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When the sales person at the Gamestop store first told me about this Nintendo DS/DS Lite game, I did not think much of it and judging from the title: The World Ends With You, I quickly surmised that the end result or some of the situations in the game would depend on what you, the video gamer, do or do not do to advance the game.
And having played many RPG video games, beginning with games from the Final Fantasy series, and the Legend of Zelda, I figured what interesting features would The World Ends With You have that I have or have not encountered before. I was in for a little surprise.
In it, you are in control of a fifteen year old named Neku (remember Sora from the GBA Kingdom Hearts Chain Of Memories, Neku’s movements and the way he looks reminds me a bit of him) who wakes up in a city called Shibuya not knowing where he is or how he happened to be there. In addition, you soon realize that Neku becomes involved in a game put together by a group known as the Reapers.
A game in which he has seven days to complete missions, one mission per day. But in order for Neku to be successful with these missions, he has to meet and form a pact with another character in the game. And he soon encounters her, Shiki, on day one, Chapter One. There are three chapters.
Red hooded characters called Reapers whom you meet at certain places in the game tell you what you need to do in order for them to clear the way so you can move on with the game.
And to make these missions more interesting, you are given a time limit to complete each mission. When you have fulfilled the requirements for a particular mission, boss battles included, the timer that is displayed on the palm of Neku’s hand disappears and that day draws to a close.
Another similarity I discovered when compared to Kingdom Hearts (COM) is that the enemies you fight here are called Noise. In Kingdom Hearts (COM) they are known as Heartless. But there are no random battles in World Ends With You.
For Nintendo has made good use of the technology that comes with the Nintendo DS/DS Lite, by enabling you to enter battles by touching a scanning icon located on the bottom right of the lower Nintendo DS/DS Lite screen.
And even though you do not have to fight all the Noise or enemies within range unless indicated by a Reaper or some other in game character, you fight to advance the game forward or to build up Neku’s/Shiki’s levels. Also Neku does not walk around town with a huge sword or weapon, (Cloud or Sora style) instead, there is a Pin system. In Kingdom Hearts (COM) you used a Card system and Sora had a weapon.
Just like the card system, each Pin comes with a special ability. For example, there is one that allows Neku to slash at an enemy, one that releases fire, thunder bolts etc.
The Real Time Factor
Do you remember how enthusiastic you must have been when you first got your Nintendo DS/DS Lite and realised that you could enter your real name and the time in the system?
And maybe some of you wondered why that feature was there. Well this game is one of the reasons. For it keeps track of your playing time in real time and a digital display of this is shown on the top right side of the bottom Nintendo DS/DS Lite screen.
Another unique and modern aspect of this World Ends With You game that I found to be fascinating was the use of the cell phone feature. At certain times during the game you will receive messages on this, but it also doubles as an items manager.
Here you can access your Pins, see how many of the different kinds of Noise you have already beaten, have Neku/Shiki eat or drink something or wear a piece of clothing, trade certain pins for Yen or money, etc. and this is where the game’s save feature is located.
So the use of the clock feature makes you feel as if you are playing in real time, but when you take a look at the game’s graphics, you get the feeling that this is indeed a modern sort of RPG.
The streets are crowded, the stores sell designer clothes and yes, you can buy food from the restaurants.
Read Other Peoples’ Thoughts
Although this is not crucial to completing the game, I guess it was placed here for the fun factor, when you touch the scanner to battle some Noise, there are words in blue that pop out at you. When you touch each word, what you are actually doing is reading other peoples’ thoughts.
The people on the street who do not talk to you, that is, unless they are a Reaper, a Gamemaster, or some other character who plays a role in your mission.
I do not want to give away the spoiler here, but you will realise as you progress why Neku/Shiki and other characters cannot talk to the many people on the street and vice versa.
If playing this game sends you running to the internet for clues or hints on what to do next, then you will learn just how much of a challenge getting through not one but three chapters of seven day periods can be.
With an abundance of modern, crisp and clear graphics and sound effects, Noise to fight, and pigs that run away until you figure out how to get rid of them, you may even hear a few voice acting sequences, and intriguing storyline, there is much to like about this game.
And no, you do not always need Neku, Shiki or some other character to wear a certain brand of clothing in order to enhance his/her fighting/defense ability. Just level up your characters and your pins. For I have managed to wallop much of the Noise without always having the characters wear certain brands of clothes.
But if playing RPG video games is your thing, then this is one game you should add to your video game library. Although it comes with only one save slot, the game is unique, innovative and modern.
Rated T for Teen for mild violence and some coarse language
Peace and unity begin with all of us- Judy Ramsook