Available on PS4, PC and Switch, NEO The Worlds Ends With You was even before its release a game not quite like the others. It follows a title enjoying great popularity, which even had the right to adapt it to an animated series. But once finished, can we say that it manages to do better than a simple nostalgic reminder?
Ah, The Worlds Ends With You! One of Square Enix’s first games for the DS will have left some indelible traces on some players of Nintendo’s small laptop, the game then brilliantly exploiting the tactile and dual-screen features of the machine, in addition to having an original and striking design, and a PAL cartridge now hardly accessible in view of market prices. And now, more than 10 years later, a sequel has landed!
The chosen one?
Good games are almost eternal, and are often seen in all sauces, and this is what happened The World Ends With You: gleaning the good vein, a few years ago, Square Enix had decided to transpose his baby on smartphone, then on Switch, but the loss of the second notch and some nice features on the DS did not convince us very much about the Nintendo hybrid. This time, the machines that host it are mostly exclusively sedentary! Will we fall in spite of everything in the freelance of the phantom touch function? Or will the playability be more ergonomic this time around and, who knows, always with a concrete world? So many questions for which you will have an answer at the end of these few lines.
In this episode NEO, you play as a new hero in a new story, Rindo, a black mask screwed under his chin, a sign of an era. Along with his companion Fret, they are stuck in a parallel dimension of Shibuya, Tokyo’s famous neighborhood, and forced to participate in the Reaper game, which sees them fighting many monsters and solving multiple puzzles. It will also recruit new members with a gallery of classic but interesting characters, to fight the bugs, but also other participants. Because it is a competition. The opportunity to meet some old acquaintances, but also to discover the powers of our heroes, who are able to go back in time to relive an action with new crucial information and change the course of fate, or to dive into the emotions of people. The scenario is followed and the occasional daily narration gives a certain rhythm to the whole.
A bug in the matrix.
Everything is wrapped in the same style as for the first episode, and it has to be said that it is all very beautiful. The heroes have a very “Nomuresque” style and the very urban aspect of this universe with faceless NPCs is undoubtedly charming. The ensemble benefits from English or Japanese voices, and French texts, and if some 3D cinematics are present, it will often be necessary to be satisfied with visual novel panels, certainly nicely cut out, but very talkative! Special mention to the contextual storytelling in play, always very stylish and sometimes astonishing. The sound track is not to be outdone with quality on all levels, from jazzy Persona tunes to the many well pchus rock pieces that abound here and there.
In addition to its assumed manga design, marked and seductive, NEO: The World Ends With You offers a rather exotic tour of Shibuya for anyone who does not frequent the place regularly, and rather loyal. It is a real pleasure to walk the streets of what is perhaps the most popular district in all of Tokyo. Movements are now made on a 3D map, always with a “secret vision” mode to see the thoughts of people and monsters, but also multiple shops to buy clothes or food, to prepare as in Monster Hunter ! Everything is done under Unity, and if we are clearly not on AAA, we keep this flavor of nomadic game resolutely retro.
I know Kung Fu!
NEO: TWEWY therefore has a charm at least equivalent to that of its ain, but what will be its playability? As for RPG, it’s pretty complete, with some time spent in the menus to sort your badges looted in combat, their improvements and possible mutations, but also a lot of clothes to collect and equip to gain some statistical bonuses, but also links social unlocking interesting functions in combat. Level management is also available, but the latter is quite basic. We explore the city and its shops from top to bottom in an attempt to bring together all the objects, in an indefinite number, since multiple collectable items are also present here, while having the idea of completing a few side quests. Clearly, there is plenty to take care of during the 20 hours it will take you to see the end of the Reaper’s …