In 2008, Square Enix and Jupiter released the now-popular video game The World Ends With You for the Nintendo DS and tells the story of a boy named Neku and his attempts to escape from the Underground, an alternate reality plane of Shibuya, the popular shopping district of Japan.
The game starts when Neku wakes up on the streets of Scramble Crossing in Shibuya and gets attacked by monsters. After his partner, Shiki, helps him defeat the monsters, she tells Neku that they must participate in a seven-day-long game where they receive daily missions via text messages and will face being erased if they fail to complete a mission. As the game progresses, Neku and Shiki discover that they are competing in the games to stay alive: if they survive the seven days, they will return to life. However, not everything goes according to plan, forcing Neku to participate in the game for a second and a third time.
TWEWY features a dual-screen fighting system in which Neku fights in one fight while his partner (either Shiki, Joshua, or Beat, depending on what week is being played in the game) fights on another screen. Neku fights with pins that contain certain psychs, which are the game’s version of magic. Pins are classed by types that include thunderbolt, pyrokinesis, energy rounds and shockwaves. Additionally, the game incorporates Japanese pop culture as it makes references to food, fashion and trends.
When TWEWY was being produced, character designer Tetsuya Nomura, who was also involved in the creation of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, was working on Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. Because of this, TWEWY makes some references to bothÂ fandoms. For instance, Neku’s character is very similar to Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series. Later in the game, a character makes a reference to a quote from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
The only negative aspect about TWEWY is the fact that it ends in a cliffhanger that leaves the player wanting more. Tetsuya Nomura has said that he’s interested in working on a sequel for the upcoming 3DS.
The World Ends With You is a very intense game not only in game play, but in plot as well. Gamers who enjoyed games like Kingdom Hearts and Lunar Knights will find this game very enjoyable.