The World Ends With You for the Nintendo DS was developed by Square Enix and Jupiter. It was designed to be a complete departure from Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts and this is quite noticeable. It is set in the Shibuya District in Japan and its youth sub culture. You will notice the dialogue using late 2000s terminology and the use of flip phones and the style of music that was popular at that time.
(A big question of the ages like what is a man but a miserable pile of secrets)
The story focuses on Neku, an anti-social loner who wakes up in the middle of Shibuya one day and finds out that he’s invisible and is being targeted by creatures known as “noise”. He’s initially unable to fight them and its only till he partners up with another “player” Shiki, that he is able to fight them. Neku and all other players are on a timer and if they fail to meet each objective at the end of the day, they will be erased.
(One of Square Enix's best villains and this isn't even a joke he actually is one of their best characters.)
Players are deceased people who are put in the underground, an alternate reality of Shibuya and they are being targeted by the grim reapers. If they managed to win within the week, they will be given a second chance at life. Neku has to trust his partners in order to survive. The pace is brisk and a different challenge emerges each day.
(I'll never get tired from seeing this kind of font)
The main story theme of this game is death and what would you do for a second chance if the opportunity arose. Music is a very key component in the game and many of the enemies are named after a variety of musical genres and the composer and conductor are terms used to refer to the villains. The composer is the one who sets the music and the conductor is the one who helps execute it. Each of the characters has their own theme of music playing during combat. Shiki being pop music and Beat being hip hop and punk. The audio quality and sound effects are really good.
(This is going to be quite the scene in the anime)
The World Ends With You is truly one of the finest and most unique art Square Enix has provided and it has aged very well. It is very edgy and stylish and Shibuya looks really upbeat and busy. Each area felt very unique and different from one another and the game has a very strong graffiti and stylish atmosphere. The character designs are as incredible as ever.
(I spent literally 100s of hours doing this and i never got bored of it.)
While the pixelated animated at the time was quite impressive, I think the full anime style in the final remix was the best. The visual novel styled cutscenes in the game look pretty cool and the characters are expressive and you can skip them by holding both l and r buttons on both the DS and 3DS. The user interface was very easy to navigate.
(Its only a matter of time before they make a Karen reference in the anime)
Because the game is set in shopping center of Japan, buying clothes and music is a big aspect of the game. You could buy clothes and accessories and each of them comes with their own benefits like increased health or defense. You can also buy food and it goes down in bytes depending on the kind of meal you had. The more you purchase, the more the store clerk will take a liking to you and be able to unlock special abilities and new clothes.
(One of the first things the game does throw at you)
The combat system is very customizable. You can select the difficulty level you want and you’ll be rewarded based on your selection, with items like a rare pin. Pins are used to fight enemies and each of them has its own ability. The more you use a pin in combat, the more powerful it becomes and some pins can even evolve into more powerful variants.
(2020 will be done soon and this will be the first thing to see if we do survive)
The combat has an auto feature that wasn’t in the Switch version and you could choose whether to have it on or off and how frequent you want your partner to attack on their own. Its split screen unlike the switch one screen is dedicated to your partner fighting and the other screen is dedicated to you fighting. The control system was better than the Switch version and it was really meant to be played on touch screen and split screen. You can scan to hear people's thoughts and some of it is required to progress.
(Tetsuya Nomura Square's golden boy great artist but shitty writer and director NGL.)
The story is riddled with cliches and some aspects are not fully clarified and it is preachy with its friendship and open mindness themes. There is more voice acting lines compared to the final remix and it is sadly not up to par. I even noticed an odd dialogue error where Pinky, a grim reaper in the game, called Ms. Konishi, the secondary antagonist Sir. This is a fairly common issue I have noticed in many Japanese to English translations.The dialogue choices have 0 impact on the story besides the reaper review trivia quizzes you are given in missions. The ending is very confusing and leaves more questions than answers. A good portion of enemies were reskins with different abilities.