The World Ends With A Blog Part 2-The Gameplay of The World Ends With You

Category: By idofriar1313

Now, when you think of the term RPG, what comes to your mind? Turn based battle system? Inventory management? Party managing? These are the things I, personally, hate about RPG’s, all this micromanaging bullcrap. I bought a game, not a second job. This is why I embrace the Paper Mario games and any Mario RPG in general. You only have to worry about Mario and another party member. Each Party member is so distinct; you can’t go wrong in finding the right combination you feel comfortable with. The turn based battle system keeps you engaged throughout, and you don’t feel like you are choosing from a bunch of menus.


This is where The World Ends With You comes in. It’s my favorite RPG of all time, bar none. It strips away everything that makes an RPG boring, and leaves in what makes an RPG, well, an RPG.

Let’s talk Overworld. The Overworld is a decent size for an RPG. Not too big, not too small. You use the stylus to touch an area of the screen you want Neku to walk to. You drag it to move continually. Your main objective is given to you at the start of each day, and it’s up to you to figure out what little objectives to complete in order to complete the main objective. In this game, the littlest thing can have a huge impact. On the third day of playtime, what I thought to be a simple side quest actually became the answer to the objective I was trying to solve!

The entire game revolves around pins. Pins are buttons you pin to your clothing (and I’ll get to that in a minute) that give you attacks, and boosts status effects. There are over (according to the manual) 300 pins in the entire game that you can equip. You can only equip one pin to yourself at the start of the game, but as you progress further, you can equip up to six.

Evey Pin in TWEWY
That's alot of fucking pins.

Neku and all players have one major pin attached to the palm of their hand. This is what keeps them in the UG and what gives them the power to read minds. While in the overworld you can touch the player pin displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen to “scan” the area you’re in. When you scan you can either read the minds of people in the RG or tap on “Noise” symbols to enter a battle. That’s one of the things I love about TWEWY. NO RANDOM BATTLES. You fight enemies when you’re good and ready.

The Player Pin

I’ll admit the battle system in TWEWY is daunting. And I MEAN IT. An impatient gamer will most likely be turned off by it. But when you do learn this battle system, you will feel so bad ass. Now, I should probably explain how the damn thing works.



You control Neku on the bottom screen and your partner (who is chosen appropriate to the games’ story) on the top screen. Neku is controlled a number of different ways. It all depends on what pins are equipped. The most basic (and one of the first pins) you acquire is the “slash” pin. It’s a basically an invisible Neku controls with his mind. You slash over an enemy on the touch screen, and Neku will slash that enemy. Each pin has an action that correlates to an action you perform on the touch screen. Each pin also has either a certain amount of uses each battle or they can be used until a meter on the screen goes down. Once the meter for that pin is down, you’d have to wait for it to recharge so you could use it again. Each Pin has a different recharge time. Some pins require you to drag along the touch screen, some require you to tap, slash etc. Here’s an example of what I used to get through the game. I would slash until the meter ran dry, and then tap enemies furiously to drop rocks on them, and then drag my stylus across the touch screen to create a path of fire. I would also have one healing pin equipped, just in case. What resulted was a game where I would get weird looks from people as I played, as the DS’s touch screen isn’t the softest or quietest thing in the world.

Now, that’s only half of the battle system. Crazy, huh? Time to explain the top screen: On the top screen you have your partner. Now each partner has a different style of play, but it what it all amounts to is pressing a combination on the DS’s D pad. (or ABXY buttons if you’re a left handed circus freak) I’ve already told you about two partners Neku encounters. Shiki, and when she’s gone, Joshua. I won’t spoil the rest because I still want you to buy the damn game, seeing how it was a commercial failure. (Who didn’t see that coming?) You can either press left or right to start attacking in that direction. The first attack initiates an on screen combo map. At the end of a path on the combo map is a different card. On the top of the top screen are 3 facedown cards. When you reach the end of a combo map you will activate the card at the end of it. There are 3 different cards, a spade, clover, and diamond. When you activate a card it will reveal the space of its locations at the top of the screen. Activate all cards in the designated, and you receive stars. These stars add up to a grand total. When you get enough stars, you get the ability to do a team fusion attack. These are beautiful, and elaborate attacks that attack everything on both screens. With Joshua, it’s much simpler, but you have more cards to worry about. Joshua’s cards each have a digit on it. These cards can be found at the end of the combo map, same as Shiki. On the top screen are 6 cards, each with its own digit. Each card has one of 3 symbols on it. An arrow pointing down, an arrow pointing up, and 2 grey rectangles. The grey rectangles simply mean that you must choose a number of the same digit at the end of the combo map. Down arrow means a lower number, up means higher number. Doing this correctly means stars and a fusion attack.

My favorite fusion attack in the game

Pretty scary sounding huh? Don’t worry, spend enough time with the game, you’ll be a pro. My friends described me as a “creepy, well oiled machine” while playing. TWEWY’s gameplay is easily like nothing you have ever experienced before, and probably the most unique RPG battle system I’ve played with in a while.

Yea, still not done.

So, where does the standard RPG stat tracking and item equipping come in? Well, it comes in in a pretty unique way.

Shibuya is the cultural and fashionable hip spot of Japan. This is where all the top of the line designers set up shop. So naturally, clothes come into play in the game. Depending on what area you are in the map, certain brands are popular. Which trends are popular have an effect on your stats. Say a certain brand is popular in the area, if you are wearing the brand, your attack is doubled, but if you’re wearing a brand that isn’t popular your attack will be CUT in half and the cool kids won’t invite you to the big end of the year party where the girl you liked throughout middle school will have sex with the Jock you hate, and you will be a virgin forever.

Real World Shibuya. Looks crowded.

These effects carry over with pins as well. Have a pin that’s a certain brand that isn’t popular and they won’t be as effective in combat. There are clothing shops all over the place, so you’ll have no trouble finding clothes.
Enemies drop pins when you fight them in combat, but as you go up levels, smaller enemies become less of a threat, and depending on how hard a battle is they will drop a certain amount of pins. You can actually take away exp. From your characters and drop down to previous levels and move back up anytime. What this does is increase your chance of finding rare pins. I actually had to do this to complete a certain missions.

Now that we got the core gameplay and battle system out of the way, let’s talk Overworld again.

As you move throughout the overworld, you will find reapers in red hoodies. You will also find invisible walls that impede your progress. If you talk to these reapers, they’ll tell you what to do in order to pass the wall. Now they won’t always be “Defeat all the noise in the area” (though it usually is) some reapers give you special missions such as “ Find X number of X pins and bring it here” I was pleasantly surprised in the diversity (not by much though) in these smaller missions.

After you break a couple walls and open up Shibuya a bit moreyou will find yourself in a story sequence, you’ll get a hint as to what you need to be doing and you’ll witness the sweet emo nothings that Neku occasionally spits out of his head.
As complicated as it sounds, it really isn’t that bad. This is a pretty unique RPG and, once you learn how to pull the strings, it’s actually really fun to play. I would find myself starting battles, not to grind for exp., but to have fun. And in the end, that’s what a game is supposed to be, not a second job.

Stay Tuned.

1 comment so far.

  1. TheAssailant6661 June 29, 2010 at 4:30 PM
    ido bro, I know you're out there.

    Also, you and Marley need to have a podcast about how awesome TWEWY is.

Something to say?