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Impressions: The World Ends With You Final Remix
Sam Nason takes a look at the upcoming port of the cult classic, The World Ends With You Final Remix, coming to Nintendo Switch
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece looking at the very exciting Nintendo Direct Mini, recounting the multitude of exciting announcements, from Dark Souls Remastered to the brand-new Mario Tennis Aces to a much-anticipated Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze port. The prospect of one title excited me a little more than the rest, however, and that was the Nintendo Switch remaster of The World Ends with You.
Originally released in July 2007 on the DS, the action role-playing title sees you control a band of teenagers (most prominently the protagonist Neku) who find themselves thrust into a game for their very souls, fighting supernatural creatures named Noise and attempting to thwart the Reapers (the officiators) while uncovering secrets from each other’s’ pasts. The story, gloriously gripping, cannot be done justice here, and is full of so many fantastic twists and turns that make players re-evaluate the characters and the circumstances they’re playing in. Characters are memorable, witty and emotional, crafting a beautiful tale with a potent moral throughout.
The game takes place in modern-day Shibuya, Tokyo and is riddled with style. Given the massive shopping culture in this district of Japan, the game embraces it through reams of customisation, including equipable gear and a myriad of attacks that come in the form of Pins. Visually the game is loud, striking, colourful, dazzling and gorgeous; character designs are top notch, surroundings are surprisingly detailed for a DS title and everybody - and everything - is so beautifully unique.
While amazing, story and style are just two contributory factors to the game’s greatness; perhaps what is most unique about The World Ends with You is its distinct battle system, whereby players control two characters at the same time. Given the DS’ dual-screen nature, one character would be fighting on the top screen and another on the bottom, with the player using the directional pad for character A’s attacks and the face buttons for character B’s. While this sounds difficult to grasp, the system makes for some intense and incredibly rewarding battles, intuitive and easy to learn.
It is interesting to note however that the version being ported to the Nintendo Switch is the iOS version, The World Ends with You: Solo Remix, with the action taking place on a singular screen as opposed to both. Nonetheless, this works surprisingly well and retains the same sense of excitement of the original.
That’s not to say it’s the exact same version - the Switch version of the game is getting some exclusive content and optimising. Joy-Con support is available for the title, only enforcing the unique sense of control the game delivers; touch-screen control is still available to those who are perhaps used to the more conventional method, and is a great use of the sorely neglected Switch touchscreen.
There is also a ‘sizeable new scenario that gets right into the heart of the story’, with the image accompanying this announcement in the Direct being that of a familiar teenage girl who appeared in a teaser at the end of the aforementioned Solo Remix. Given it’s been over ten years since any fresh The World Ends with You content has dropped, fans everywhere (myself included) have been chomping at the bit to explore more of Square Enix’s Shibuya, and the Switch port looks to do just that.
With the recent news that the port is being published by Nintendo, it looks like the dormant franchise is finally getting a substantial amount of love, and I for one cannot wait. The game’s visuals, music, style of gameplay, story and characters are all reason enough to pick it up in what I can only imagine will be the definitive version of the title.
The World Ends with You: Final Remix releases in 2018.