Hmm, I'm not into Japanese history but otherwise Samurai Warriors seems interesting enough XD
Chrono Trigger is amazing, it's like the definition of an amazing classic
feel bad for the people who claim to enjoy video games yet haven't played it
"999: Nine Hours Nine Persons 9 Doors" seems a bit too scary and mysterious for me, I'm not too into that genre (and not a fan of M rated games in general), but eh, that's just me, it seems to have a decent reputation but I dunno... it'll probably stay as one of those DS games I've never played
Now since I totally forgot my day (the 17th) I must apologize and instead make my super long post now:
The World Ends With You
JP July 26, 2007
EU April 18, 2008
NA April 22, 2008
AUS April 24, 2008
iOS (iPhone/iPad) - World Wide August 27, 2012 (Note: This is known as "TWEWY - Solo Remix" and is technically not the game I am reviewing here as it has some new features, updated graphics, more/enhanced music, and significant gameplay changes).
Nintendo DS, iOS
Probably around $20-$30 used, a lot more for new copies since the game is almost 5 years old now
20/10. The game's amazing. A true gem. If it were old enough, it'd be a classic. It's unique, fun, addictive, enticing... it's got everything. A great story, great characters, great gameplay, great music, great controls, great challenge, great balance, great additional content... The flaws are so small and few that I honestly can't even think about any off the top of my head except that maybe one battle was a little bit of a pain in the butt in the Solo Remix, but that's about it.
Now, as for WHY I have this amazing opinion, let's get started:
First, the game's still selling at a pretty high price. The game might not have sold super well but I've never actually heard anyone who played the game say they didn't like it. I'm usually pretty skeptical about new games, especially when they have weird artwork and make me think they might be some typical Japanese RPG, but honestly I feel like an idiot that it took me as long as it did to find this game and play it. Anyhow, the game is one of those games that's either expensive or hard to find and that those who have played will almost always throw out a good word or two just out of respect for it (at least from my experience).
Now for the game itself. You control the main character, Neku Sakuraba, an emotionally distraught and... seemingly amnesiac kid of teenage age. You're immediately introduced into the game with some amazing aspects: for one, the intro theme is amazing, and the artwork is clearly unique from the get-go. You start by pressing a button to make a New Game (you can only have one save file on the game, but I'll explain why that isn't really a problem later), and it immediately takes off into an awesome animated cutscene.
Before we continue, keep in mind that this game was originally made for the DS (I'm speaking of the original, NOT the Solo Remix for the iOS here) and that there are two screens and that the bottom one is a touch screen used in conjunction with a stylus. This means that games for the DS were made to use the stylus and that the better incorporated the stylus and the controls were, the better the gameplay.
...Now back to the game:
"Outta my face.
You're blocking my view.
Just go the hell away!!!
All the world needs is me.
I got my values,
so you can keep yours, alright?
I don't get people.
And so one of the most amazing intros ever commences, and you get introduced to a kid who has distanced himself from the world, keeping to himself, where everything else around him is... "noise". You start on a crosswalk... of a place called Shibuya, based on the real-life Shibuya, a place in Japan.
But don't let some preconceived negative connotations with Japan stop you from playing and enjoying this game. Neku is not your average emo protagonist: he's got no memories, and he wakes up in the middle of the street, getting attacked by these mysterious "Noise", put inside a game he knows little to nothing about, and finding a partner in this game he cares little about, seeking only to get out of the game and take care of himself. Already, there are many mysterious and problems in the story that need to be resolved, and the game takes off very quickly.
As for the actual gameplay, you can traverse the world of TWEWY, or rather, the streets of Shibuya, on the bottom screen, with dialog and other things happening on the top. You can interact with the people around you and/or listen to their thoughts with a mysterious "pin", which grants special abilities to its user. But pins can also be used to fight, and while I don't want to get into to the details, pins come in all colors and designs with lots of different abilities, strengths, and purposes, and it's an amazingly unique way of "equipping" the player, compared to the usual swords, magic, and guns of most other fighting games.
Now, I can't really say much of the music in text, but there's both instrumental and lyrical music in this game, and it's practically all amazing. The music is fitting, cultural (there are some songs in English, and some in Japanese, and having never really listened to JPop before, I liked both), etc., and it has one of the most amazing and well-received soundtracks of all time. I'll link you to a few: Calling
is an iconic song, as is Twister
(that one's a "gang-mix", or a male rap remix), and there's also songs without lyrics like most video games, such as Fighting for Freedom
, a song that in my opinion really catches the essence of walking down the streets of Shibuya trying to win the Reaper's Game, and one's like Deja Vu
which try to open up your eyes and make you lose yourself in the melody.
Going further on as to what makes the game great... okay, the artwork is unique, active, and generally pleasing, with great music, and it starts off strong, and has a great plot... but there's also character interactions, general mechanics, and the battle system. In TWEWY, you can not only feed your characters, but choose what clothing they wear, which works somewhat like armor in other games--but it's more casual here. There's tons of different items to equip as well as combinations, and what's more is that anyone can wear anything as long as they have enough "Bravery", a stat which measures how brave the character is. For instance, while only Shiki, a female, can wear a skirt to start with, even Neku can be forced to put one on if his bravery is high enough--and characters can increase stats like attack, defense, and bravery by eating food, which can only be eaten so much... in real-time[i].
Pins also have their own stats, and said stats increase the more you use pins and the better you do in battles. In general, the player is awarded a certain type of pin points depending on how well they play as well as other factors, such as how long one stays away from the game--that's right, one is actually awarded pin points to level up their pins when they quit the game and come back later. The game keeps track of how long it has been and awards you accordingly, up to 7 days, meaning that even when you're not playing the game, you're still made a little more progress upon coming back. Pins can also level-up, creating even more possibilities as to what pins can be obtained.
By the way, what ARE these pins? Why, they're [i]pins
, of course: here
is a full sheet of some, and you can even find real-life ones
--though that link just has a few of the many ones out there...
Moving on, TWEWY is very well-balanced, slowly teaching you more things, and always changing up the gameplay not only with new pins and gimmicks, but by giving you... well, I don't want to say too much or I'll be spoiling the game, but just trust me on this one: it keeps things pretty fresh. If the game is too hard or too easy for you, you can change not only the difficulty at any time, but even your own level--and decreasing your level may decrease your HP and thus survivability, but it will also net you a lot more drops, meaning more powerful pins and pins you can sell for money. With some pins having less than a 1% chance of being dropped, having a boost in the drop rate can be extremely helpful in getting those rare pins.
Now, for the gameplay... the battle system, one of the greatest parts of TWEWY.
TWEWY's battle system makes full use of the stylus AND the controls, allowing you to play as both you AND your partner in the game at ONCE. It's unique, it's well-made, and it's definitely challenging--perhaps even too challenging--such that if you aren't able to control both, the game allows you to let the AI control your partner. Of course, the AI is only there as a filler, meaning that it's much more beneficial to get used to the battle system so you can make full use of your partner and really do some teamwork--because yes, team work is essential to this game.
Let's get a screenshot to show what's up:
First, the wolves: those are the noise. "Monsters", so to speak. They're called noise for a reason, which becomes more apparentN as you play the game and realize the depth in the story and its reflection of society and... just play the game >_<'
Now, those trucks on the TOP screen might just be part of a background, but that car on the bottom-left of the bottom screen isn't
. You see, the character on the top screen, Shiki, is controlled with your arrow keys--you need to press the right arrow combinations to do combos with her. But at the same time, you need to control Neku on the bottom screen, fighting his own wolf--and one of the many abilities in this game allows you to actually drag the car with your stylus and smash it against the enemies... assuming you have the right pin.
You can't spam in this game, by the way. Pins let you use various psychs, which are like techniques, but they take time to "reboot" once they've been used a certain # of times. Some pins can't be used at the start of a battle, either, and each pin has their own activation mechanism: some require you to draw a line, others require you to press and hold the screen, some even require you to blow into the mic, draw shapes, or repeatedly click on enemies as they zip around the battle.
The gameplay is real-time, so it's intense, and it's fun. There's no playing this game and eating a sandwich or just smashing the "A" button over and over. In fact, if you're not careful, you can die pretty quickly: remember what I said about teamwork before? Another unique aspect of TWEWY is that HP is shared: your partner and you share the SAME HP bar, and when that green goes away, you're done for. In a way it's nice--even if your half of the HP bar is gone, you have your partners--but at the same time, it can go the other way, so you really have to think of the two characters as one entity.
Oh, and it might seem weird to be fighting two battles at once, but in actuality, the noise ALSO share HP. When you defeat one, you defeat the other: the two worlds are connected like so.
Actually it's been a while since I played the original but I'm pretty sure this is how it works. I'll probably go play it again soon
Teamwork is also important in that later on in the game, you gain a "light puck", which lets you do a lot more damage if you can time your combos right. Whichever character has the light puck does more damage, and in passing the puck between each other, the damage multiplier can go from 2x all the way to 5x, until you're smashing lightning through the enemies and destroying them in a flash. There's also the pinnacle of teamwork, the Fusions, which unleash powerful attacks to all enemies on the map, useful for battles with lots of enemies and bosses alike.
Aaaand I think I've said enough about this game. There's no game quite like TWEWY except the Solo Remix, haha, and even then the Solo Remix has quite different gameplay so eh...
It's definitely a game I think most gamers should play. It's just too good. I've played a lot of games, and a lot of them were good. None captivate me as much as TWEWY
though that also probably has to do with the fact that I relate to Neku a lot
By the way, I haven't even covered everything. I've covered a LOT, but there's still more. So go experience it for yourself.
Go. Play it. If after one hour you regret it, you can PM me all about how I wasted your time and money. Yes, you can PM me
. Without getting banned, ala the rules.
Play The World Ends With You.