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The World Ends With You (DS)

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16 Reviews

Genre: Role-playing / Video Game for Nintendo DS / ESRB Rating: Rating Pending / Release Date: 2008-04-18 / Published by Square Enix

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    16 Reviews
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      27.06.2012 16:20
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      Take a chance on this one, it could end up being your favourite DS game.

      Most game are very similar. Now and again there'll be a unique gimmick, or a new feature, but they're just minor additions to the same shooting game, same sports game, same RPG...

      But now and again a game comes along that's so innovative, so full of unique ideas that it just blows you away. The World Ends With You is one of those games.

      Set in Tokyo, you play misfit Neku who is locked into a deadly parallel world where he must fight monsters and take part in a sinister competition to stay alive. I won't spoil the plot here but needless to say that it's engrossing, full of twists and turns and one of the most moving endings you'll find in any game, DS or otherwise.

      Combat is done with the touch screen, scratching enemies to make Neku attack them with blades, shouting into the DS mic to cause sonic booms and drawing shapes on the screen to cast spells to rip your opponents apart. There are literally hundreds of different moves you can find and the enemy aesthetics are amazing. On the top screen, your partner battles enemies at the same time and you can control them if you want using the d pad. This means you can potentially be fighting two different screens full of enemies with two different characters at the same time! Hard to master but ridiculously satisfying when you do.

      The ideas just keep coming throughout. Reading people's minds, even people just shopping or thinking about nonsense. Eating food and waiting for it to digest before you can reap the benefits of it. You're clothes being more powerful in one area than they are in another, depending on how fashionable they are. Gaining experience for not playing the game. If some of this sounds ridiculous, it is, but weirdly almost all of it works. There is the odd idea or gimmick that feels a little uninspired or tacked on, but never game ruining. To have a game which tries so much new stuff, and gets almost all of it right is a rare thing indeed. I urge you to try it.

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        04.08.2011 22:40
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        A fantastic role-playing game that shakes thing up for once. Buy it!

        'The World Ends With You' is a role-playing game on the DS, released in 2008. Now, most Japanese style RPGs can be pretty generic in fashion and easy to rehash: you control a party of four characters, travel round the world, defeat monsters in turn-based combat, traverse dungeons and beat a really powerful boss monster/person before getting some treasure, rinse and repeat to the end of the game. However TWEWY has been credited with turning the genre on its head with its use of real-time based battles, a locked world map based on real-life Tokyo and unique stats and battle system. This was something that put me off getting the game as I'm not a fan of real-time battles (I'm pretty bad at making impromptu decisions) and heard that its controls were difficult to get used to. Well my sister got the game and got pretty far; she enjoyed the game and I enjoyed watching her, so I decided to give the game a go myself with my own playthrough.

        TWEWY is set in an alternative Shibuya, an actual district within Tokyo. Our main character is an angsty boy named Neku who prefers being alone and listening to the music from his headphones. So when he wakes up in Shibuya with memory loss, hearing the thoughts of passers-by he can't communicate with, and being attacked by frogs, you can bet he's pretty freaked out. Neku has been forced into the 7-day Reapers Game; for seven days he is set timed tasks, such as get to a certain area of the district in 30 minutes. If he fails them then Neku will be erased from existence of both here and the real world. He must also defeat Noise- basically the monsters in the game- and partner up with another challenger to fight properly. I liked the story because there is a lot of character development for the main cast, especially from Neku because he is forced to fight with others rather than on his own. There are messages to learn and tough decisions to make, and it results in a great story from start to finish.

        You control Neku around Shibuya by dragging the stylus in the direction he wants to go. There are many different areas within the district and various shops which sell clothes and food (for stat boosts), although some might be blocked for plot reasons. Fighting monsters is actually optional as opposed to inevitable- to do so, press the Scan button in the corner of the screen and Neku will start scanning people's thoughts and nearby noise in the area, and selecting that noise will draw it closer to you for a fight.

        Now TWEWY's battle system is a refreshing shake-up of traditional RPGs. It takes up both DS screens because your partner fights Noise on the top screen while Neku fights the same monster at the bottom. Neku fights Noise with badges bought from shops or gained from key battles. Each one grants him special abilities such as shooting fast bullets, dragging flames across the floor and causing mini quakes. They are activated by doing various touch screen movements (e.g. the flame ability just involves drawing the path of flames on the screen but many only work for a couple of seconds and take time to recharge. How well your badges will work don't depend on the type of enemy you're facing but how trendy its branding is in that area of Tokyo; a hip brand means they get an attack boost but those at the bottom of the charts will have their power halved. Meanwhile your partner at the top unleashes melee combos on the foe by pressing a sequence of the directional buttons in order, and choosing certain combos will allow you to unleash a double- attack between both characters. I enjoyed this battle system a lot because it was great to combine different badge attacks to keep pummelling your enemy and I soon found my favourite brand ("Jupiter of the Monkey"). However the controls for combat are very difficult to get adjusted to. Your attention needs to be divided between the two screens as you're moving the stylus for Neku's attacks while frantically pressing buttons for his partner, something which I found impossible to do well. Fortunately the developers recognised this and can let the AI control the top screen for you if you're too distracted, which considering how frantic and powerful the bosses get was a necessity for me!

        The graphics in TWEWY are great, because while they don't push DS capabilities every design is colourful and fits the intended mood of the game- Shibuya itself is mostly a mix of black and gray, but your characters stand out in terms of colour e.g. Neku and his mostly purple clothing and orange hair. It's all pretty realistic looking as well, which isn't a surprise since Alternative Shibuya is based on the real Japanese district, to the point of many buildings and areas being based off reality. The battle animations are seamless even against the final bosses that take up both screens. I further enjoyed the game's soundtrack which had catchy electro-pop Engrish songs, and these will get into your head as you're fighting or running around. One thing people might nitpick is the English voice-acting, but this is minor because it's only during battles (outside them characters just exclaim or laugh) plus I personally didn't mind that much as they were fitting enough for each character.

        With hours upon hours of gameplay and even the opportunity to replay certain days (and one extra day), 'The World Ends With You' is a brilliant role-playing game that's a must-play for DS owners. Even non-RPG players should give this game a chance seeing as its setting and gameplay result in such an original take compared to games of its calibre. Heartily Recommended!

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        07.06.2010 12:51
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        A must buy, easily the best DS game out there to date

        This was a spur of the moment buy for me, i had just bought a DS light and wanted a new game for it and there was a distinct lack of good games out at the time.
        I wasn't expecting much from this game, i hadn't heard great things in the magazines i had read, there wasn't much hype about it either, all i knew was it was made by Square Enix (The makers of the final fantasy series) so like most of there games it was at least worth trying out.

        The first aspect of the game that i really likes was the artwork, that is generally what made the game so great to play, the game is set in Shibuya (A ward in Tokyo) all characters are like characters you would see in an anime or a manga, the buildings loom over the top of the screen at either side giving a nice 3D feel to the scenes.

        The story is another of the games great factors, i really got sucked into it you take on the role of Neku (neckoo) you are then trapped in an alternative dimension, forced to play the Reapers game in order to get back everything you must.
        The Reapers game lasts 7 days, each day having its own mission and time limits (don't worry the time limits are just for show) you need to complete the missions or face being erased by the reapers, the reapers try and stop you by deploying "Noise" which are monsters that do there bidding for them.

        In my opinion the combat system is a gem as well but some critics argue otherwise, so i guess its either a love it or a hate it situation. You control Neku on the bottom screen, you equip him with different 'Pins' that give him different attacks, you do these attacks by doing different motions on the touch screen, for instance, if you drag around the screen with some pins you create a trail of fire, if you slash across and enemy you will hit him, if you slash up in an empty space you create a pillar of ice, there are lots and lots of different pins that all do different things, its up to you to find out which work better together and suit your play style

        The top screen is also used for combat, you control the other member in your team with the D pad or the A,B,X,Y buttons, you press the left or right on them to make the party member attack in that direction, you then chain together the different symbols (a circle, a plus sign and a wavy equals sign) to create a combo which covers both screens and also heals both party members (Who share a health bar on the right)
        It can be tricky to start with controlling both screens but you can set it so the computer takes over if you do nothing.

        If im completely honest, this is one of the best games i have ever played, possibly my favourite, it is just so much fun, hard to put down, the story is long as well and there is a huge end game mission after the last boss to keep you going back to it, im currently on my third or fourth play through and still loving it.
        So why are you still sat here reading this review? Go buy it!

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        03.05.2010 16:20
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        A great achievement fully exploiting every aspect of the DS system

        Easily the most ambitious game available on the DS, 'The World Ends With You' mixes an engrossing storyline with a very clever but still intuative gameplay system.

        The game is set in a spirit filled underground version of the Shibuya district of Tokyo and follows the path of main character Neku as he tries to escape back into the real world through a series of tasks spread across several weeks.

        I intially found the main character uninteresting and hard to identify with but it soon became clear (as you learn more of his backstory) that this is all part of his psyche and therefore part of the game.

        Two things I love about the game:

        1. Fighting as two characters simultaneously on both the top and bottom screens. This totally blew my mind intially with but it soon made sense and really set the bar for what is possible on the DS.

        2. Earning skill points whilst not playing the game. You collect pin badges to perform special fighting and these mature over time meaning that when you come back to the game after a few days off your skill level at using certain pins will have improved.

        This game really offers a lot and I have yet to find someone that isn't impressed with how much depth there is to the game.

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        15.12.2009 23:25

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        This is one of the best adventure games i've played.

        If you are looking for a great adventure game you have found it. This game is so much fun. The story is so great. You wake up on the street in Shibuya and a girl comes up to you and makes a pact with you. You soon figure out you are play the reapers game. I won't tell you too much or it will ruin the game. But there are a ton of secrets you learn and meaningful morals. The way of fighting is very interesting. You play as two characters one on top and one on the bottom screen. You buy pins and get pins from different shops and you slash and press and do tons of things to use them to attack. Also the soundtrack is awesome it has great music and you can buy songs too. I think this game is a wonderful game and I totally recommend it.

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        09.11.2009 17:42
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        A lengthy, fun, stylish game.

        Quite frankly, this game is utterly bizzare, but also absolutely fantastic. It is hard to think that someone had this idea as a concept and decided to use it as a full blown game, but I am glad they did.

        Starting off in Tokyo's "trendiest" district, you begin by getting a text through your mobile that you are now part of a game, and will be deleted if you lose the game. You have to complete many missions to progress through the ingame days, of which there are 2 weeks worth. Each one of these days takes about an hour to an hour and a half to complete, meaning the game is a fairly lengthy adventure.

        The battle system, where you collect badges which give your character powers to enact on in game enemies is very fluid, at times easy, at times difficult, the learning and difficulty curve are expertly judged.

        This game is quirky, stylish and brilliantly designed. It is an excellent adventure, one you will scarcely put down.

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        16.07.2009 19:33
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        Superb game, well presented and well thought through

        This review is for Nintendo DS game, The World Ends With You, developed by Jupiter and published by Square Enix. The World Ends With You is an adventure/RPG style game set in Japan, essentially in 2D.

        The game starts with one of many animated introductions, and the story line is very important to this game. I'm always prone to pressing buttons to escape reading these plot lines, but the plot is interesting enough in this game for this not to be necessary. Indeed it is worth following these sections as they will aid you through the game by picking up on little pieces of information.

        Through the game your character picks up pins, which you need to be able to defeat some opponents in battle, and these are also required when you want to buy new outfits. You need to wear the right clothes in the right places to maximise your fighting ability, as it's important to look the part when fighting!

        It is complex to explain exactly how the fight sequences in the game work, but the developers have fully used the two different screens of the DS. Although it can be initially difficult to feel in control of what is going on, it soon becomes very natural, and the system used is well developed and programmed. If you do find yourself struggling however, the game will pick up and fight on your behalf on the top screen, a feature which helps you get into the game smoothly and comfortably.

        The controls in the game aren't the easiest to get used to at first, as there is so much going on in this game. The Nintendo DS's features are though both used well, and you use both the stylus and touchscreen, as well as the D-Pad to control the moves and the fighting. It's all very smooth and very professionally put together.

        The graphics in this game are superb, and are the best that I've seen on a Nintendo DS. The graphics are bright and sharp, and add a huge degree of realism to the whole game as you're exploring in Tokyo. The sound in the game is equally superb, with full length songs as background music and good sound effects. Overall, the graphics and sound both add enormously to the atmosphere of the game.

        In terms of playing time, this game will take some time to complete, and as long as you don't get too bored of the fighting elements, which can be a touch repetitive, this will last you some considerable time. It's one of the rare games also that is still of interest after you've completed it, as there's lots to explore and discover in the game.

        The game's retail price is 29.99 pounds, but is currently available on Amazon for 19.90 pounds. If you're happy with a second hand copy, these are available for around twelve pounds at the time of writing on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 12+, so is only suitable for older children.

        In summary, this is a superb game for the Nintendo DS, well thought through and delivered in numerous different ways. The graphics and sound are excellent, and the concept of his adventure and RPG fuse together really well. The story line is very well written, the game fun to play, and you really do feel as though the game rewards your time and energies in playing the game. Excellent.

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          15.05.2009 12:20
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          Get this game, one of the best looking, sounding, games out there for the DS. Easily the best RPG.

          This could be the best game ever made for the DS. It is a reimagining of what can often be the stale JRPG genre. Every tired cliché has been exorcised leaving an amazing gaming experience. You play the game as Neku, and in the beginning you, like Neku, haven't got a clue what is going on. You awaken in the trendy Shibuya district of Tokyo with no memory of who you are and how you got there. You soon team up with a partner and with the help of some great cutscenes start to get your teeth into a truly incredible story.

          The gameplay itself is pretty unique. Battles are played out on both screens, you control Neku with the stylus on the bottom screen - using gestures to execute attacks. You control your partner on the top screen (who battles simultaneously) with the d pad. Sounds like scratching your head while rubbing your tummy, and initially it is. However very quickly you will 'get it' and the battles become very very satifying. By synchronising the attacks on both screens one after thee other you can rack up combos to deal more damage. And after the battle you get ratings based on your performance, experience to level up your moves and also pick up various 'pins' which give you new attacks.

          There is a tempatation to automate your partner so you can concentrate on the lower screen however you'll miss out on the thrill of stringing together combos. The battles become so addictive you find yourself seeking out fights where in some RPGs (I'm looking at you Final Fantasy) you quickly tire of the same old encounters.

          In between battles you can visit shops to buy trendy new clothes (no armour, swords or magic capes here). The world these characters inhabit is one of youth culture, so stylish threads mean bonuses in battle.

          While I've covered the core gameplay here I've missed a lot of other elements which make this game great. A multiplayer battle mode that reminded me of spinning tops. A 'mingle mode' where you can level up your attacks by taking your DS with you and seeking out other DS's. A fully in game controllable difficulty level - by handicapping yourself you can increase the speed at which you level up, and the harder difficulty enables you to collect some of the rarerer attacks.

          Once this great game is over the completist can revisit all previous levels to unlock further pieces of back story. The plot is filled with so many great characters and twists and turns that sometimes are not entirely explained that you feel compelled to do this, and the battling is so much fun that it never feels like a chore.

          So to summarise - unless you truly hate RPGs you need this game. The gameplay is addictive, the story compelling and the presentation incredible.

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            05.05.2009 20:53
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            Addictive, fun, thrilling and exciting.

            I bought this game because it was from Square Enix, makers of Final Fantasy so i thought i wouldn't be disappointed and i would get a good time, and i definitely did.

            The story focusses on you, who is a young adolescent, lonely, introverted, and does not feel the need to socialise. But you get sucked into a dream-like world where that is what you must do. You have to team up with a girl you meet and fight for your freedom, your life.

            The gameplay was original, simple and extremely fun. You move with the buttons or stylus, and interact mainly with the stylus. The main battle scenes are fought with buttons and stylus, and makes use of both screens simultaneously, which could be confusing at first, but easy to learn.

            The music is also great, as the whole game is being based in the Japanese Tokyo street scene, mixing combat with culture and style.

            The characters look superb, and the graphics are as good as any other DS game. It is quickly addictive and is a long lasting game, depite what you feel after the first time playing it. There are also many plot twists and has long replay value, yet a shallow learning curve. The music at the end is to die for and the ending makes you want MORE.

            I recommend this to anyone looking for a new alternative story for a game, or they are fans of Square Enix, even those who just want a bit of stressfree fun. This is a must have game that will leave you begging for more! Around £25 at major stores and online!

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              21.04.2009 08:16

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              Great, I Would Definatly Go For It

              The World Ends With You is about a boy called Neku who wakes up one day and finds out he's competing in the Reaper Game for his very life. The gameplay is great, and very fast, you control two characters at the same time, one with the stylus and one with the buttons, you get used to having to focus on two screens though, I certainly did. The overworld when you're not fighting holds a lot of puzzles for you to figure out, which makes it last a lot longer. There is also a fashion system, you can buy clothes and wear them for battle, the more popular the trend, the more damage you do, I think that, although you don't see them on the character it is a good system with a big collection. The best thing in my eyes about The World Ends With You is it's soundtrack, if they made a CD I'd get it, it is the best music in a game I've ever heard. There is also a minigame called Pin Smasher, I belive it could be a bit easier to control so I don't exactly rate this minigame highly.

              I give this game 4/5 just because Pin Smasher let it down.

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              07.04.2009 13:53
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              Great game, love the battle system how one character is on bottom screen and the other on top.

              Although I have only just got this game and only played it for a few hours I felt like a review was needed so far.

              Obviously I will not no much of the story but that may be a good thing as I will not put any spoilers, and when a game gets a review from a few hours I think it is definatly a game that is going to be amazing.

              This game, the thing I like most about it is the style and how different it is. I was a bit hesistant of buying it at first, I thought hmm this looks good but I do not know, something is putting me off - if you where like this, ignore that voice in your head and go and buy it!

              The system is unique and the main character is awesome, he is a bit of a prick if you like but he makes me laugh, he listens to his music and shuts himself out from the world then one day strange things start happening and he doesn't believe it, think's it is all a wind up, someone trying to trick him, as the events that are happening are too strange to think it is real.

              He is told he only has so long to complete a task or he will be "erased" somewhere down the line he starts believing this, as people around him start being "erased" You end up meeting this girl who you are then teamed up with and she gets angry at you for not caring but seems to like you still.

              The battle is very unique, each screen is used, the top screen the girl is on and you can input commands by tapping the buttons that appear on the screen and the bottom screen has the guy on which you use the stylus to perform attacks.

              It can be quite difficult to control both of them at first however you can let the top screen character automatically fight for you, you can even have it automatically fight after a few seconds if you have not being fast enough to input the commands.

              I really look forward to playing more of this game and the character designs, as some may know and be able to tell is from the same designers as the kingdom hearts team! which made me want to play it even more!

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              09.03.2009 16:22
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              A breath of fresh air

              Some games are designed and released purely in order to be GREAT. Games like Half Life and Bioshock were conceived purely with the intention that they would be shining examples in the world of gaming.

              Some games however are designed simply to break the ice, innovate, and although they may disappear a year or two after release, these games are destined to be remembered fondly in years to come.

              This game is one of the latter. Everywhere you look, The World Ends With You is innovating whether it is massive leaps or subtle deviations from the norm - either way, this game is guaranteed to surprise you pleasantly, and perhaps even confuse you greatly at other points!

              Unconstricted by the confines of genre, The World Ends With You refuses to be pigeonholed, instead borrowing elements from just about every type of game imaginable and producing a varied experience, yet one that always feels cohesive. There's RPG, action, adventure, puzzle - and yet, the game feels much deeper than a string of differently themed minigames. No, this is good.

              A highlight but also a good example of the flaws inherent in The World Ends With You is the glorious combat system. You control two characters at once, one with the touch screen, and the other with the D-Pad. I have to say that when I was starting out, I pondered whether humans are actually physically capable of this level of multi-tasking... although tricky, however, this is a completely unique and involving combat system. After trying again and again and again I have now managed to get a good hang of this system, and actually find it to be very deep and fun, with lots of room for strategy, tactics and creativity.

              Another brilliantly implemented element is that of psychic abilities. Not only are you able to read the thoughts of NPCs, you are also later in the game able to work the other way, putting thoughts into their heads. Yet another unique dynamic, in any other game this would be the central theme of the whole package. Here, however, it is simply integrated into one big innovative whole.

              Overall, The World Ends With You really is a classic and groundbreaking game. The only thing standing between this game and massive success is the difficulty level, which is a little bit too high for your average DS gamer. However, in years to come this title WILL be remembered and I hope it's influence spreads far and fast!

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              25.01.2009 23:18
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              Definitely worth playing.

              The World Ends With You

              A thoroughly enjoyable game which stands out from others in the genre as it manages to avoid becoming too repetative. You play as Neku, a character who was killed and now has to navigate his way through the "Reapers' Game" to get back to life.

              The majority of the gameplay is scanning for 'noise' (monsters) and defeating them using pins you've collected and bought from shops. This is where the game cleverly manages to avoid becoming monotonous. Fightling hundreds of battles could easily become a chore, but most of the time, you're in control of how many battles you fight. You can select which pins you wish to fight with, and fighting battles earns you exp points (PP) which level up your pins making you stronger.

              This game combines the fail-safe features of collecting items and fighting battles, and will get you hooked. You'll want to collect every pin and fight every noise!

              The storyline is a big part of the game and interupts gameplay every now and then for an exchange between players. I would say that these exchanges are the only downside of the game. There is no fast forward feature and if you've forgotten to save your game before switching off, you'll be forced to sit through the boring talking again. Personally, I don't find the storyline that interesting, but I do enjoy the gameplay.

              The best part about this game is that because you can choose to fight extra battles, you can make the game last much longer and really get value for money.

              Definitely recommended.

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              12.01.2009 22:55
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              The most creative game and hip style out for the NDS.

              Introduction:
              The World Ends With You is a very stylish enjoyable hack and slash game, with many power ups to choose from so the game never gets too repetitive.

              Gameplay:
              This game features the best gameplay for so NDS so far. Short clips inbetween missions are like watching a movie. As you tap and slide the DS pen on the touch pad Special moves are fired out, you can also turn off your NDS and your power ups level up, making fighting the monsters in Tokyo more exciting.

              Graphics:
              Highest quality graphics on DS at the moment, every character is dressed in bright coloured and unique clothes. The background and scenary for this game are amazingly detailed. The main character is also stylish and cool even though at the beginning he seems quite 'emo'.

              Music:
              The music on 'The World Ends With You' has to be the best music on DS. The music changes when you enter different parts of the game like into streets and in Shops. The catchy music and great graphics will keep you hooked to this game for a few days. On a side note, the music can actually be purchased on CD if you are interested in it.

              Summary:
              Even though this game doesn't involve much Wireless/Wifi so you can play with your friends, it is still a gripping game and a essential game for the NDS. The collection of the badges is enough to keep even average gamers on the NDS for hours on end collecting and leveling it up.

              Hint:
              -Hunt the Green Pig for Rare items.
              -You can change your time on the NDS to level up the badges in seconds. Although many class this as 'not fair play', it is only advised to do this when you have completed the game as to not ruin the gameplay experience.

              Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestions.

              Also Feel Free to browse my other Reviews too.

              Thank You

              Empowering

              (As written on Ciao.co.uk under empowering)

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              14.06.2008 19:41
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              A worthy addition to any DS owner's collection

              If ever there was a reason to buy a Nintendo DS - this is it. Riding the back of the incredibly disappointing Final Fantasy III rehash for the DS, The World End With You is a marked improvement and, more importantly, a welcome departure from the traditional swords, staves n' magic typical of Square Enix's RPGs.

              Rather than taking place in a galaxy far, far away, The World Ends With You is set in modern day Tokyo. TWEWY follows Neku, a loner misanthrope who drowns out the world around him with his headphones, but one day Neku finds himself waking up in the middle of Tokyo's Shibuya crossing (that famous crossroad everyone has probably seen on TV or in the movies but never knew its name), seemingly unable to interact with the crowd at all, and to top it all off, there's a massive sign telling him he has seven days left as well as a countdown timer imprinted on his hand. Little does Neku know that he is now the latest contestant in the Reapers' Game, not dissimilar to a Dante-esque purgatory, and if he doesn't complete today's mission, he gets erased from existence altogether. That is, of course, if he can first fight his way through the 'Noise' that now prowl the streets of Shibuya picking off the game's other players.

              It's an engaging introduction, almost worthy of J.J. Abrams, and the quick pace of action entices you further into Neku's story and the goings-on in Shibuya. A fantastic J-pop soundtrack mixes with an accentuated neo-graffitist visual style that sets the game completely apart from any RPGs out there - though there is a slight nostalgic feel to the decade-old SNES game Shadowrun, but it's more street punk than cyber punk.

              TWEWY builds upon what Nintendo did with Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, which only used the DS stylus for control and combat (a mixture up taps and twirls). Outside of combat, dragging the stylus around the screen guides Neku around Shibuya, but during fights nearly every physical aspect of the DS is used. Soon into the game your first partner, another Shibuya girl called Shiki, joins you and together the two of you fight off the Noise. On the top screen you control Shiki with the d-pad for dodging, jumping and attacking, while Neku fights on the lower touch screen. Neku's attacks are triggered either by slashing (close up combo strikes on the enemy for example), scratching rapidly (set off an earthquake), dragging (a path of flames appears), tapping (firing projectiles), drawing circles (a big rock falls in the area you drew) or even blowing into the microphone (make a tornado appear) depending on which pins you're wearing. Pins are Neku's weapons, which, aside from being a fashion statement, contain the 'psychs' you fight with. Indeed, fashion does play a role in the game, containing about a dozen different brands. Some tasks even involve you having to accommodate to the local trend of a Shibuya district in order to proceed. Likewise, matching Neku's pins to the area gives attack bonuses, while going against the trend has negative effects.

              Although this idea of having to switch between both the screens and control methods in combat AND monitoring your pins to make sure you're getting the most out of them seems nightmarish, TWEWY doesn't penalize you for thinking so. You can allow the competent AI to take over Shiki and concentrate your own efforts on the bottom screen making sure Neku is attacking the right Noise. Defeating a Noise on one screen eliminates it on both, so you rarely need to worry early on in the game about what's happening on the top screen. Indeed, if you like, you hardly need to fight at all during this game. There are no incessant random encounters like in Final Fantasy, nor is there any impetus to constantly refer to your menu in order to customize your equipment. You can alter the game's difficulty until you get the hang of everything, and even if you do there's no penalty on the final outcome of the game. You'll lose out on acquiring the more powerful pins, but on the flip side racking up the difficulty reaps huge bonuses. In other words, you can choose the learning curve to suit your own style. Once you've actually finished TWEWY, which may take about 20-30 hours (albeit most of it is dialogue), you can go back over any chapter you want in search of bonus items, so there is huge replay value available unlike with the Final Fantasy series.

              The World Ends With You is a fantastic game, irrespective of both its title and its relatively underpowered platform. Those who have been waiting for quite some time for Nintendo to breach the cutesy veneer of quick-fire videogames into those of lasting experience won't be disappointed. A selection of memorable characters both good and bad distracts from the fairly limited character animations, but you are never left with any loose ends in plot development. What TWEWY shows is the technical prowess the machine is capable of and, ultimately, that the DS, in spite of its size, is perfectly able at giving the public some of the best games they will ever play.

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            • Product Details

              Experience the coolest district in Tokyo with distinctive, high quality graphics. Innovative combat system that makes full use of the Nintendo DS hardware! Hip characters each with unique personalities and stylish sense in fashion, music and culture. Use fantastic psychic powers to read and influence minds, and move objects to help you progress! Amazing audio soundtrack with a diverse fusion of hip-hop, rock and electronica. A creative and modern tale of friendship, hope and overcoming your challenges.