First off, sorry about this review being so late after the game released. Life would not let me play this game long enough to get through. Plus, since I’ve beaten this game numerous times on DS, I wanted to make sure I got through the new content before I did the review. Still, even with those limitations in time, and not being able to play it as I wanted, The World Ends With You Final Remix is just what I expected and more. What’s that? A great RPG with great stories and characters, and a little something extra.
Game Name: The World Ends With You Final Remix
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Jupiter, Square Enix
Release Date: October 12th, 2018
For those who DON’T know The World Ends With You…really? I kid, however, the original game was very much a cult classic game when it released on Nintendo DS in 2007. But if you happened to have missed that, The World Ends With You Final Remix, will let you see what the big deal was. In HD, as an added bonus! I’m going to keep spoilers light because it’s REALLY easy to get into spoiler territory and I don’t want to ruin the experience.
So, where to begin? How about at the beginning? The game takes place in Shibuya, Japan, albeit a very stylized version of it…which actually kind of accurate if you’ve ever been there. Anyway, you play as Neku Sakuraba, a kid with…uh…issues…
Anyway, Neku finds himself in the UG of Shibuya, or the “Underground”. This “alternate dimension” is one where a thing called the “Reaper’s Game” is being held. Neku and his partners Shiki, Joshua and Beat must fight to survive the trials of seven days in order to survive and make it to the other side. But standing in their way are the Reapers (think of them as in-game administrators) – which happen to be very strong. Those Reapers can also create monsters called “Noise”. Even still, that’s only scratching the surface of what’s going on in the game.
From the moment that The World Ends With You Final Remix came out, the thing that made it stand out the most was its anime style and sound. This game looks like an anime, sounds like an anime, and even plays like an anime at times, and it all works. All the while have beautifully drawn characters and areas via the “streets” of Shibuya. Every section of Shibuya is different. It’s own style, themes, characters, and more. There are some classics of course, but seeing just how lively Shibuya is is wonderful.
When the game arrived on DS, it looked good, but with the Switch’s visuals, everything is in crisp HD, and it brings the game to life in so many more ways. Plus, with the bigger screen, you get to see details you couldn’t on the tiny dual screens of the DS.
Moving on, the other thing that helped define The World Ends With You was the battle system. On the DS, you actually controlled both Neku and one of his partners in battles against the Noise and the Reapers. Here, they refined it a little bit. Now, you mainly focus on Neku, but you also bring in the partners to deal damage and build up combo attacks and meters. I was honestly worried about how well it would work, but it honestly turned out great. Especially the combo attacks, which have been refined with new mini-games to bring them to life in the best way possible. As a guy says in the game, “Trust Your Partner.”
As for how you battle with Neku, you use pins called “Psychs”. Neku is an “expert” in them, and each pin has their own special abilities. For example, you can summon fire, shoot lasers, summon massive boomboxes of sound, raise icicles from the ground, and much more. In fact, there are hundreds of pins to choose from in the game. So you’ll have plenty of variety in order to pick the perfect set to go to battle with. Which is good, because the opponents you face off against are tough.
Like a typical RPG, there are plenty of monsters to fight, but, The World Ends With You Final Remix (and the original title) put a nice twist on things. As you’ll actually have to “scan” for monsters, and then choose to fight them. Doing so allows you to grow at your own pace, and you won’t feel the grind that most RPGs have. Except for times when you need to get specific items from the Noise and have to battle them frequently to get the item that is. Still, it’s a simple yet easygoing system, and even if you lose in battles, you’ll get the ability to try again on “Easy” mode for a more stress-free experience.
Even though I’ve played through the game multiple times, it never ceases to amaze me how good the story of this game is. The characters, the arcs, the twists, the jaw-dropping moments, and more, this game has it. It will grip you and screw with you until you think you can’t take it anymore, only to do it again. You might think that makes the game a bit overdramatic, but honestly? It’s refreshing to see how far they go with some of the stuff they have here.
Now, one of the biggest selling points of The World Ends With You Final Remix is that the game got some new content via “A New Day”. I refuse to spoil it, but let’s just say that this content serves as a prequel-sequel to the next game that we HOPEFULLY will get! Seriously, the ending to this new day is so insane and epic that not having it resolved would be a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY!!!!! I’m just saying.
You’ll also find that this mode adds some new twists to the battle system, including new battles against noise, new noise to battle, and so much more.
All that being said…there are some drawbacks to the game. In fact, some of them were present in the original title, and some are magnified here. First and foremost, I’ve seen multiple reviews and player testimonials saying that you SHOULD NOT play this game on your TV. Because if you do, you have to use motion controls…and they stink. Play it in tablet mode, it’s much easier. Granted, using the touchscreen can be a bit tedious at times, and you’ll swear that you are doing one thing while your character or Psych is doing another. But for the most part, it works rather well.
Ironically, one of the things I had the biggest problems with was the new “Partner Summon” feature. Shiki, Joshua, and Beat all have different methods of being summoned, and depending on your setup, it could be hard to get them to do what you want. Again, it works most times, but it is noticeable.
Another problem is one that’s not inherently obvious at first. While 99% of the graphics of the game is full-on HD, there are indicators in the game that are sprites straight from the DS. And it’s grainy as heck. It honestly strained my eyes looking at them at times. I mean, you go through all this trouble to buff the game, and forget that stuff? Seriously?
Sadly, one of the issues with the original game was carried over to the remix – the map. Mainly, while you see an overview of Shibuya in the game, it’s not one that can “guide” you to where you need to go. There’s a LOT of space and areas in Shibuya, and many missions have you trying to get to one space. So, if you’re not paying attention and memorizing the areas…you’re in trouble, and you’ll be wandering around for some time.
This especially becomes a problem in “A New Day”, and it got annoying real quick. Speaking of “A New Day”, there were many missions in that storyline that had me going after certain items that I had no idea how to get. So, I had to look it up, else I would’ve been stuck. That’s not a good idea for a game like this. And while I liked the concept of some of the new Noise battles, some can be very overwhelming.
Still, in the end, The World Ends With You Final Remix is a great port/upgrade of the original DS title. It possesses all the charm, all the laughs, all the drama, and all the great action of the original, plus some new content that fans of the franchise, or even new fans, will be dying to see…inside joke intended.
If you have not played the original, or even if you have, please buy The World Ends With You Final Remix so that we can get that sequel. We’ve waited 11 years, please Square Enix, don’t make us wait this long again!
The World Ends With You Final Remix Review
While not perfect, The World Ends With You Final Remix is still a testament to how great an RPG can be with simple graphics, intense combat, great story and characters, and so much more. The new content brings a lot to the game, including a big tease for what may come next! So don’t miss out, get this title now!