Review: The world ends with you: Final remix

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at 6:48 PM

In this fresh interpretation of the critical darling, “The World Ends With You,” old becomes new again with updated graphics and music, with minor foibles that get in the way of making this revamped DS classic an all-time great. 

Putting players in the shoes of chronically-antisocial teenager, Neku Sakuraba, “TWEWY” chronicles an expansive story full of meaningful emotional exchanges, lessons of trust and friendship, and enough confusing jargon to make this a true JRPG. 

Stuck in a twisted version of Tokyo’s Shibuya district, Neku and his companions fight to survive for a week in the devilish “Reaper’s Game.” Fail, and face erasure. If they win, the companions will receive what they cherish most — and a new lease on life. Fighting, running and accessorizing their way to the top, the group gradually uncovers secrets and a plot that threatens all of Tokyo. 

Standing out — just like it did on the DS originally — is the dramatically stylized art style from Tetsuya Nomura, known best for his work with Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, and an absolutely fantastic soundtrack that blends urban breakbeat, synth and hip-hop in a refreshing way. 

Alongside the art style — recreated fantastically with hand-drawn sprites to replace the pixelated ones from the original release — the combat stands out as a unique interpretation of action-based RPG mechanics. Equipping different pins (literal pins) affords Neku with different magic powers used for combat, from pyrokinesis to the ability to magnetize items to trap enemies. Working together with pins is the trend system — where different brand-named equipment becomes more, or less effective, based on the fashion trends in each area — leading to unique combat buffs for those who are willing to be style savvy. 

To be blunt, the controls are the biggest disappointment in this release — forcing players to use the joy-cons as a pointer to move the characters and perform actions in combat, which is more of an aggravation than anything else, as players constantly will find themselves having to reset and recenter the controller. Players can also chose to use touch-screen controls, which while more effective, will leave your screen smudged without a dedicated stylus. Also gone are the intuitive partner AI controls from the DS release, making players make sacrifices to battle effectively. 

Overall, “The World Ends With You: Final Remix” is the nicest looking, sounding and performing version of this cult-classic, with control issues that can mire the experience for players. Regardless, this game will be a perfect gift for fans of JRPGs, and those willing to get past the controls for a unique and engaging story unlike any other. 

Britton Rozzelle can be reached at @BRSomebody.

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