Way Back When
During the 00’s, the original Nintendo DS was one of the best handheld systems for RPGs, One of these RPGs was The World Ends With You, a game that was released in 2008 from Square Enix and Jupiter. The game told the story of amnesaic, misanthropic teenager Neku Sakuraba as he somehow finds himself in a parallel version of Shibuya and thrust into the Reaper’s Game. In order to figure out how he got there, he must survive a week in the game and partner up with a girl named Shiki Masaki to fight monsters known as Noise and solve missions each day.
One of the reasons the game would become a cult classic is because it took full advantage of the DS’s dual screens. The player had to control Neku and his partner at once while they were on two different screens during combat, using the mic and touchscreen to pull off special moves. The chaotic gameplay combined with its down to earth modern setting, themes of personal connection and introspection, and sleek and catchy soundtrack would make the game a standout title among fans and critics alike.
Not only would the game become one IGN’s favorites of 2008, but the game was also a critical and commercial success in Japan and the United States. Furthermore, the game would leave a lasting impression in other games and beyond, with appearances in the Kingdom Hearts game franchise and an anime adaptation that premiered this year. Most importantly, the game would receive a long awaited sequel on the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 called NEO: The World Ends With You, which was released this past July. A PC version was also released in late September.
Where You Can Play It Now
The advancement of technology means that you no longer have to dig out your old Nintendo DS or 3DS and scour the web for a copy of the original game if you want to play it. Not only can you play an enhanced port of The World Ends With You on Switch called The World Ends With You: Final Remix, but the game is also available to play on iOS and Android as The World Ends With You Solo Remix.
As you might imagine, there are differences between the original DS game, the mobile port, and the Switch version. Since the dual screen combat controls on the DS version intimidated me, I personally decided to play the Solo Remix version on my Android tablet. There is only one screen involved, so the gameplay is less frantic than the DS counterpart, and the touchscreen controls are easy enough that you can play the game with one finger. The mobile port also featured a graphical overhaul in the form so that the characters look more high definition as well as a remastered music soundtrack. While the plot of the main storyline is retained from the original, beating the game also gives you access to a special alternate universe bonus chapter called Another Day.
Meanwhile, the Switch port has the same high definition graphics and remastered graphics as its mobile counterpart but with a few major differences. One is that there is an additional chapter after the main storyline called “A New Day”, which adds more to the story. The other is that the gameplay has been changed a bit to suit the Switch’s Joy-Con controls, which can be iffy if you decide to use them. Critic Gita Jackson noted that the game has a hard time recognizing the motions you make with the Joy-Con controls and the touch controls are only slightly better.
When it comes to my final verdict, you may want to go with the original DS game or the mobile port if you want the best quality. You can get the Switch version if you already own the console, but wait for sale if you are on the fence about it.