Review by djinni204

"Pretty, Shiny, Shallow."

Well what do we have here. Another Japanese only game ported to quench North America's insatiable desire to play Japanese games in plain English language. Like another game I played (Rondo of swords), this game have created a big buzz from fans here in North America way before it was released. I mean, how can it not? Based on the forums The world ends with you" apparently has a compelling story, amazing battle system and beautiful graphics. The only thing I agreed on was the latter part.

Now before you all go ballistic, which I'm sure rabid fan boys of this game is planning to do to me, let me explain it. I actually am not bashing the game, just saying how it really is. It's just fan boy-ism tends to overlook anything flawed in the game of choice. I refuse to do so. Now without further adieu let's get this review on the road before I get lynched for the seemingly low score I had given this game.

Graphics:

Impressive. that's how the game's graphics is in a nutshell. I think it's hands down, one of the most beautiful games out there in the market for the Nintendo DS. When I started the game off all I can say is how unbelievable the artwork was. It's a sight for sore eyes. And like probably the rest of you, had a couple of dribble of saliva wiped off the first few minutes into the game. In true manga fashion, each characters are drawn magnificently, background is equally fantastic as
well, and I'm pretty sure they put quite a bit of effort into it due to noticeable detail in them.

When it comes to battle animation, it's fluid enough. Key word, enough. The graphics did a negative 180 if you compare cut scenes and actual battle graphics but so is with any other game, save for some that don't.The flaw? Nothing really. This game has solid graphics and then some, compared to what the other games for the DS has to offer. Truly a feast for the eyes.

Sound:

Alas, this is a toss-up. Do you like Japanese pop? do you like Hip-hop and/or rap? If you answer yes to any of these questions like the rest of the suburban kids who played this game out there, then yes, this game's soundtrack is for you. This game is overflowing with unbelievable hip-hop and Japanese pop goodness it will either make you love the game some more
or just plain kill you otherwise. That or ear bleeds.

In true I'm-really-begging-to-be-lynched style, I would say, personally, I don't like the sound track. It's forgettable in all honesty, if you listen to them once. That quickly goes away because there's a certain song that has to be looped so much over it's hard not to forget. don't worry would-be buyers. You can't miss this song I'm talking about. Every cut scenes it seems they play it and also, every time the characters share their dialogue "gold".

Now don't get me wrong, I do admit that it ties and vibes in with the game's setting for it being set in Japan after all but hey, repetitiveness of a song kills it no matter how good it sounds. Want an example? "Low" by Florida. It's fun, stupid, yet catchy. Now it's annoying to hear because it's overplayed now. Same thing with the sound track of this game.

Game play:

Now here is the bad part of my experience. Game play? I found it highly disappointing. But first of all, let me explain how it works. You fight monsters called "Noise" in this game. How do you beat it? Simple. At the top screen your ally is shown and you can control her by following Dance Dance revolution-like arrows. You see the arrows you press the directional pad accordingly. That or the A,B,X or Y button.

At the bottom you control Neku also known as your main character. You control him by using Ninja Gaiden DS-esque control and that is with the stylus. You also use his skills using the stylus. Now the control might seem awkward at first and gets a heck of a lot easier later on but it doesn't really feel natural. It's clumsy and messy.People will say, but Djinni, it's a new system, very innovative and fresh! Well I say that's why it doesn't really work that well. a Half-assed
battle system on both screen doesn't equal full game play satisfaction.

Anyway, onto another part of the game play is accessorising. Yes, you can play dress up with your characters. All over Shibuya, you can go around and gather these clothing as they boost your stats, the same way armor boost your defense and all that in other RPGs. But here's the catch. You can't see them when you are actually fighting. Your character still looks the same. However, you can see them in the equipment screen. It seriously would have been a nicer touch to have your character change the way it looks as you change it clothes. Alas, they chose to add a lot of things into the game with you probably would barely even use except for collecting purposes.

Speaking of collecting stuff, completion-ist will have a grand time in this game as there are quite a a lot to collect. There's pins, which our protagonist uses to fight. There's about 300 of them if my memory serves me right. That's a heck of a lot of pins. Then there's the clothes etcetera etcetera. I would love to spoil what other else you can collect but I won't.

Controls:

I have delved into this thing a bit on the game play part of the review but I think this part needs to be reiterated. You would fall into three categories when you play and grasp the controls. A, you will love it. B, you will hate it. C, you will find it okay, yet clumsy. I fall into option C. Personal experience may vary. Regardless though, the controls are responsive enough that even if you do HATE it, at least it will still response accurately on what you are trying to do. Response time is great so you won't be tearing your hair out in frustration.

Replay Value:

Again, this is purely based on how you tolerated the game. It's a toss-up. Do you want to collect all the stuff available? do you want to replay certain chapters? if yes then the potential for replay is a lot. If you don't like to do those stuff, then you can always start a new game as this game is short to begin with. But if you didn't like your game experience then your probably will pick the game up again when you get bored of everything else.

Rent or Buy:

Rent for me on this one, although I did bought it due to my excitement. I can't say I fully recommend this game so thread with caution. Only you can answer whether you want to buy this. So try it out and make your decision.

Closing comments:

Beautiful game, really. However I found the story shallow, and when people and their dialogues started talking like black people it wasn't really "cool". it was obnoxious and down right irritating. didn't like the over the top reactions as well. However, the collection part of the game was cool and always good for some people. Pretty solid title, marred with some flaws.

Summary:

Short version for people who just want to skim through things:

Pros:

- Amazing Graphics
- "New" battle system
- Sound track
- item collection

Cons:

- Sound track( it's a neutral, hate it or love it deal)
- Battle system ( as above)
- Dialogue, it's weak and pretentious at times.

Hope you enjoy reading my review. Feel free to disagree. If you do, well we can agree to disagree.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/29/08

Game Release: The World Ends with You (US, 04/22/08)


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