The World Ends With You is a rather unique RPG that came out for the Nintendo DS portable system back in 2007 (released outside of Japan in 2008). Over in Japan, it went by the title It’s a Wonderful World.
The game had a rather interesting story. You played as the at-first unlikable Neku, and eventually gained another character, Beat, as a companion (who is also playable during battles).
One thing that made this game unique, besides the story, and the soundtrack, was the battle system. At the start of the game, the battle system is quite simple: you control Neku on the touch screen, and his attacks are decided by different badges you equip him with. Different badges unlock different attacks (either physical or magic), and all the attacks control differently. Other badges allow for healing and buffs.
Eventually, once Beat joins Neku, you start controlling both characters at the same time, in a way. You still mainly control Neku, but you can hit various buttons to allow for Beat to attack. You start learning a rhythm to how they battle, as they both battle out on separate screens (Neku on the touch screen, Beat on the top screen), and enemies appear independently of the other screen. As such, you alternate between characters.
As the game progresses, the game keeps adding new elements to the battle system, making it increasingly complicated, as there is always more to keep track of as you’re battling.
Another thing that set this game apart from most RPGs is the soundtrack, which is heavily infused with J-pop and the like. I quite like the soundtrack.
In TWEWY, you end up changing characters’ outfits quite a bit. Taking place in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, the stat bonuses/negations alter as you travel around the city. In some areas, the clothing your characters wear will be popular. In others, not so much. The popularity of your outfits determines how much of a stat boost you get.
I’ve had a copy of this game since about half a year after it came out, in the states, but, I’ll be honest, I’ve never gotten around to finishing the game. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the battle system was so unusual, and, honestly, more than a bit complicated once you really get into the game.
The game was developed by Jupiter developers, the team behind Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance, and published by SquareEnix. Despite being a SquareEnix RPG, and an exclusive on the DS, I don’t seem to remember this game doing all that well. With the art style and the soundtrack, it seemed to appeal mostly to otakus and anyone else partial to anime and manga.
I quite like the game, even though I’ve never finished it (I should probably start a new file and try to play through it). Mark this one up as yet another game I don’t think that many people remember.