The World Ends With You - Review part 2
When you are given a mission, the story states that you have a limited time to complete it. This timer does not count down while you explore and so Neku and friend are free to browse the shops and restaurants in Shibuya. Certain shopkeepers can indeed see Neku and sell him clothes and pins. Wearing more fashionable clothes boosts Neku's attack. Food can be purchased and eaten to improve combat performance too. In the inventory screen you can rearrange your pins as well as changing the games difficulty and your characters experience levels. Fighting at lower levels is more dangerous, as your characters are not as powerful, but defeated monsters drop more interesting items.
| Combat on both screens at once is frantic and initially bewildering, but it can be mastered
Graphically the game is great. Cut scenes and dialogue are presented like an interactive comic book. The streets of the highly stylized Shibuya bustle with people and the "noise" are a colourful and detailed bunch of weird and wonderful creatues. Sound too is fantastic, Square Enix have managed to create one of the greatest DS soundtracks in recent memory. You'll want a pair of headphones to make the most of the soundtrack and don't be surprised if you find yourself humming or singing the tunes after you're done playing.
As if producing one of the best DS RPG's wasn't enough, there's also a multiplayer mode to unlock. Tin Pin Slammer is the name of the game and the object is to push your opponents pin out of the ring. You do this by "slamming" your pin into theirs using the stylus. Be careful though, it's easy to miss your opponent and send yourself flying out of the ring. You can also unleash special attacks by using the D-pad. These can temporarily stun your opponents pin, making it an easy target. To play Tin Pin Slammer with your friends, you'll both need a copy of The World Ends With You. It seems a little strange that DS download play isn't available for such a simple mini-game, but considering this addictive little game is simply icing on an already rather delicious cake, its a minor niggle.
The game also features a "mingle mode" that can detect other DS owners in range. Should someone be using Pictochat nearby, for example, you'll be awarded experience points for encountering them. If you meet someone else in mingle mode, you'll gain even more experience points. We're not sure how many people are likely to travel around with their DS's on, but its a fun little addition nonetheless and shows the developers commitment to using all the DS features.
The World Ends With You is a DS game that simply oozes quality. From it's beautiful presentation, fun story and stunning visual style, this is a game card that has been produced without compromise. It's a game squarely aimed at the hardcore player however. It's multitude of options and tricky dual screen combat is likely to confuse and alienate younger DS players or the less dedicated gamers amongst you. For those of us for whom videogaming is a hobby and a passion though, this is nothing short of a masterpiece and an absolutely essential purchase. In Japan, this game is known as "It's a Wonderful World". We'd have to agree with that.
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