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I'm going to play a deadly game on the streets of Tokyo

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Written by   1
1 year ago

It is difficult for me to comment on which platform you should play the game on. In Neo: The World Ends With You, we rejoin the "Reapers Game" game, which we met with "The World Ends With You" on the Nintendo DS console years ago, with new players, a new story and remarkable music. Let's start the review for questions such as how was the second game of the series, which came 14 years later, what changes were made in the gameplay, and is it worth buying.

Neo: The World Ends With You review

Neo: The World Ends With You takes place after the story of the first game released for Nintendo DS in 2007. While walking the streets of Shibuya with our main character Rindo Kanade and his close friend Tosai “Fret” Furesawa, we find ourselves in the middle of chaos. Our story begins when the duo, who witnessed a war in which most people remained unresponsive, "closely" escaped an accident and learned that they were included in the game by a "Reaper" whose shift was about to end.


+ Music and voiceover

+ Art style

+ Different fighting style

+ Shibuya district

+ Interesting story and characters

+ Different character development system


- No cosmetic changes

- The use of special powers of the characters is too limited

- Nothing different to do in Shibuya

- A little too much visual novel style storytelling

Reapers Game is a game genre that covers the entire Shibuya district of Tokyo, where different teams compete for the first place. The team that collects the most points in a week by entering the areas allowed by the game officials and performing daily tasks around Shibuya wins. Missions can take various forms, such as clearing out creatures called "Noise" that are made up of people's negative emotions, or solving puzzles and capturing the main target.

A Game That Will End Our World

The story of the game, in which we expand our team and fight in an alternative Shibuya, begins in an interesting way, as our characters acquire new abilities, we learn more and learn about the "Reapers Game" and previous events. As you can imagine, things go a lot different than a simple game. Neo: The World Ends With You (hereinafter referred to as Neo: TWEWY) I liked the story that we experienced by visiting real places in Shibuya. The characters who joined our team, the opposing team players/leaders and the characters in the “Reaper” team, who are the officials of the game, are interesting characters with a different personality.

In the game we started with the Wicked Twisters team, named after our friend Fret, each of the opposing teams has a different theme. Deep River Society, a stylist team that closely follows fashion, and Purehearts, consisting of social media influencers, are among us, who especially love rivers and rely on clever tactics and numerical superiority as they are not strong enough on their own. There is also the Ruinbringers, the strongest team in the game, whose main goal is to beat them and achieve victory.

The game's story is independent of the first game, so it's possible to log in directly with Neo: TWEWY. During the story, we also get the opportunity to see some familiar faces from the first game, but I don't know how many people played the Switch version released in the past years, how many people played the original game on Nintendo DS or smartphones. I hope that after you finish this game, you will think “let me take a look at the first game too”.

Your Badge Is On Fire

We are trying to complete the tasks given to us for 7 days in the game and collect the highest score. In order to fulfill these tasks, we move forward by wandering in Shibuya, which is located in an alternate dimension, and clearing the creatures called "Noise" that try to capture our souls. These creatures emerge from the negative emotions found in Shibuya and cause quite challenging struggles according to the strength of the emotion.

We don't just use our kicks and punches to fight noise. Badges have a very important place in the game. In the real world, only the badges we wear on our bag or collar give us special abilities in this dimension. With one badge, it is possible to throw ice bullets at the enemy, while with the other it is possible to throw a rock or a car at the opponent's head. Moreover, some of the badges that evolve as you fight can evolve into different types of badges.

Feeding the characters at every possible opportunity and getting decent clothes play a really important role in the game's increasing difficulty. The characters can react to the dishes they like and dislike, and if they like a dish very much, they can earn extra points. The characters that you dress in the appropriate clothes and eat constantly become really strong after a while.

I would like to point out one of the most annoying aspects of the game here. The clothes are different in every shop and there are very beautiful items that are different from each other in terms of design. The worst part is that we can't see these clothes on our characters. Okay, these characters have a design, you may want the characters not to wear clothes in the storytelling, but not to lose the seriousness, but if we could see it in the fights.

There are social points that we collect while working in the game, and we can use them to expand our social network. Many features such as Easy/Difficult difficulty levels, new items, automatic selling of falling money badges can be obtained through the social network we developed by meeting and helping in the game.

Fighting Must Keep Up With The Rhythm

Set in Tokyo's Shibuya district, Neo: TWEWY hasn't done a bad job visually. I like the preferred art style. It reminded me of Persona 5 in some places, both because of the region it was set in and its art style. Although, the area we visit here is a bit more limited and it doesn't make much sense to constantly wander around because of the limited content that can be done. I also liked the designs of the characters and badges.

Neo: The World Ends With You has done a great job with the soundtrack, just like the first game. The reason I started playing The World Ends With You was because I was listening to the album and wondering about the game. I am glad that the second game did not disappoint me either. Bringing together various genres such as pop, rock, punk and hip-hop, the game did not forget to include remixes of some songs from the first game. While the new songs Storm, Chase and Your Ocean caught my attention, I am glad that the song Someday, which helped me learn the first game, is also included in the game.

We can play the game with both English and Japanese voice-overs. I did not break my habit and preferred to voice in Japan, but a good job was done in English voiceover. Neo: The World Ends With You has been released on both Playstation and Nintendo Switch consoles. In this review, I had the chance to try the Playstation version with both regular Playstation 4 and Playstation 5. Although I had a game crash once while playing on the Playstation 4 console, I finished it without any problems in general. Load times are not uncomfortably long.

The Other Side of the Badge

We said a lot of good things about Neo: The World Ends With You, but there were some points that bothered me about the game. I want to talk about some of them.

The main story of the game lasts an average of 40 hours, and during this time, we encounter a lot of new characters and learn about each character's unique strengths. While our characters in the alternate Shibuya region have the ability to see people in the real world and read their thoughts, direct communication is not possible. Thanks to the powers of the characters, it is possible to remind people of what they have forgotten, to place a thought in their minds, and thus to trigger events that also affect the alternative Sibuya. But the use of these powers is somewhat limited.

We have powers, but the game usually lets us use them at will. What I will tell here contains a small spoiler about the power we get at the beginning of the game, let me warn you from the beginning. At some point in the game, we have the ability to go back in time and fix the situations that caused us trouble. In the following missions, this ability allows us to go back to the past and remove the problem before it occurs when we get stuck. But they used it so straight that the player didn't have much to think about. It's almost clear what time in the past you should go back to (your options are limited), the thoughts you will put into people's minds are limited to very few options and it is almost impossible to make mistakes. At some point, I felt like I was reading a visual novel that I couldn't choose.

Our playground consists of the Shibuya district, and we get the opportunity to tour Tokyo's famous district (albeit in an alternate world). Moreover, this time we can see the structures in the region with their original names and go to the important points of Shibuya. But there is nothing to do in these areas. We can eat food to strengthen the characters and unfortunately we can buy clothes that do not affect our appearance in any way. We can also fight the "Noise" enemies in the environment and increase the level of the group, but that's it.

Each game day comes with two or three side missions alongside the main story. By finding relevant people and completing side quests, you expand your social network and gain abilities or items that will help you in-game. These are the only activities you can find other than fighting and advancing the main story. You are on your way to becoming a VIP customer of the shop as you shop and fight with those items, but after a while I stopped paying attention to this feature as it has no cosmetic benefit.

Each of the badges we use in fights has a different ability and way of use. Each badge can be upgraded to a certain level, and some evolve during this evolution. As the enemies get stronger with us, some badges quickly become useless, I have to switch to a different badge because the skills I want are powerless. It's kind of boring. Also, attacks that throw enemies into the air sometimes cause them to fly to places that I cannot reach. An issue that prolonged the duration of the fight out of nowhere made me stop using those attacks in the corners after a while.

Finally, some story missions send us to hunt pixels. Unless we go right in front of it and see an exclamation mark, our character cannot even perceive the sewer cover in front of his eyes. Thinking I came to the wrong place, I searched different places for 10 minutes, it was necessary to match that exclamation point. Mistakes that won't be repeated once experienced, but it bothered me.

My Conclusion

Players who want to play JRPG but don't like the turn-based combat system can give Neo: TWEWY a shot. It is a very nice game with its great music, different fighting system, interesting story and the Shibuya region where it offers the opportunity to visit with a fisheye camera. Those who love the first game have already bought and started playing, those who will enter the series can easily start from this game. Of course, if you have the opportunity, it is recommended to play the remastered version of the first game for Nintendo Switch or watch the anime, to enjoy the story more.

Neo: The World Ends With You is a slightly overdue sequel that comes 14 years (13 for outside of Japan) after the first game. It's not because it's an old system or because it won't appeal to new players. Fans of the series, who were young when playing the first game and were able to bond more easily with the characters, may have some trouble empathizing with the middle-aged people and the characters in the game they eagerly bought. This does not change the fact that the game is pretty good. After 12 years, I'm walking on the street while playing "Someday" in my headphones.

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1 year ago
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