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Nintendo DS Game Review

The World Ends With You


Format: Nintendo DS
Square Enix
RRP: £29.99
5 060121 822665
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 18 April 2008

A boy finds himself at an intersection awash with people - alone, unaware of how he got there. Then, he receives a message: Clear this mission... or face erasure. And with that, Neku is thrust into a life-or-death game that sends him scrambling down streets paved with one riddle after another...

The World Ends With You opens as our hero, Neku, wakes up amidst the hustle and bustle of Shibuya, Tokyo. Confused and disoriented, he receives a message on his phone warning him that he will cease to exist unless he completes a certain mission. He shrugs this off, until he realises that his life really could be on the line, at which point Neku plunges into the back streets of the urban labyrinth...

Here you are about to meet an achingly hip cast of characters each with an interesting personality and stylish sense in fashion, music and culture. And, if you want to get anywhere fast in this game wearing the right clothes is an important element. The right garments not only make you look fashionably hip, but they also increase your attack and defence levels - which will come in handy when you come onto the fighting sections. You'll need to keep abreast of the latest trends in order to stay one step ahead of the fashion scene and your enemies.

After being paired up with fellow contestant, Shika, in The Game Neku is tasked with destroying monsters while staying one step ahead of the Reapers.

Your character can use psychic powers in order to read the thoughts of the population, put words into people's minds, and move objects to help you progress in your adventure. While in the field, touch the player pin in the lower-right corner of the bottom screen to open up a blue scan circle. Within this circle, you will see fragments of people's thoughts and Noise symbols - which can then be engaged in combat.

The combat system is like nothing you'll have experienced before, and makes full use of the DS. You have to use both DS screens as both of your characters are attacked. You control Neku with the stylus on the bottom screen, while simultaneously controlling Shika, using the d-pad, on the top screen. On first attempt this is an almost impossible task, controlling both characters is nightmarishly difficult. However, it doesn't take long to get the hang of it, and once you do it's a lot of fun. Of course, you can alter the difficulty settings, and should you get overwhelmed you can simply concentrate on Neku's moves and the computer will control Shika for you.

The music is also worthy of note - several of the tracks were rattling around in my head for ages after I'd finished playing.

To sum up, this is an original and fast paced, fun action game. If you're a cool, hip, dude that likes to stay up with fashion... then this game will elevate you to a level of coolness you'd only dreamt about.


Pete Boomer

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