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For the past 13 years, fans of the Nintendo DS cult classic, The World Ends With You have been practically begging Square Enix to whip up a new entry in the world of the original. The vibes of that first venture are flavour-rich, boasting a bouncy & energetic soundtrack, a loveable cast of characters, và a combat system just as quality as the rest of the game. So we were thrilled to bits when the news of a sequel came across our desk last year, although at the same time cautious, as we hold the tale of the first game close to our hearts.

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Would the story of the original have been better off left untouched by NEO: The World Ends With You? do the creators really have the gusto to match or exceed the energy from that first waltz through Shibuya? Will the new protagonist Rindo và the rest of these runts ever be able khổng lồ live up to lớn the likes of Neku and company? We’ve been asking ourselves these same questions for weeks, months even, and thankfully it was all for naught. This new action-RPG romp through Shibuya’s streets is full of fresh beats & surprising treats to lớn appease longtime fans & newcomers alike.


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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The story opens up in the heart of Shibuya, following two stylish youngsters named Rindo and Fret, who just happen to lớn be out on the town grabbing some lunch. One thing leads khổng lồ another & both of them end up finding themselves wrapped up in a competition known as the Reapers Game, a life-and-death battle hosted by an organization known as (you can probably guess) Reapers. In order to lớn survive this week-long event, they’ll have to size a team & rack up enough points by completing missions that the trò chơi Master, Shiba, dishes out each day. Whichever team comes out on đứng đầu at the kết thúc of the week can have one single wish granted, whereas the team that holds up the rear faces severe consequences.


Over the course of the Reapers Game, Rindo & Fret make friends with plenty of new players & a few old faces familiar lớn fans of the series. Nagi Usui (a fresh face and one of our favorites at that!) is fairly reserved and straightforward (and quite an Otaku) và will jump at the chance lớn introduce someone khổng lồ her favorite sản phẩm điện thoại game, Elegant Strategy. Then we have Sho Minamimoto, an edgy outcast ready khổng lồ crunch any equation that gets in his way. Minami was one of the antagonists in the first game, so it’ll make you question why he’d shift positions and join your tiệc nhỏ early on. Then you’ve got Fret, who gives everyone he meets a punny nickname ("Rindude" và "Nagirl" among them) whether they like it or not. Every character is brimming with life và has their own truth to lớn discover, & you’d be hard-pressed to nail down a singular favorite by the over of the journey.

Speaking of the adventure, while there are a few fancy pre-rendered signature “Square-Enix” cutscenes sprinkled throughout that arrive at well deserved moments, 99% percent of the story is delivered through visual novel-esque segments. Characters are represented on-screen with satisfying hand-drawn art that’s reminiscent of the original game’s style, & while they aren’t animated, their portraits will change at the drop of a Pin, displaying their current emotions brightly.


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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

A decent chunk of dialogue is voiced as well, usually at the beginning and or kết thúc of a day during important moments. While there is the option lớn use the original Japanese dub, the English voice cast has really gone above and beyond lớn give each character an extra dimension, and we stuck with that through our adventure.

While NEO: The World Ends With You takes place after the events of the first game, the original isn’t necessarily required reading. Some of the many conversations littered throughout the game will go down smoother if you have some prior understanding of the returning faces và their backstories, but the trò chơi does a great job of briefing the player naturally with any necessary intel. There are plenty of twists và turns that are sure to lớn have you on the edge of your seat, although we’re not sure it really gripped us in the same way the original did. There are some pacing issues here and there during the 40+ hour adventure, but every time we started khổng lồ get a little bored it felt like something new got thrown our way lớn snap back our interest. The aspect of competing against other players" teams offers a new dynamic not found in the first entry, as well. Suffice to say, the bar was set pretty high after all these years and for the sake of spoiling things, we’ll leave the surprises for you to lớn discover.


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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The story is one of the most integral parts of the game, and the conversations between your party, rival teams, và reapers alike will consume about half of your overall playtime, so make sure you come equipped with your readers and be prepared khổng lồ press "A" a lot. There is an tự động dialogue option for the voiced segments but we turned it off fairly quickly per our preference. One minor complaint we could make about the original TWEWY is that it doesn’t necessarily give you enough time with most of the characters to really get to appreciate them, but NEO offers you plenty of moments to learn more about your team, the Wicked Twisters. Watching Nagi swoon over Minamimoto but then quickly ignore any kindness from Fret never gets old, và this kind of banter helped keep us constantly invested. There are plenty of side quests that’ll deliver more of that back and forth chatter, too.


When not discussing your next course of kích hoạt for the Reapers Game, you’ll be given the chance to roam the bustling streets of Shibuya và explore its many locales. The Hachiko Memorial Statue is still adjacent to the busy intersection Shibuya is known for, Tower Records is there, too, và offers you CDs that you can purchase and listen to lớn in-game & the 104 shopping center (which may not chia sẻ the same name as our real-world counterpart) looms overhead, full of clothing & Pins to lớn purchase for your team.

The camera is always locked lớn an angle when in the overworld & will follow the player as you roam about, but it’s fixed perfectly to give you a wide & expansive view of the city. There are tiny details snuck into every facet of the world that makes us wish there was some sort of first-person photo mode lớn explore a bit more freely và bathe in the finer details even more. We would have preferred if at least one of your party members followed you around while you searched the streets, as well, as it can feel a little lonely running around as just Rindo, but there"s enough banter between the team that those feelings never lasted long.


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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

While you can’t directly chat with most of the passersby on the street, you can scan the area & read their thoughts. Why ask someone a question when you can rip the answer straight out of their brain, right? This is mostly a novelty and if you use it frequently you’ll start lớn recognize repeat thoughts, but NEO uses this feature in conjunction with some of your teammate"s abilities. For example, Fret has the power to lớn help people remember something they’ve forgotten, and this can lead to lớn giving you a clue for a mission or can simply get someone khổng lồ cheer up & move on with their day. Nagi on the other hand has the ability khổng lồ tap into someone’s mind và rid them of negative Noise that’s afflicting them in combat, which sounds like a great opportunity to lớn explain the battle system.


While scanning your environments on the overworld you’ll notice red tribal tattoos floating around all over the place, known as Noise. Interact with them và you can challenge them to a faceoff, which takes the form of a real-time battle. Back before we had our hands on the game, we were worried NEO was going to borrow combat elements too heavily from its cousin, Kingdom Hearts, and not enough from its DS sibling, but thankfully that"s not the case.

Each of your teammates will go into battle equipped with a singular sạc that gives that user a unique psych ability. Some allow your characters to fire a stream of energy blasts, slice away with a kinetic beam sword that emanates from the user"s hand, or even create a lava whirlpool below their enemy"s feet. Controlling so many characters at once with different abilities sounds like it’s going khổng lồ get pretty messy, but there are many elements at play that make this actually work. Pins are assigned lớn a specific button, and when pressed the assigned character will start attacking whatever Noise you’re currently locked onto. As you attack, Pins will drain energy but will recharge over time so you won’t have to lớn wait too long to use that attack again.


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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

When in battle you’re able lớn freely control the camera and move about as any of your teammates, but beyond attacking one of your only other skills is a dodge roll, which really does come in handy if you can keep your eyes focused on the enemy while you fight. There isn’t a jump button, but certain Pins still allow you lớn uppercut enemies to take khổng lồ the skies every now & then lớn achieve those epic battle moments that just feel naturally cool.

Stringing your parties" attacks together is key lớn victory. After dealing enough damage with one of your characters a xanh circle will appear over the enemy telling you to lớn “Drop the Beat.” If you’re able lớn start attacking then with a different character quickly before the Beat timer goes away, you’ll raise your overall Groove meter. Once this hits 100% you’ll be able to lớn pull off a special AOE attack depending on the style of Pins you have equipped. These attacks can really help out when you’re in a pinch and range from a massive fireball falling down from the sky khổng lồ a cluster of tornadoes taking over the streets.


Battles will take place fairly frequently as the story goes, but you can battle Noise whenever you like on the overworld to gain some additional EXP or new Pins. You can even string multiple Noise battles together to raise your chances of pulling in more Pins. There’s a mission type called the Scramble Slam, a turf war for Shibuya, which pits rival teams against one another. This can make for some tedium as most of these battles against players lack variety since the opposing teams" combat patterns feel systematically similar. However, this was the only time where combat ever seemed khổng lồ overstay its welcome.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

For the most part, the backdrops of each battle will line up with the area you started the fight, offering up a wide-open space, không tính phí of civilians to lớn help keep you focused on the Noise. At first, we got a little bored of the same old cement roads and concrete buildings, but then we realized they allow for the colors of your Pins abilities and the Noise you"re fighting khổng lồ pop lượt thích paint on a blank canvas. The action can get chaotic & messy, but it can also feel lượt thích you’re watching a well-orchestrated play when you pull together a string of attacks perfectly.


One of the major aspects that make us want to jump back into the battle system again & again, though, is the Pins. Experimenting with different types & formulating strategies is extremely rewarding on its own. Pins also gain experience as you use them, becoming stronger in turn và some can even evolve into a more superior version. You’re constantly gaining new ones along your journey and most won’t take too long to max out, so they never overstay their welcome if they’re not vibin". Good thing, too, considering there are over 300 Pins to collect. By the kết thúc of the main chiến dịch we had collected a little over half, so there’ll be plenty more to lớn go back & dig up for anyone looking for more reason return. Plus, you can adjust the difficulty on the fly before any battle, with higher difficulties offering up the chance lớn earn rare and exclusive Pins.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

Your buổi tiệc nhỏ members will gain experience from battles, too, but only their HP will rise with each level up — you raise their other stats by eating out at restaurants in between battles. Every meal will deliver a permanent boost in HP, Defense, and or Style. However you can only stomach so much food at a time, so you’ll need khổng lồ burn off some calories in battle before you can swallow more stats. There are over a dozen different restaurants, each with their own quality menus littered throughout Shibuya và your buổi tiệc nhỏ will hotline out a restaurant whenever you pass one if they"re feeling famished. Each character has their own distinct taste & preference as well, và you have the chance of earning more boosts if you feed them their preferred dish. It’s a nice little diversion that brings a smile to their faces and yours in turn, especially when you discover a food that Minamimoto actually enjoys (surprisingly, he loves avocado toast).

Clothing was a huge part of the original DS adventure, và it"s back with a few changes in NEO. You"re able to equip up to four different pieces lớn each of your các buổi tiệc nhỏ members. From what we experienced, all of the equipment is purely stat-driven and won’t change the cosmetic appearance of your characters. Those Style points we mentioned earlier go towards allowing your characters to lớn take advantage of extra abilities dished out by your equipment. Some pieces of clothing may simply give a stat bonus if a certain character has it equipped while others could raise your chance of collecting more Pins after a battle if said character has a high enough Style point level. The clothing you wore in the original also had an overall effect on the city & the way the citizens viewed each of the different clothing brands, but with a larger tiệc ngọt of characters who all have their own equipment this time around, we can see potentially why that feature was axed.


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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The soundtrack offers a wide set of tracks covering everything from pop tunes with catchy choruses khổng lồ heavy metal breakdowns. New songs are introduced at a healthy rate throughout the adventure, making it a nice surprise when you discover one. Shibuya Survivor & Your Ocean would definitely jump straight lớn the top of our weekly music playlist if we ran one. Fans of the first outing will be happy to lớn hear plenty of cherished songs made the jump as either new remixes, completely new renditions, or unaltered originals. Give it some time & we’re sure some of these songs will start slipping into your day-to-day life.

Overall, NEO: The World Ends With You runs relatively smooth on Switch in docked mode. We experienced a few light frame dips when scanning the thành phố for Noise & when fights got extremely hectic, & while this happens more frequently in handheld it doesn’t detract from the overall gameplay. Also in handheld mode, it can be a little tough khổng lồ make out the characters in the heat of a battle with lights bouncing and colors splashing all over the place, but it won’t hinder your combat either.


We also experienced a few crashes where we were booted back khổng lồ the Switch home menu, twice while we were scanning different NPCs & once right before a cutscene kicked in. Thankfully, the game autosaves fairly often, so we only lost a few minutes of progress each time it occurred. Square-Enix has stated they"re releasing a Day One patch to crush some bugs, so hopefully, this is one of the problems getting squashed.

Conclusion


NEO: The World Ends With You impresses in all the categories we were terrified it could fail in. The game boasts an energetic soundtrack that feeds off the energy of the original, a deep and rewarding combat system that makes a successful leap to lớn 3D, an inspiring cast of characters that stand tall on their own, and importantly, a world that begs you lớn come back even after you’ve finished the 40+ hour campaign. After 13 long years, many fans lost hope we’d ever see a sequel to that first Reapers Game, but we’re so pleased lớn see these talented developers never lost their calling.

An excellent evolution of the original combat mechanicsA cast of delightful characters you"d happily go another round forA soundtrack full of rocks và bopsA plethora of side quests to keep you busyBattles can overstay their welcome at timesOccasional frame dips

Excellent 9/10

Scoring PolicyReview copy provided by Square Enix


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When Zion isn’t making videos for our YouTube channel, you’re likely lớn find him out playing shows with his band Constance, or out and about hunting down the latest gaming deals. He swears the sealed Labo Kits sitting in his closet are going lớn be worth “big bucks” someday...


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Mon 26th Jul 2021

The first trò chơi is one of my all-time favourite DS games. Looking forward to starting this one when my copy arrives later today.


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Mon 26th Jul 2021

I can"t wait khổng lồ play it, I think that I am stuck on if I want khổng lồ buy the game for playstation or switch tho. I think I"m just going to lớn buy both due khổng lồ my indecisiveness. Also I want this game to do well so a bit more love from me won"t hurt nobody.


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Mon 26th Jul 2021

My goodness, what a month! Best month I remember: Ys IX, MH Stories 2, Zelda SS, Ace Attorney and this. Và I want them all!

So glad this trò chơi went well! It will be mine for sure.

Xem thêm: Lời Bài Hát Tình Yêu Màu Nắng Beat, Lời Bài Hát Tình Yêu Màu Nắng (Beat)


Mon 26th Jul 2021

As someone who"s obsessed with the original, the chạy thử for this was surprisingly awesome. Combat is very different but still feels the same if that makes sense. Music is still the best there is. Running around 104 in 3d is trippy, esp with Minamimoto following you everywhere with no explination (yet)


Mon 26th Jul 2021

I"m extremely happy this is a great game. I know it"s SE và their stuff goes on sale quickly, but I may buy it tomorrow as I can get it cheaper than $60, anyway.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Still unsure about this just got the first game because of all the hype but just not seeing it, the main character is just annoying and combat seems.pretty poor, that seems too be down too the cảm biến controls which are unresponsive


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Seriously, all these amazing games coming this month, and we still have SMT V & Metroid Dread on the horizon in a few months. Hell, we still have Outer Wilds và Disco Elysium, which don"t even have release dates yet!


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Did they fix the issue with the text speed for the auto advancing text when exploring? It was so fast in the demo, that I just stopped playing it. It was impossible for me to read.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

It"s nice that they turned khổng lồ you for the đánh giá code. I"m still waiting for someone to lớn come back. If there was another game, they would have returned immediately. Other than amazing trò chơi i already played demo.


suikoden Focus on the cảm ứng controls & memorise a couple of simple button combos for the đứng top screen. That"ll help your combat. Alternatively, focus on the vị trí cao nhất screen & choose some relatively easy to use pins for the bottom screen that involve slashing or dragging motions. That"s helped me immensely in battle. LOVE that system still & felt that the Switch release lost that in translation.


Mon 26th Jul 2021


jsty3105

Should of said it"s switch version


Mon 26th Jul 2021


suikoden

The main character is Joshua, you just PLAY as Neku .. & while he"s annoying in the first 2 reaper"s games (that"s kind of the point), but by the time you get into the meat of this game the character you spend most of your time with is both complex và relatable. Plus the rest of the cast more then ảo diệu for it.

As for the controls, just practice them individually. Trying khổng lồ learn how lớn rub your head và pat your stomach at the same time is really, really hard if you don"t know how to lớn rub or pat in the first place. Play a few of the first fights 100% focused on the vị trí cao nhất until you get it, then the bottom, then try both at once. Getting in the rhythm is one of the more rewarding "ah ha" moments you are ever going lớn have in gaming.


moodycat "but the DS version is outrageously expensive" What are you talking about? You can pick it up for less than $20 on Ebay.


contractcooker Might be worth checking the user’s region & the corresponding version of eBay.

Most Buy It Now offers on ebay.co.uk are upwards of £60. That works out as over $80.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Having played the game myself, this is a pretty much perfect review. I loved everything I"ve played in this game, and found it well worth.

That said.. I"m pretty sure the clothing brands affecting the city feature wasn"t nixed, just nerfed. Since coordinating everyone on 1-2 brands is a crazy task, I do agree it was probably for the best, but I vì recall seeing the current trending brands in the menu I"m pretty sure.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

I"m glad this game is good, I wasn"t sure how well the gameplay would work in 3d instead. Will pick it up when I get paid, this month has bled me dry.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Push Square"s đánh giá seems more balanced. This one glossed over a lot of the weak points of the trò chơi which to be honest were noticeable in the demo, like the repetitive combat & limited world.


Pat_trick reviews are opinions, và that fact that that one speaks more lớn what"s important in gaming for YOU doesn"t make the opinion that a focused space doesn"t make a game worse "wrong"

Personally, I hate it when "only 6 hours" is a NEGATIVE. Are you kidding me? I"m busy, I have 100s of games lớn play. Being able lớn experience the whole thing in one night is a huge plus for me và games that want you khổng lồ invest 60+ hours into multiple plays just to lớn get the whole story should be locked at 5/6 TOPS unless the payoff is HUGE & worth it ... Which is rare.

But in the words of Socrates "That"s just like, my opinion, man". It doesn"t make the reviewer "wrong" for liking longer games.


moodycat yes the switch version plays badly with the controls but that"s if you play it docked. Play it undocked ie using the cảm biến screen. Plays nearly the same as the DS one


Mon 26th Jul 2021

The first trò chơi was cool, but I found the story lớn be kind of dumb và poorly written. I may pick this up on sale.


HeadPirate Well, let me change what I said to something more specific then. The focused space is an issue because of how frequent you traverse through it. That khổng lồ me is repetitive and a negative. I completely agree with you that a game doesn"t need to be longer to be better, and my problem with this game is not the scope, but exactly how long it takes to lớn move forward in the story. I actually thinks this game is too long for what it wants to lớn do.

On a sidenote, no need for the uppercase, chill out.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Still debating if I want this on PS or Switch, but super hyped for the game nonetheless.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Ace Attorney and World Ends With You entries both releasing tomorrow. No qualms on day one purchases on both.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Great review! I unfortunately had khổng lồ choose between this và The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles; the latter won out. That said, I hope to lớn get khổng lồ the demo before too long & will likely pick this up not long afterward if it checks most of the right boxes.

I played the first game recently on the Switch and enjoyed it, though I wasn"t overly fond of any of the control schemes.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

"In the original TWEWY, you could purchase clothing from many of the different shops scattered about the đô thị but the main character was the only person who could change their clothing. "It"s minor in the grand scheme of the review, but I"m certain that this is blatantly wrong about the original game.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

Very glad this trò chơi delivered, absolutely loved the original và never thought there would ever be a sequel.


suikoden ya you need a stylus. None of the re-releases were very good about the cảm biến controls. But the original DS with the stylus control is incredible


NEStalgia ps4 version runs at a stable framerate whereas switch version has drops. Always go for the playstation version of games when they give you the choice of playstation và nintendo


Mon 26th Jul 2021

played a rom of the original for a hot 5 mins & it was fun. May pick it up some day.


xshinox Yeah, generally for RPGs & VNs I prefer handheld play khổng lồ be an option, and especially for TWEWY since it"s kind of built around handhelds originally & is equal parts RPG & VN, fit"s the format well. OTOH after all of Falcom"s games being, honestly, mediocre ports on Switch with poor choice of font scaling when docked, it"s made me consider the PS version more often.

I suppose Steam Deck solves that but then I"d have to lớn consider yet another ecosystem. I"m legitimately streaming DQXI over trò chơi Pass Cloud on my phone with a clamp controller now because I own it on PS & Switch và have still never played it because the Switch version graphics are annoying and the OG PS4 version is incomplete.


Mon 26th Jul 2021

I can tell you loved this lớn bits Zion, and it"s rubbing off! I"m going for this one once I get the chance!