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  1. Hydromancer

    OP Hydromancer Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    The World Ends with You

    Reviewed and evaluated by:

    While Square Enix's offerings on the DS have been good, they have by no means been extraordinary. In fact, there have been very few games from the company that have even come close to matching the high standards that it has set itself through its excellent range of RPGs on the Playstation and the Playstation 2.

    This time round, however, Square Enix has teamed up with Jupiter to give us a completely new game which proves itself to be a genre defining combination of excellent graphics, great sound, innovative gameplay and outstanding storyline.


    It is this game's combat system that makes it so innovative. During combat, you control two players simultaneously on the two screens of your DS, one is controlled using the touch screen and the other using either the D-pad or the A/B/X/Y buttons, depending on whether you are left or right handed. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into creating such an odd battle system and, while seemingly insane, it still is one of the most unorthodox and innovative battle systems to grace any game on any console. While there is no wifi support, we must remember that this is an RPG. The level of involvement and interest generated by the excellent battle system more than makes up for lack of microphone usage. The superb storyline can only pull the score up.



    While I do not usually have a section dedicated to storyline and generally mention it in gameplay, I feel that a whole section is needed to fully help you appreciate how remarkable this game's storyline actually is. Set in the Tokyo district of Shibuya (which is apparently meant to be a very hip part of Tokyo), the game has a gripping storyline which leaves you aching for more. It is different to the storyline of any other game before it and the word unique sums this up very nicely. With wonderfully complicated characters that you can sympathise with to the journey of the characters through their three-week imprisonment in a parallel Shibuya, this game has the best storyline to feature on the DS with some shocking twists and turns. It is the story that creates such a perfect ambience and makes a sort of a mould into which its other strength fit in so smoothly.



    Beautifully detailed anime-style characters, seamless 2D backgrounds, smooth animations and flawless 3D artwork make this game a visual treat. One of the best visual experiences to be found on the DS!



    Outstanding voice acting and perhaps the only true RPG on the DS to offer this experience, it really is a pleasure hearing your DS talk to you. It really is a pity there are so few scenes with voice acting. I was hesitant about the J-pop music of this game before buying it but it proves itself to be quite catchy and creates the perfect atmosphere for the events and setting of the game, also adding to its brisk pace.



    Square Enix took a risk in creating this game's 'Stride Cross' battle system but they shouldn't have worried as it offers an excellent and varied battle experience. On the bottom screens, different touches and moves of your stylus create different effects in battle by activating different pins and there are dozens of pins to collect and use. The combos you can use on the top screen are few but unique for all three characters and initially seem easy to carry out but mastering them is something else since you also have to fight on the touchscreen. The game guides you through each and every step but still lets you explore on your own. The normal level of difficulty is just right and can be adjusted as needed. The robust plot keeps you involved from beginning to end. For me, this title is up there with perhaps the best of Final Fantasy and Zelda in gameplay.


    Lasting appeal

    The main story of the game should last you a very jong period of time, taking me some 16 hours of reckless, fast-paced gameplay. There are three chapters all together after which you can unlock a bonus chapter. The game gives you another reason to play it through. On your second time playing, you can set the difficulty level to 'ultimate' and collect secret reports which unlock the truth behind the game. There are also countless clothes and accessories to collect and pins to master in battle.

    You can also distract yourself with the 'Tin Pin slammers' minigame and play it with your friends wirelessly if you're stuck or just want to do something different.



    It may seem as if I have exhausted my adjectives in the course of this review but it is truly hard to appreciate how impressive this game without playing it. Square Enix has another winner on their hands and with this unique made-for-DS title, they have proved themselves to be master storytellers and the pioneers of exciting gameplay. The World Ends with You excels at every frontier and offers an experience like no other that should be relished by every DS owner. I'll end with a quote from IGN "Games like this only come once during a console's lifetime and should not be missed".

    Overall rating (average from above): 9.3/10


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