bought this game under extreme duress. To me, my iPad isn’t a gaming device. If I’m using it to play games then I’m on the move somewhere, in a long car journey or at a friend’s house and pretending to listen to them. I’m playing silly little flash-style games like Bejeweled that I can give 2 minutes of my attention and then turn off. I play games when my husband is forcing me to watch movies and TV but he sometimes spot-tests me as to whether I was paying attention, so it needs to be a game that requires only 1% of my brain.
This is the first “real game”, I ever played on iPad and I’ve never owned any other sort of handheld or portable console. I understand that it’s an original DS port – not having played the original I can’t comment on that. The first thing I said was “$20 for an iPad game? Really?” which is probably in retrospect, one of the stupidest things I’ve ever said. I’m so used to the prevalence of free or small games with low development time with of course the hordes of in-app purchases or at most cost me a dollar or two, and give me 5 minutes of playtime in a go. To me, iPad games have been designed to entertain a 5 year old with ADHD, not provide a flawless gaming experience.
“Just buy it.” I was told. Not once, not twice, not even three times, but even more than that (my counting skills are limited). Finally, after at least five minutes of being told what to do I gave in – more out of curiosity as to why on earth this game was worth my money than any genuine positive expectations. Plus, the word “No”, is not highly used in my vocabulary.
The World Ends with You (TWEWY) is a Japanese-style Beat’em-up RPG in which you play as Neku, a sullen, slightly emo guy who finds himself with no memories, trapped in a world called the UG – the underground – being forced to play a game run by a group of creatures called the Reapers. Failure will result in being erased. There are creatures / negative energy called the Noise and he has to team up and form friendships with other players in order to defeat the Noise, complete the tasks set by the Reapers and survive till the end of the game – day seven. To be fair I’m going to forgive him being emo, I would be too in that situation.
he gameplay centers around collectible pins which contain special abilities. Neku has super Psyche powers and can use most of them, whereas his allies have limited skills. Each pin does a different special ability or provides some sort of passive boost and you can set which ones you’re planning on using and based on your fights, level them up and evolve them into new things. I don’t know how many pins there are – it seems like a lot of them, with a lot of trading, levelling and evolution potential.
You use them with a variety of touch-screen based actions, touching, swiping, tapping, stabbing (okay that last one may just be me) and you can create combos based on your input, your pin selection and your companion abilities (also controlled by you to a certain extent). The fights are short and sweet, frantic and fun and it’s great gameplay.
ounds simple? Well I hope you weren’t looking for simple… because there are also different clothes you can wear based on your current bravery, there’s different food you can eat, there are a bundle of different stats applied to your character, there are stickers to collect which apply passive bonuses, there’s actually a surprising amount of depth to it all overlaid with both humour and a pervading darkness.
What shocked me the most was the fact that I did actually end up caring about Neku and the cast – despite the fact that they are essentialy one archetype character after another. I can’t go into depth about the story because I would be hung, drawn and quartered for spoilers – but it is engaging, surprising and at times, shockingly dark despite being set against the bright and weird landscape of Shibuya’s fashion district. Just trust me on this, it’s worth paying for.
I found myself playing this game in bed for hours – missing entire movies that I then had to pretend I’d actually watched. I found myself playing it even when I had the option of falling into the loving embrace of my PC. I would never tell my friend that he is right, his ego is large enough already – but he was. My secret is safe with you guys, right? This is an amazing game and has opened up my eyes to the potential of gaming on the iPad. To echo the command he gave me, “Go buy it.”
An impressive 9/10 from me. Aw Neku, you may be a grumpy teenager, but I still love you.