba in the Opening.
Suddenly, Neku finds himself holding a Pin and looking at a message on his phone that tells him to go somewhere in 60 minutes. His hand shows the time he has left. He encounters monsters, and a girl named Shiki who tells him to form a pact with her to defeat them. Thus they start their partnership to survive The Reaper Game.
The game is interestingly paced, and even at the early parts I played, there are a bunch of unexpected intense scenes. The ending of day 2 for example caught me off-guard, and if the rest of the game is of the same quality, I totally understand why The World Ends With You is so highly praised.
Neku and Shiki have a good balance, since the former is smart and strong but lacks information, while his partner knows a lot about where they are and what they should do, but not the methods to do it, and she's below him in strength. The impression I have for their relationship (for now) is a mirror to FFVIII's Squall and Rinoa relationship.
The gameplay of The World Ends With You revolves around the usage of Pins that the player characters have. The main Pin of Neku is one that allows him to scan people's minds and read their thoughts. Though he can't scan the game's administrators nor other players.
He gets other pins from the people he meets, like the Pyrokinesis Pin he got from Shiki because she can't use it. I get the impression that Neku is special because he could use every Pin he gets in the game.
The way Pins are used is very interesting. Each Pin is used differently via touch screen. Pyrokinesis Pin is used by touching an empty space on the screen, while other Pins are used by tapping on an enemy, slashing them, or even clicking on the Pin's icon on the screen. That's the fun part of the gameplay of this game.'
According to How long to Beat it seems the main story of X is 25+ hours long, and that means I only scratched the surface in my first impression run despite reaching the 3rd day. That makes me think the game will probably continue after finishing 7 days of The Reapers Game.
I'm familiar with the characters via Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. Neku's personality is different there, so I assume Neku will become friendlier through his story in this game. I'm excited to meet Joshua even though I don't know what role he'll play in this.
At the time of writing, both this game and its sequel "NEO: The World Ends With You" are on sale, while this is playable for a week for free as part of the Nintendo Switch Online program. I have three days left to finish it, pray for me so I can.
All screenshots are taken by me.
This article is also on Hive's Ecency. Different screenshots were used there.