Friday, April 5, 2013

The World Ends With You: mid-point thoughts

Well, I'm about finished with The World Ends with you it seems, time for a mid-point retrospective.
So far the game is mainly action-based with a few moral choices along the way, mainly having to do with either leaving your enemies (Or alternately your friends) to the resident monsters, Noise. Fortunately the encounters are at-will with the scanning feature instead of random encounters, which are fine if put into practice right, but since it's typically abused instead of just having monsters roaming the world and dungeons I'm glad to see this new mechanic that allows you to roam Shibuya, shop for clothes, new ability pins, food, or just run around and listen to the sweet soundtrack without the worry of running into a surprise fight with a particularly fearsome monster when you're health is low. The World Ends With You is essentially an instance based action-RPG, which is a diversion from normal action-RPGs in the sense that it takes place inside a pocket-dimensional version of the main world like most turn-based RPGs do, but the combat takes place in real-time, and where you stand actually DOES matter. Plus you can dash to avoid damage which helps if your combat pins are on cool-down. You can also run from battles just by pressing start, then tapping "Gotta Bounce!" which apparently does something to your partner, since they will apparently say something, but the only times I ever did it were in part 2, and I didn't notice any difference in later gameplay. Despite the lack of cutscene involvement the game actually delivers on gut-punch moments, and in the end of part 2 I was thinking "Holy crap, what have I done?"
Now, to address the major boss-fights. At the end of every part so far there's a majorly hard boss-fight to be had, and even on EASY difficulty they're still tough as Adamantium nails. It took me about ten tries to get past the boss of part 2 on easy, and each time I gradually learnt what to do, and on top of that they give you an option to either retry, retry on easy, escape (Not for bosses) or return to the title if you die, unlike SOME games that just dump you at the title-screen instead of letting you "Continue"
All in all this game is good, and I'd say it's worth picking up. One thing I need to address is that instead of changing the soundtrack from part to part they just add more songs to the existing mix. That's fine, but why can't we have more songs? DS cards can hold up to 256MBs, I think that's MORE than enough for a varied soundtrack.
Here's the final part: